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The Wines

75-80% young Syrah vines fruit (2003, 2004, 2007) from La Lègre (firm granite), 20-25% Syrah from Les Mazards (1961, clay, decomposed granite), both sites more the southern sector, moving from 30% whole bunch to 100% whole bunch, 2 week vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs first, a lot of manual cap punching, pumping over at 1020 to finish sugars, aged 5-year plus 600-litre casks 14-18 months, fined, unfiltered, first wine 2009, 4,000 b

2017 ()

(used 600-litre cask) dark red. Has a forward, upfront wave of red fruits on the nose, raspberry coulis airs, with grilling, brioche bread notes. The palate is sturdy on debut, comes with rather intense, succulent red stone fruits, cherries, and layered, gummy tannins. This isn’t near the mineral of Cornas – there is sucrosity and munchiness here, is atypical. 13.5°. From late 2020. 2032-34 March 2018

2016

(fibre glass, assembled two weeks ago, bottling in five days) dark robe. There’s great life in the nose, uber bright black berry fruits, cherries on roller skates, Indian ink. This drinks with fun, fleshy ease, is well charged, holds supple content, flowing fruit, indeed a fruit explosion. The tannins are neat, on fine powder. This is w.o.w. drinking, is juicy and not really typical Cornas. For guilty pleasure, drink this young! 2027-28 Mar 2018

2015 ()

dark robe. Soaked black cherries, griottes, and an infill of mulberry liqueur show on the nose with some grilling and mystery of depth, a hint of black olives. The palate is on muscle, sinew, has a sturdy middle, some roasted notes, and grippy, chewy tannins. The tannic thrust comes along early, then there’s a steady increase in assertion. This is structured, backward, rather raw Cornas. It’s a country style wine with challenging tannins that are a bit too dark for their own good. Decant this. 13°. From late 2020. 2035-36 Mar 2018

2014

(used 600-litre cask) dark robe, intense depth. The nose is attractive, aromatic and already showing sympa fruit, black cherry with a sweet note like fruit pastilles. The palate debut is tender, the fruit and content supple, nice and fluid. This doesn’t have the stuffing of the main vintages, but offers plenty of appeal. It ends on a little sweetness; there is an aromatic-violet display towards the close. “We had hail on the young vines two days before the harvest, around 20 September, and it lacks a bit of structure,” Franck Balthazar: I agree. It isn’t a fasten your seat belts wine, but has its charm. 60% destemmed this year. 2025-26 Jun 2015

2013 ()

dark red robe, good shine. This is a bouncy, lively bouquet, offers gourmand blackberry and cassis fruit, and invites the drinker, is a kind aroma. There is a note of licorice also. It sets up the palate well, with a close link between nose and palate. It holds supple black berry fruit with spiced, clear tannins, and good late freshness. It drinks well now, is open, and bears attractive fruit. Bottled April 2015. 70% destemmed this year. 2025-27  Jun 2015

2011 ()

(600-litre cask, 1961 Mazards) decent red. Has a red fruit, raspberry aroma that is round, shows some bacon, smoke and nutty airs. The palate holds red fruit, has soft and well-woven tannin that brings a note of grain. Spice and pepper feature at the end, and show strongly. It has a Cornas glint on the finish. It will have good style in 2016. The red fruit is very true, fresh, has cut. “Gourmand wine,” F Balthazar. 13°. 2024-26  Nov 2012

2010 ()

(used 600-litre cask, bottling April 2013) steady, quite full red robe. There is a toffee-aired, also floral roundness on the nose, which is ripe in nature, with berry and prune notes and earthy-soil aspects. The palate has an easy, tasty start, lacks complexity, is regular wine without élan or brio. It is quite generous, ends on mineral grain. It is a palate of two halves – tasty, fat fruit, then Cornas granite and granules take over, the fruit becoming clearer. Sound wine, can do well in the Café Hotel Restaurant trade. It needs to integrate the finish. From mid-2014 or so. 13°. 2026-27  Nov 2012

2009

(casks) dark red; bold, attacking nose – a traditional mix of bosky, spiced red stone fruits and good life in them – its upright airs remind me of Chaillot, some limestone (tasted blind). The palate ties in with the nose – there is a bosky, low-key pine infusion in the vigorous dark fruit. Has an authentic grounding, is a natural Cornas. Shows a shade grainy, tight note on the finish, and is STGT wine, despite the vintage ripeness and imprint. Good crispness and clarity are strong features. From late 2012. 2021-23. 26 hl/ha yield for this. Nov 2010