francois villard condrieu deponcins 2017
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100% Viognier from old vines with decomposed granite and quartz terroir. Low temperature fermentation in barrels with native yeasts. Aged eleven months in twenty-five percent new and seventy-five percent used oak barrels.
"I have a hard time thinking of a northern Rhone producer whose wine has evolved as dramatically and positively over the last two decades than those of FranÃ§ois Villard. Upon launching his domaine in 1989, Villard quickly built a reputation for producing assertively perfumed and flavored, opulent, even flamboyant wines, often with plenty of new oak influence, as was the fashion in the region at the time. But over the years his style evolved, especially during the last decade. Today his wines, which are often made with a significant amount of whole clusters and almost always a minimal use of new oak, are distinctly in the elegant camp of northern Rhone wines. That's not to say that his wines are restrained, a point that he readily acknowledges. "You can get intensity of flavor without weight, too much ripeness and too much oak," he told me. "It isn't as easy and it takes a lot of work in farming, selection and attention in the cellar but it's worth it. Plus, the wines age better when they are balanced and not monsters." - Vinous, July 2019.
"With 35% new oak used in this barrel-fermented and aged wine, the 2017 Condrieu DePoncins comes across as slightly tannic and constrained on the medium to full-bodied palate. The aromas are still bright, floral and fresh, leading into crisp pineapple flavors and a focused, linear palate. It should drink well for 3-4 years..." - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate