Tasting Notes – Loire+Rhone Valleys Wines 05.01.2024

presented by Mark Luna of Kellogg Selections

Francois Villard, Marsanne “Contours de Mairlant” ~ 2022

The vineyard soils are essentially granite and provide minerality, a beautiful balance and a protective structure.

The vines, perfectly exposed South/South-East, are protected from the west and north wind. We enjoy a temperate climate with good sunshine and rain which means we do not suffer from drought.

Appellation: Rhone Valley, France
Grapes: 85% Marsanne – 15% Roussanne – ABV 13%
Tasting notes:  Bold, with apricot, yellow apple and melon flavors melded together at the core and backed by light ginger, persimmon and citrus oil notes on the finish. This fresh, lively and fruity wine is ideal as an aperitif.
Pairings: olive cake, oysters.
Producer: Domaine François Villard

Hauts Baigneux, Blanc Chenin ~ 2022 [Organic]

A cuvée bottling from two incredible sites, the majority comes from a 2 ha plot planted over silex (flint) called Mézardière that was planted in the 50’s, the remainder comes from the Hauts Baigneux lieux-dit (La Surprise) which is a much younger planting of Chenin, around 30 year old vines.
Appellation: Loire Valley, France
Grapes: Chenin Blanc 100% – ABV 13.5%
Tasting notes: Beautiful, highly aromatic, powerful, and seductive wine.
Pairings: Very versatile. Fish in sauce, Poultry in cream sauce, White meat, zucchini soufflé with goat cheese, foie gras and apple chutney, asian cuisine
Aging: 18 months in concrete on the lees.
: Domaine des Hauts Baigneux

Hauts Baigneux, “Sanguine” Rouge ~ 2021 [Organic]

The very good natural concentration in the berries, due to the age of the vines and the great maturity of the harvest, allows this vintage to be lightly extracted, in order to seek out fine and excellent tannins. It comes from the low part of the hillside in the lieu-dit Hauts Baigneux where the soils are dominated by flint. The grapes are harvested at full maturity to create a full-bodied red wine with smooth tannins.

Appellation: Loire Valley, France
Grapes: Cabernet Franc 100% – ABV 14.3%
Tasting notes: On the palate it has aromas of red fruits and spices with a nice tannic structure..
Pairings: Cab Franc can be paired with dishes such as filet mignon and lamb.
Stainless steel tanks.
: Domaine des Hauts Baigneux

Francois Villard, St. Joseph “Poivre et Sol” ~ 2021 ~ [92pts Decanter]

Francois Villard was not born into wine; he started out his career as a chef. He grew up between Vienne and Grenoble, in the French countryside. He made his first Condrieu in 1991, a whopping 400 bottles. Today makes wine from 64 hectares. This Syrah is a blend from several steep parcels with east and south east exposure, from 20 year-old vines planted in decomposed granite and quartz soil. Fermentation with eighty percent whole clusters in open-top wood and stainless steel tanks.
Appellation: Rhone Valley, France
Grapes:  Syrah 100% – ABV 13.5%
Tasting notes: Inky ruby. Ripe, spice-accented red and blue fruits on the nose, along with a building floral note. Juicy and open-knit, offering jammy cherry and boysenberry flavors and a savory touch of olive paste. Supple tannins come on late, adding gentle grip to a long, dark berry-and-spice-driven finish.
Aging: 15 months in two- to four-year-old barrels.
Producer: Domaine François Villard