Francois Villard, according to His Majesty Robert Parker (bow), is one of the ‘stars’ of the northern Rhone. This judgement, to which we all defer, was discovered after Richard and I tasted his 2014 Mairlant St Joseph blanc . We were not, therefore, weighed down by great expectations. It did turn out to be a dickens of a wine, however.  50% each of Marsanne and Rousanne, 13.5% ABV and 40% of it aged in oak casks, I tasted it blind.

The distinctly yellow colour with no hint of green, suggested age – or low acidity – and the low viscosity hinted at not too much sun. (Old world?).

A wonderful nose (Richard spot on with his Bird’s Custard powder smell), this was all vanilla, apples and beeswax (well done, Angie) furniture polish. The palate repeated those notes but added toffee and caramel with a more bruised apple flavour. It was medium in weight (think semi-skinned milk).

Wine books can be a bit sniffy about the expansion of the large St Joseph AC in the northern Rhone, claiming the wines are lacking in character. This most certainly wasn’t.  It’s been great to write a positive review again.

[Richard: Geoff lent me a Waitrose Wine Cellar catalogue so I ordered a few as a change from TWS. Cost about £25 which is just about reasonable, especially given the producer. A classy,  very enjoyable, well made drink which went well with a chicken casserole and, at 13.5%, perfect for a Sunday night.]


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