I have been bemoaning the lack of good Rhone whites that have come my way, but one I just tasted made me forget all that:
Domaine Francois Villard St. Joseph Blanc Mairlant
(It was either the 2004 or 2005)
Unbelievable. It’s a blend of 85% Marsanne, 15% Roussanne. The grapes are hand-harvested with small amounts of botrytis. The wine is aged 30% in new barrels, 70% in tank. It had a richness and length and a big fruit pop from the botrytis. Absolutely gorgeous! Probably one of the most unique and rare whites I have ever tasted. In fact, I stopped tasting and just kept drinking it. Wines like this are what keeps me in the business; when you think you’ve had it all, something like this white St. Joseph comes along and blows you away.