• François Villard, "Certitude" Crozes-Hermitage 2018

François Villard, "Certitude" Crozes-Hermitage 2018

Syrah|Rhône, France

The Rhone Valley – the soul-filled home of Syrah in France! There is arguably no other place which more consistently evokes all the nuance and classic character of the noble Syrah grape.

As the Rhone river wound its way south into the Mediterranean, a dramatic valley emerged over several millennia. While softer earth yielded to the river’s carving, the harder granite bedrock was exposed, including the famed hill of Hermitage on the right bank of the river. Syrah from the Hermitage appellation is some of the world’s most renowned, and easily go for three figures and higher.

Crozes-Hermitage is adjacent to the famous hill of Hermitage itself, where Benedictine monks settled centuries before, tending the vineyards and recognizing the unique, powerful wines created from here. The best examples echo the power and lithe grace of Hermitage.

François Villard's wines remain some of my favorite from the Rhône. He came up through the industry similar to how I did: through restaurants and hospitality. A trained chef (and sommelier!), he takes the same approach with his wines as he would in the kitchen.

His "Certitude" is a definitive take on cool-climate Syrah. Deep, brooding, and dark, it shows classic cool-climate Syrah notes any wine geek would spot blind: cassis, black plum, and blue fruits wrapped around an earthy core of cigar wrapper, pepper, tilled earth, leather, and dried mushroom. The first pull only hints at what lies beneath; a full day's decanting brought out a symphony of complex, smoky mineral notes.

Bottled unfined and unfiltered, it's a rich, aromatic, and chewy wine. Don't be surprised to see some sediment at the end – it's a raw, natural product full of life and character and we expect nothing less in wines of this magnitude!

After many years of work in the vineyard, his vines are certified ECOCERT organic in 2022 and reflect the many years he spent converting the land and working naturally. Not an easy undertaking on these steep, dramatic slopes, but worth the endeavor. Lovely wine, superb craftsmanship. Enjoy!

  • $32.00

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