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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.