Louis and Simon Dezat, who have been running the family domaine (made famous by their father André) for more than twenty years, have now been joined by their respective sons, Arnaud and Firmin. Their wives, Sylvie and Nadine, run a very efficient office.
Firmin studied in Tours and spent several months at Cuvaison Estate in California.
Their 20 hectares are superbly situated around five villages. Low yields and enormous care in the vineyards and cellars make for only the finest Sancerre.
The Sancerre Blanc is fermented and matured in stainless steel and it is outstanding – mouthfilling, steely and packed with gooseberries.
Jean-Paul Balland has handed over the running of the domaine to his two daughters – Burgundy-trained oenologist Isabelle makes the wines, and Elise takes care of sales and admin from her impressively efficient office. They have some 20 hectares with fine plots on Le Grand Chemarin and Le Chêne Marchand.
The wines of Bué are full and rich in style, the Balland wines are a classic example from this village. It is said that Jean-Paul made the best wine in the village: we certainly don’t believe that Isabelle is doing any less well – lovely wines.
Only made in the finest years, the grapes (100% Sauvignon Blanc) for the “Grande Cuvée” are from a small parcel of Balland’s oldest vines – 45 years+. Hand harvested, the grapes are crushed in a pneumatic press and then the wine is fermented in 600 litre oak barrels (demi muîds) using natural yeasts. Ageing is again in demi muîds for 12 months with regular stirring (batonnage).
Bright and clear in appearance with a pale yellow hue. An initial bouquet of fresh herbs and white peaches follows on to hints of honey and spices with great complexity and intensity. The palate is rich and generous, dry but fat and rounded with zesty fruit, elegant acidity and hints of toasty oak. A tremendous example of an altogether different take on Sancerre.
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