Franck Balthazar Cornas “Chaillot” 2015
LIMITED. Brilliant vintage!
3 in stock
The Balthazar family domaine was established in 1931 by Franck’s grandfather, Casimir Balthazar, when he purchased 1.2 hectares of vineyard in the area. The small familial domaine was continued by Franck’s father René from the 1950’s until Franck took it over in 2002. Since then he has bought, acquired and planted additional small parcels and today the domaine sits at 3.5 hectares. Today the holdings include 2 hectares of the hallowed Chaillot; 1.5ha of 50+ year old vines from his father on the steep granite slopes and 0.5ha of 100+ year old Petit Syrah inherited from his uncle, the revered Noel Verset, of the northern shoulder of Chaillot. The combination of old vines, miniscule yields (averaging only 750 doz a year!) and traditional vineyard and cellar practices make these wines a beacon for lovers of traditional Cornas that is unmistakable as the finest expression of Syrah from granitic based soils in all the world.
About the 2015 Vintage in the Northern Rhone:
“This is an excellent vintage and is deserving of its early tag as one to match the best years of the 20th Century in the Northern Rhône.” John Livingstone-Learmonth, Decanter, March 2017
“Northern Rhône 2015 is surely the vintage of a lifetime. In 55 years, I’ve never seen anything like it.’’ – Marcel Guigal
“… it is not necessary to pay top dollar in order to experience 2015’s sumptuous combination of ripeness and precision. “ Jancis Robinson
Josh Reynolds, Vinous Media, April 2017 “The 2015 growing season was preceded by a rainy winter that replenished water tables that had suffered through drought-like conditions since 2011.
The months that followed were warm to hot but not excessively so, and well-timed, beneficent rains and, even more important, cool nights allowed the fruit to mature steadily and to maintain healthy acidity levels.
With no disease pressures in 2015, the vines rebounded from their weak performances of recent vintages and produced a healthy crop of clean, perfectly ripe fruit that was mostly harvested between
September 1 and 20. The skins of the grapes were thick but not leathery, and sugar levels, although on the high side, were buffered by healthy acidity. These are perfect conditions for producing concentrated and ageworthy but vibrant wines.”
96 points, Vinous, Josh Reynolds, April 2018 “Inky ruby. An alluringly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruits, candied licorice, exotic spices and incense, and shows a bright mineral topnote. Stains the palate with intense, spice-laced blackberry, boysenberry and violet pastille flavors that deepen and become sweeter with aeration.
Delivers a compelling blend of richness and finesse and finishes extremely long and spicy, with smooth tannins sneaking in late.”
“very dark robe. The bouquet has an aroma of soaked black cherries, a bit of noble Volatile Acidity, has a plunge in its layered offer of fruit. The palate expresses a steady run of tingly black fruits with a menthol, crisp pick-up from the tannins. The finish is deep, with the tannins inside its ample matter. It isn’t like 2010 which was fresher for me
– this is layered, profound, with a flavour of liqueur cherry and violet aromatics, good fusion to come. It has excellent length, leaves a big impression. There’s a big mineral surge on the finish, along with black olives and inkiness. 13°. From 2022. 2038-40 Mar 2018.” Johnathan Livingston-Learmonth DrinkRhone.com
93-96 points, Vinous, Josh Raynolds, March 2016 “Bright violet. Mineral-accented blackberry and blueberry on the highly perfumed nose, complicated by sexy Asian spice and floral notes. Densely packed but energetic dark berry preserve flavors show hints of smoky bacon and candied violet and pick up a spice cake quality with air. Stains the palate and shows superb concentration with no excess weight. Finishes with bright mineral cut, slow-building tannins and superb persistence.”
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