François Villard trained as a chef before setting up his domaine in 1989. Today, his vineyatrd spans 30 hectares over nearly all the appellations in the region. François also took part in a joint project called Vins de Vienne: him and two other master vignerons (Yves Cuilleron and Pierre Gaillard) replanted the very old Seyssuel vineyard. François loves to build, and with each vintage he creates new vats for his wine that he christens with a comical name, normally a play on words. He produces 400,000 bottles a year and is adored by enthusiasts and critics alike.
About the cuvée
Grown in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, Cuvée Mairlant originates from vines growing on the steep slopes of Saint-Joseph. The Syrah used comes from three parcels, Ardoix, Chavanay and St Pierre de Bœuf. The vines have grown on soils of decomposed granite for 25 years and are south-east facing. The vines are harvested by hand and the winegrower keeps almost half of the wines in whole bunches. The grapes ferment for 12 days in open stainless steel and wooden vats. Aging then lasts 18 months in barrels that are 2-4 years. 10%of the barrels used are new. Syrah gives the wine a rich and intense colour, crimson in its youth then more of a red brown after a few years. This Saint Joseph has lovely fruity, spicy and liquorice aromas, with slight woody notes. The palate is very concentrated, balanced, and velvety. This wine can easily be kept for about fifteen years. For airing with food, any red meat will work well.
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