Established in 1921, Domaine Couly-Dutheil today has some 90 hectares of vineyards that are planted mainly with Cabernet Franc.
100% Cabernet Franc from vines with an average age of 45 years, “Baronnie Madeleine” is only made in the finest of years. Lutte Raisonnée is practised whereby non natural fertilizers and pest control are only used when absolutely essential, this pragmatic approach looks to respect and maintain the natural biodiversity in the soil and vineyard environment.
All the grapes are hand harvested, de-stalked and carefully sorted before being fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. The fermentation is with naturally occuring yeasts and lasts for two weeks with a further 10 days or so of maceration. The wine is then aged in temperature controlled stainless steel for a further 12 months.
Ruby in colour with a very intense nose full of juicy black fruit and hints of green peppers. The palate is rich and rounded with supple tannins, spice and delicious red berry flavours. Lovely, serious, Chinon.
Jean-Paul Balland has handed over the running of the domaine to his two daughters – Burgundy-trained oenologist Isabelle makes the wines, and Elise runs an 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.
The Sancerre Rouge is 100% Pinot Noir from a small, 1 hectare, vineyard.
The maceration and alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel, temperature regulated tanks. Daily pumping over gives a delicate extraction of colour and flavour. The ageing and malolactic fermentation is in 600 litre barrels (demi-muids) for 1 year.
A brilliant ruby-red appearance, clear and bright. On the nose the initial aromas are of violets and red fruits with a hint of smokiness. The palate is initially very dry with tannic attack that fades to a fruity character with hints of spice, pepper and smoke on the finish.
Copyright 2014 | Richard Granger Fine Wine Merchants