Francois Villard, Saint Péray ‘Version’ 2018

£23.00 (75cl)

Only 7 left in stock

SKU: RHVI1118B

About the wine

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Description

65% Marsanne and 35% Roussanne, from vines around 20 year old (3 vineyards around the village of Saint Péray, decomposed granite and clay soil). Fermented and aged in Burgundy barrels for 11 months, in 3 to 5 year old barrels.

About the producer

François Villard worked in the restaurant business until 1985, before spending 3 years as a chef in the Vienne hospital. His thoughts then turned to becoming a sommelier, but he thought it would be easier to become a vigneron!
Villard is a self-taught winemaker; his father, a smallholder mainly growing cereals in the Isère, did not even drink wine! However, François has a close friendship with Yves Cuilleron, from whom he learned a great deal. “I had been fired by an enthusiasm for wine since I was 20”, recalls François. “We grew a few hybrid vines and I bought some books on winemaking and set off. I do admit that I was a kept man, by my wife, for 10 years”.

François planted his first vines in 1989. He became a full-time vigneron in 1991 and built his own winery in 1997. His total production is approximately 250,000 bottles, covering almost 30 cuvées in a variety of appellations: Vin de France (white, red, rosé and Moëlleux), Saint Péray, St Joseph Rouge and Blanc, Condrieu and Côte Rôtie. François owns about 30 hectares of vines in all, as well as buying in some grapes for a few cuvées as part of his négoce operation.
As far as his viticultural approach is concerned, he does not use any pesticides and only uses very light herbicide treatments if it proves to be absolutely necessary. He aims to reduce treatments to zero when and where possible, but not at the price of quality and flavour. All the grapes are hand-harvested. François is not shy of having a little botrytis on his white grapes, be they Marsanne for his St Joseph or Viognier for his Condrieu. For him botrytis brings complexity. His wines can be found on the tables of most of the best restaurants around the world!



Regions Vintage Report:

A year defined by a very wet spring but a warm and dry summer with very different results. The whites have generally less alcohol and are successful across the region while the reds, more affected by the climate, express a multitude of styles. Once again the yields were low and a few producers hardly made any wine! The North The region wasn’t as badly affected by the rain and being located on steep hills many of the best vineyards have great drainage potential. There was a little mildew but quite limited compared to the South and the yields are correct. The whites are fresher than 2017, rich, aromatic but with good tension. The reds are concentrated but balanced with enough structure to guarantee ageing. Their ripeness makes them charming and very appealing already but, thanks to the concentration due to the relatively low yields, they are not light and the best examples will age very well. Overall it’s an extremely good vintage with a few exceptional wines. The South The year was complicated: the rain started late March and didn’t stop until June. Working in the vineyards was very difficult; treating against the diseases like mildew was a real challenge that many organic but also conventional producers lost resulting in very low yields. Some vineyards and appellations were more affected, especially when there is a large clay content in the soil. Fortunately the summer was dry, quite hot, and the healthier vines produced nicely ripened fruit. The wines are generally charming and very appealing now without a huge concentration of tannins but they have good balance and enough structure to age, especially for the better vineyards and the east of the region, less affected by the weather. Knowing about the difficulties encountered by the producers I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the wines, many showing delicate and charming styles with early potential. They are not as rich and powerful as the 2015, 2016 and some of the 2017 vintages but will be more satisfying to many drinkers, especially when consumed young as it so often happens.Christian Honorez, Director February 2020©adVINture 2020

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