Francois Villard St. Joseph Poivre Et Sol 2013
The Poivre et Sol is very different from any other St. Joseph on our shelf. Instead of the black, black fruit and black pepper profile, you have much more red fruit and spice. The nose will be a surprise if you come in with a preconceived notion of St. Joseph. It's a big, expressive aroma, with loads of red berry and cherry standing out. On the palate, there are slightly darker notes of black cherry and black raspberry than are to be found in the nose.
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. Villard is self-taught as a winemaker - his father, a smallholder mainly growing cereals in the Isere, didn’t even drink wine! - but he has a close friendship with Yves Cuilleron, from whom he learned a lot. “I had been fired by an enthusiasm for wine since I was 20, recalls Francois. “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”. Francois first planted in 1989, and his vineyards mix ownership with rental agreements. He became a full-time vigneron in 1991 and built his own facility in 1997. His total production is about 250.000 bottles and is split between 20 to 25 cuvées in the following appellations: Vin de France (white, red, rosé and moelleux), Saint Peray, St.-Joseph red and white, Condrieu, Côte-Rôtie and soon Cornas. François owns about 30 hectares of vines, and also buys grapes for a few cuvées, including the Villa Pontciana and Gallet Blanc.