Francois Villard Mairlant Saint Joseph is 100% Syrah from the villages of Ardoix, St Pierre de Boeuf, and Chavanay which is in the northern part of the appellation. The 20-year-old vines are growing in southeast facing sites of decomposed granite soils.
Villard Mairlant Saint Joseph is 80% whole bunch and 14 days macerating on skins in open wooden vat and tank. Afterwards, it was aged for 19 months in old oak.
Francois Villard Mairlant Saint Joseph 2016, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
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. Everything I’ve had from Francois Villard has been exciting, complex and authentic to the region.
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. Whites can be outstanding such as Viognier made in Condrieu, and Rosé makes a fair impression too.
The terraced vineyards on the right bank of the Rhone Valley. This appellation is the largest area by land size but second to Crozes in total land under vines. Mostly gutsy reds from Syrah with some Marsanne and/or Roussanne which have a lesser need to age than Hermitage or Cote Rotie. There is also the production of charming whites from Marsanne and/or Roussanne.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on the terroir and/or winemaker influence. The Syrah-based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere, while the Shiraz of Barossa is opulent and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wine. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.