2021 Cornas from Frank Balthazar!

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We're happy to offer the very elegant, natural and terroir-expressive wines of Franck Balthazar in Cornas from this somewhat lighter, very terroir expressive vintage in the Northern Rhône. Balthazar is one of a small group of producers in Cornas practicing organic farming, whole-cluster fermentations and aging in used barrels, incuding growers such as Thierry Allemand and  Domaine Lionnet along with Jean and Pierre Gonon, six or seven miles to the north in Saint-Joseph. Says drinkrhone.com "An STGT domaine (soil to glass transfer!). The wines express their place faithfully with tender winemaking in support.  This is a classic example of Cornas that carries clear fruit and early tannins requiring 3-4 years to settle." We also appreciate that Franck vinifies and bottles with minimal or zero use of sulfur, giving the wines outstanding purity and aromatic complexity. These are superb Northern Rhone Syrahs, traditionally made but in a natural style, free of excess sulfur and new oak - they are delicious young but will cellar beautifully as well - ten plus years for the "Sans Soufre," fifteen+ years for "Casimir," twenty-plus years for Chaillot.

Chaillots

Included in today's offer are tiny quantities of Franck's new cuvée "Juliette" and the very special "Hommage" -  a tribute to Franck's father and grandfather.

2021 - "The adjective “complicated” applied to CORNAS in 2021, but the end result has been good, even very good, with a collection of wines that will interest and reward drinkers over the next couple of decades at least. Thierry Allemand is never a fan of the large scale, solar vintages, so gave this enthusiastic comment: '2021 we adore... like in the old days.' 2021 ranks a good vintage to buy Cornas in my view. The wines are fluid more than thickset, and will show well earlier than in mighty years such as 2019. There are occasional issues of looseness and volatile acidity, so it’s not picture perfect, but selecting a wine from a noble site above and near the village – Chaillot springs to mind – will be rewarding. - drinkrhone

Rain and cooler weather, and problems with mildew made things difficult for the growers, however, and readers should note that these wines are not in the style of 2018 - 2020. (2022s will be interesting as the heat blocked maturities, eventually producing very ripe wines, but with moderate acohol.)

The wines are in NY with the US importer, not pre-arrival or "grey market." Please allow until Thursday 11/9 for pick-up or shipping. Net prices. 1 botte max on Hommage.

Balthazar, Franck 2021 Cornas "sans soufre ajouté"

The 2021 Balthazar Cornas "Sans soufre ajouté: is from young vines in the vineyards of "La Legre" and "Les Cotes," whole-cluster fermentation, aged in old 600 liter casks, bottled un-fined, unfiltered and with zero added SO2. Recent vintages of the sans soufre have been brilliant, with very floral, expressive cool fruit.  drinkrhone on the 2021: "dark red; blackberry, black cherry with a light herbal presence on a close-knit nose that carries potential. There is a good centre to this, a stylish Cornas that holds well, comes with good fruit and discreet gras, substance. There is sweetish blueberry fruit on the palate, lovely juice, right on the money length here. “It has structure, good minerality,” F Balthazar. This is very good, a front runner in 2021."

  • red
  • 3 in stock
  • no discount
  • $125.00

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur
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Balthazar, Franck 2021 Cornas Cuvée Casimir Pre Arrival

The Cuvée Casimir Balthazar is from 25% old vines in "Les Mazards" and younger vines in "La Légre." Balthazar's Cornas are aromatically beautiful with silky, pure fruit and terrific length and are never heavy or over-extracted.  "dark red; the nose has a soft air led by crushed blackberries, licorice, floral touches, is a touch reduced. The palate is cosy, en rondeur, its fruit very approachable, mixed berries, supple, sandy tannins, is juicy and all well connected between nose and palate, a spherical wine with a neat, accurate finish."  dronkrhone. Enjoy over the next 15 to 20 years.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $89.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $199.99

Balthazar, Franck 2021 Cornas Cuvée Juliette

This new wine from Franck Balthazar is from young vines at 370 metres on "Les Pres" near Saint-Peray. "The 2021 shows bright red, purple tone robe; the bouquet is very pure, shows pepper-licorice, violets. The palate bears floral, crystalline black fruit, blue fruit, holds fine powder tannins; it’s not especially profound, but runs along well, gathers a light accumulation of matter towards the finish." drinkrhone

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $105.00

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Balthazar, Franck 2021 Cornas Chaillot

Franck Balthazar is one of the few truly organic and natural producers in the northern Rhone and, like the Gonons, he practices whole-cluster fermentations with wild yeasts and ages in old (5 years and older) large barrels. The "Chaillot" cuvée is from vines planted in 1914, with a percentage from "Mazards" planted in 1960. There is an approximately 18 month elevage and the wine is bottle unfined and unfiltered with a very small dosage of SO2.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $170.00

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $375.00

Balthazar, Franck 2021 Cornas Hommage

This special cuvee by Franck Balthazar is an hommage to his father and grandfather. 2 week whole cluster fermentation, 10mg/l SO2. "dark red robe; the nose has a neat air of blackberry, a hint of licorice, cedar, smoke, sandy trails, fresh blue fruit. The palate is immediately tasty, energy in the fruit, good cut in the tannins, the length very good. The fruit is a very pure blackcurrant, the finish is tender, floral, delicate, rounded. It offers intrigue, mystery..." drinkrhone

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $215.00

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $460.00