Francois Villard Version Longue 2014 is amazing. Initially, it smells like neutral, old, white wine. But with a bit of coaxing you get these boney, white, floral, subtle, hint creamy, mineral, white stones characters. The palate is creamy but tart, long, dry and elegant. There is green peppercorns, flint, chalk, apricot, and honey. Further flavours evolve with more time in the glass. A glorious wine that deserves to but drunk. Despite the fact that this is just a baby and has many years of life ahead of it.
100% Marsanne from 3 plots on Les Faures. Plantings date back to 1975, late 1988-1993, and 1996. They sit in sand with loose stone granite. The Villard Version Longue is a cellar selection. It has a slow, cool fermentation before transition to oak. 60% new oak for 9 months then 10 months 1-6 year oak casks, and 40% 1-6 year oak casks 19 months. It is weekly lees stirring over 6 months, malo completed, first wine 2006, “I pick late to lose acidity, and make it easier to drink”. Most importantly, Villard Version Longue is a standout Saint-Peray. A wine that will make you take notice, which is common for Villard across the range.
Francois Villard is a rising star of the Northern Rhone. Making wines from Viognier and Syrah left to ripen for longer than most and then rest in barrel for longer too. The wines have big flavours, firm structure and plenty of potential to age.
One of the great wine regions in the world. Situated along the Rhone river in South-East France there is a distinct divide between the Syrah dominant North where the Mistral wind cools and regulates the temperature and the hot lands in the South where Grenache is at its peak. The region produces everything from easy-going quaffers to wines that demand long-term cellaring.
The southern-most appellation of the Northern Rhone. It is a white-only appellation. However, they do make sparkling wine in the methode-champanoise style. Marsanne and Roussanne are 90% of the plantings. The style of white is light, crisp and mineral. Not a valued appellation in the Rhone hierarchy.
A Rhone Valley variety that offers honeysuckle, florals and a streak of acid. It can be the backbone of a blend that adds its charming characters with age.