Franck Balthazar possesses not only acclaimed skill in winemaking, but has also inherited a nearly 100 year old parcel formerly owned by Noël Verset, retired Cornas icon. With those advantages, is it any wonder his wines are outstanding? The domaine was founded by Franck’s grandfather, Casmir Balthazar, in 1931, and then taken over by his father, René, until 2002. Keeping to a strictly traditional philosophy in the vineyard and cellar in homage to the great Cornas producers who preceded him, Franck is a purist and old school winemaker, and his grapes are certified biodynamic. He works his vineyards with draft horses, and hand ferments each parcel separately using wild yeasts. Grapes are not entirely destemmed, and the wine is bottled unfiltered, the better to express the robust character of his lands. His wines are proof that this traditionalist approach works: luxurious, graceful, and expressive, they possess a distinct sense of place. This Côtes du Rhone contains 75% syrah and 25% grenache, and is full bodied and plush with smooth, restrained tannins, hints of savory leather, and floral violets.
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