The 2005 Francois Villard Reflets St. Joseph is 100% Syrah from the Rhone Valley in France and the ABV is 13%. The 2007 Charbonniere Vacqueyras is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah from the Rhone Valley in France and the ABV is 14%.
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2005 FRANCOIS VILLARD REFLETS ST JOSEPH
"Dark, sweet and spicy up front, with mouthfilling plum, licorice and fruitcake notes, all backed by a fleshy texture and a finish that's loaded with dark cocoa, fig and black licorice notes. Has great grip. Drink now through 2015." -93 points Wine Spectator
"The St. Joseph appellation was cultivated by the Carmelite Monks in the 13th century. This appellation does not have a radical following, because it covers a vast area stretching from Condrieu to Cornas. The best vineyards are planted on granite. There is no village of St Joseph that ties into the designation. Because the terrain is so diverse and there are many producers, the quality can vary immensely, making it important to taste the wines and know which producer is doing the work in the vineyards."
"Francois Villard is a young man who will soon escalate into the highest echelons of Northern Rhone stardom, if he has not already done so, but it is his wines that really do the talking.
The great red grape of the Northern Rhone where it reaches its optimum levels in the violet-scented muscular wines of Hermitage, Cote Rotie, Cornas and St. Joseph is Syrah. Francois St. Josephs are always 100% Syrah, even though he is allowed to blend up to 10% white grapes (Marsanne or Roussanne) to soften the Syrah. Francois believes that Syrah makes wines of consequence in the Northern Rhone, able to rival those from Burgundy and Bordeaux."
"Les Reflets" means in English reflection. In Francois' own words, this wine is his own reflection. It is a blend of vineyards with an average age of 20 years, a selection of his very best plots. The 2005 spent 20 months in 90% new French barrels. Around 50% of the bunches were fermented with the stems as he believes it gives the wine a wonderful vegetal nuisance in their youth, but lovely, age worthy minerality as they mature in the bottle."
"This wine has the typical violet-scented aromas, black licorice and cacao powder. On the palate it is powerful, surrounded by very good acidity, black pepper spice and creme de cassis. Wonderful to drink today as it is already showing a velvety finish that makes it very enjoyable. Of course, this is also built for the long term." -Importer
This wine was scored 88 points by Josh Raynolds of the International Wine Cellar
2007 CHARBONNIERE VACQUEYRAS
"As I have indicated in many of my reports on the southern Rhone, while I am a big fan of everything the family of Michel Maret and his daughters produce in Chateauneuf du Pape, perhaps their biggest sleeper wine and best value is their Vacqueyras. With just over 10 acres in this appellation, the 2007 Vacqueyras (a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah) is aged in both stainless steel tanks and wood foudres. It consistently displays loads of pepper, meat juices, Provencal herbs, licorice, and spice. This is an impressive wine in 2007, richer than normal, full-bodied, with lots of glycerin, thickness, and succulence, without any hard edges. This is a head-turning, flamboyant style of Vacqueyras that is hard to ignore. Drink it over the next 5-6 years." -91 points Robert Parker
"Syrah (40%) and Grenache (60%) with an average age of vines of 20-35 years old. The vineyards are 4 and a half hectares, located on the plateau 'Hautes Garrigues' of Sarrians. The fermentation is regulated by flags and is maintained at a temperature between 28 and 30Â°C. This process lasts 2 to 3 weeks. Michel optimizes the qualitative potential of his wine by daily pumping over and releases or punching of the cap are done every 2 days. Ageing continues in big oak tanks during 6-8 months depending on the vintage."
"This Vacqueyras will seduce you with its fruity and quite spicy nose, and its elegant, charming, complex mouth. Although this fine wine can be drunk young, it will continue to mature for up to ten years and will go perfectly with cheese and meat." -Winery
"Domaine de la CharbonniÃ¨re was purshased by EugÃ¨ne Maret in 1912 as a gift for his wife. She was native of ChÃ¢teauneuf du Pape and a winemaker's daughter of the appellation. Fernand Maret, their son, inhereted a part of the estate and enlarged it upon the birth of his son, Michel. Michel took over the family estate. As a passionate winemaker, he brings to Domaine de la Charbonniere, its rebirth. Since 2004, the domaine has taken the name of EARL Michel Maret et Filles to make the revival of Domaine de la Charbonniere by Caroline and VÃ©ronique (his 2 daughters), easier." -Winery