guide for quality wines from the Rhône valley

Franck Balthazar Chaillot Cornas 2013

| red | elegant & fine |
Domaine Balthazar Chaillot Cornas 2011-0
uitzicht vanaf Baltahzar's Chaillotbiodynamisch perceel op ChaillotFranck Balthazar

Specifications

Grapes
100% syrah
Alcohol %
13.0%
Yield
20-25 hl/ha
Aging
barrel aged
Viticulture
organic (certified)
Drinkable till
2027-2028
Fiche Technique
Other vintages available
2016, 2017
Product code
1020101
42.95
Tasting notes

The nose wanders a stimulating path of violets, black berries, with acetate still in play: this is serious, is a deep bouquet. There are airs of black cherries and licorice, and some mystery adds provocation. The palate wells up with an abundant offer of black berry fruit, a note of prune; the tannins are ripe, and leave a little powder. There is an aromatic thread that is delicately placed along its run. Very good, cosy and wholesome, harmonious wine. It can be drunk from spring 2016, for example, thanks to its balance. Decanting a definite option. “It is a beau vintage,” Franck Balthazar. [John Livingston/drinkrhone.com, June 2015]

Wine producer
Following a brief career as an engineer at a textile company, Franck Balthazar took over his father René’s wine company in 2002. In 2004 he purchased a half a hectare with 90-year old Syrah vines from his retired uncle Joël Verset. One of the most respected members of the old guard in Cornas. With parcels in Chaillot (± 1 ha), Mazards (0.4 ha) and Lègre, his surface area is only 4 hectares, 2 of which are planted with young vines . The annual production and our allocation is therefore limited.Franck works his vineyards, which are located on the steep, southeast facing, granite-containing slopes, organically, and entirely by hand. A horse is used only for the heavy ploughing. Although traditional methods are used in the cellar – fermentation with natural yeast cells of full bunches and maturation in old demi-muid – the elegance and purity of Chaillot is remarkable. Sulfite is used with restraint, and since 2015 it has been eliminated altogether on an experimental basis in a small number of barrels. Franck continued to use the old cellar under the family home until 2014,but he now has a new, climatized cellar next to his own house. He has also started négociant activities on a very modest scale, including in grapes from Séguret (Southern Rhône).Balthazar is seen as a respected, valued successor to the now retired old-school producers Verset, Trollat en Gentaz-Dervieux. His Chaillot is one of the propositions in Cornas, certainly from a price-quality perspective. Balthazar was granted official organic certification in 2013.
Quote & Reviews

Franck Balthazar:”In 600-ltr demi-muids blijven de geparfumeerde aroma’s van de wijn beter bewaard dan in 225-ltr barrique.“ 2014 Is very similar to 2004”.

John Livingston/drinkrhone.com: “Has a curvy, supple fruit aroma, a tender air of raspberry and blackberry. There is a little more to give behind that current façade. The palate is aromatic, quietly sunny, round. This is spherical Cornas with mild tannins, squeezy fruit. It is enjoyable, without barrier to entry. The fruit resembles black berry, light blackcurrant. The tannins are extremely soft and implanted, and there is a nice lap of late fruit on the exit.” [June 2015]

Wine Advocate/Jeb Dunnuck: notes relate to Chaillot Sans Souffre 2014 “While I’m not a fan of the san soufre movement, the 2014 Cornas Sans Soufre Ajouti from Balthazar is certainly a beautiful wine that I’d happily drink any day. A forward, sexy and nicely concentrated effort, its deep ruby/purple-tinged color is followed by a classic, meaty, bloody bouquet of black currants, iodine, white pepper and gamy olive brine, as well as other exotic characteristics that only come from this sensational appellation! It doesn’t disappoint on the palate either and is medium to full-bodied, rounded, textured and beautifully balanced, with juicy acidity and a great finish.

Ratings

John L. Livingston
***(*)
Wine Advocate
93/100