guide for quality wines from the Rhône valley

Franck Balthazar Côtes du Rhône 2017

red | tender & smooth |


60% syrah, 40% grenache
Alcohol %
30 hl/ha
barrel aged
organic (certified)
Drinkable till
± 2025
Fiche Technique
Product code
€ 14.50 as per 6 bottles
Tasting notes

In the nose concentrated dark fruit and tobacco. The taste is generous with somewhat meaty fruits (black cherry and berry), black olive and mild spices (pepper, licorice). The syrah (60% of the blend) is showing and brings a masculine dimension to the wine. Smoky tones (bacon and tobacco) in de finish, as well as some grenache sweetness (prunes jam). The soft tannins and acidity make the wine very easy drinking. A medium-bodied Côtes du Rhône, ready to drink young and slightly more bodied than most alternatives in this appellation. Could well be the hand of the wine producer! [April 2019]

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.
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