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HIGH FIDELITY

domaine françois villard

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François Villard readily admits that he was fortunate to learn about wine before making it.

Legend has it that he is self-taught, but in fact he trained: his initial profession as a chef led him into sommellerie, whence to grape-growing and oenology. Granted, he has also largely shaped himself, through reading and tasting widely and through many wine-related encounters. So that by the time he began clearing and planting in the Poncins locality of Saint-Michel-sur-Rhône in 1989, he had a fairly clear idea of what a quality wine could be; of what he liked and wanted. As for the rest? “Passion is like having two big blinkers, you keep moving forward”, he says, as if echoing Elvis Costello, another eclectic character for whom “life is about movement”.
Today, the list of FV labels makes the head spin, but not his wines, which keep their Northern style even whilst heading South. Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Péray – everywhere, François Villard is the master of delicacy, with a sizeable talent for producing highly ageable wines still enjoyable when young… And a cheeky penchant for rustling up cuvées as and when the mood takes him: no mention of appellation, just amazing monikers – Doux Contours “Smooth Contours”), Seul en Scène (“Alone on Stage”)… We must reach beyond beliefs, rules and customs, seems to be the message of François Villard, who cares little for tasting scores and fashions.
Faithful to his desire for freshness, mineral fruit and balance in the glass, and attentive to his taste-buds, which are always employed, from the vine to the bottle, he is firmly attac hed to his idea of wine: what matters is pleasure.

vineyards

17.5 ha of reds: CÔTE-RÔTIE and SAINT JOSEPH AOCS, VIN DE PAYS DES COLLINES RHODANIENNES. 14.5 ha of whites: CONDRIEU, SAINT JOSEPH and SAINT PÉRAY AOCS, and VIN DE PAYS DES COLLINES RHODANIENNES, supplemented by purchased grapes.

CELLAR

REDS: Vinified in wooden and/or stainless-steel vats, depending on the grapes. Minimal destemming, whole-bunch fermentation preferred where possible, natural yeasts, little or no cap-punching, matured in Burgundy barrels and wooden vats for 12-20 months. • WHITES: Vinified and matured in Burgundy barrels and foudres for 10-18 months, natural yeasts, weekly stirring for about 6 months.

WINES

REDS: CÔTE-RÔTIELe Gallet Blanc, La BrocardeSAINT JOSEPHPoivre et Sol, Mairlant, Reflet, Gran RefletCROZES HERMITAGE: Comme une EvidenceCORNASJouvetVIN DE PAYS DES COLLINES RHODANIENNES Syrah Seyssuel • Seul en ScèneVIN DE FRANCE Syrah l'Appel des Sereines • WHITES: CONDRIEU: Les Terrasses du Palat, Le Grand Vallon, Deponcins, Villa Pontciana, ViognierSAINT JOSEPH: Mairlant, Fruit d'Avilleran marsanne, roussanneSAINT PÉRAY: Version, Version Longue marsanne, roussanneCROZES HERMITAGE: Cour de Récré marsanne, roussanneVIN DE FRANCE marsanne, roussanne Les Contours de MairlantVIN DE FRANCE Viognier Les Contours de Deponcins.
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