François Villard Makes the Ultimate Viognier For Under $30

I’m grateful when I get to go to big wine trade tastings, but they can be overwhelming. One hundred-plus tables, many of them crowded with clamoring masses, yearning to drink taste free. My advice is to go in with a battle plan. Study that spiral-bound playbook you get on arrival! But sometimes it’s dumb luck that gets you (re)discovering a favorite. Case in point: stumbling upon the François Villard Viognier “Les Contours de Deponcins.”

So Villard is a famed producer in the very small appellation of Condrieu. I can say, without a doubt, the best Viognier in the world comes from here. Period. Game over. The wine “Les Contours de Deponcins” is not a Condrieu, but very, very close to one due to grape sourcing just outside the defined region.

François Villard Viognier “Les Contours de Deponcins” 2015

There is no white wine as exquisitely perfumed as Viognier. Unfortunately, most examples from the US are overblown, oily, soapy, and boozy.

Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.

Can a wine cause time to slow down/freeze and make you feel like you’re floating in space?

Drinking this Viognier is akin to misting essence of honeycomb all over a silk sheet then wrapping yourself up in it like a burrito then gently hovering over a cooling river while angels hand you bouquets of white flowers on a star-lit paradise journey.

There’s oak, but the barrels are all a few years old. (Don’t be afraid of oaked white wines!) So the oak adds mostly texture. It’s just delicious AF. No food needed! Enjoy this alone or with someone special. (BTW, YOU ARE SPECIAL.)

Let’s talk price. The average cost for a bottle on Wine-Searcher is $25. That is an astounding deal for a wine of this quality and pedigree. IT IS SPECIAL! SO. MUCH. SPECIALNESS.

A note on vintage: I’m not a big fan of aged dry white wine and especially Viognier. This is a drink-now wine. I see there is a 2016 vintage available as well. Go buy it, right now. (Please.)

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