Francois Villard Version Longue 2017 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 of Francois Villard Version Longue 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. Villard Version Longue is an exquisite wine that deserves to but drunk. Despite the fact that this is just a baby and has many years of life ahead of it.
Francois Villard Version Longue Saint-Peray 2017, 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 Version Longue is 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 typical 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.
Francois Villard Version Longue Saint-Peray 2017 Wine Review
Best Value Rhone 2017 Wines
“20-year-old south-facing Marsanne vines grown on clay and decomposed granite provide the fruit for this wine. It’s fermented with indigenous yeasts, then aged for 18 months in barrel, 25% new, with weekly lees stirring for six months. Nearly gold in colour, it’s an oaked style but on the palate it’s the rich pear and honeysuckle notes that shine through. The very long, savoury, textural finish features meadow flowers throughout. A full-bodied, successful wine. Drinking Window 2018 – 2022.”
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 southern-most appellation of the Northern Rhone. It is a white-only appellation. However, they do make sparkling wine in the methode-champenoise 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.
Marsanne is a white variety from the Rhone Valley. Marsanne offers honeysuckle, florals and a streak of acid. It is often the backbone of a blend with Viognier and/or Roussanne. Marsanne ages incredibly well and, after 5-10 years, is a wine that is as complex and appealing as any other white wine you’ll find.
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.