Founded in 1931 by Franck Balthazar's grandfather, Casimir Balthazar, this domain saw real change under its current director. Balthazar really admired the elegance of the wines from Pierre-Marie Clape and the natural fruitiness of wines from Thierry Allemand. This inspired him to combine the two elements, and his efforts paid off! Along the way he converted his vineyard to organic in 2010 and he cultivates the land with a hand-plough. In the cellar activities are no less meticulous. Whole-cluster fermentation is kicked off with indigenous yeasts, followed by a long maceration and maturation over 12-18 months in old demi-muids so the wood does not affect the taste of the wine. Sulphite additions are limited. These ingredients are conducive to complex, delicate and well-balanced wines. Behold one of the iconic domains in the Cornas appellation!
About the cuvée
A Cornas without sulphur? The tone is set. Franck Balthazar, the current manager of this family domaine, is a fervent admirer of Pierre-Marie Clape’s elegant wines, and the work of his neighbour Thierry Allemand. To make this wine, he cultivates the Syrah that it is made from in accordance with organic principles, certified since 2010, which are characterised by working the soils with a pickaxe and winch. The grapes are harvested from the vines by hand. Fermentation of the whole grape bunches is triggered by native yeasts. It is desirable for the maceration to take a long time in order to let the grapes express their quintessential qualities through their texture, colours and flavours. Finally, the wine is matured for several months in old wooden containers which are unlikely to mark the wine with woody flavours. Of course, sulphur is banned. But the result is striking. The wine proves to be both complex and delicate. A subtle balance which demonstrates all the masterful expertise of this noteworthy domaine. The tasting leaves us with varied aromas of red fruits, black fruits, pepper, violet and sweet spices which introduce a silky palate structured by beautiful tannins. We recommend letting them settle down with several years of cellaring.
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