Localization: Rhone, France
Tasting Notes: Made using fruit from the mid and lower vineyard slopes at Domaine de Coulet, this is an expressive wine with intense notes of fresh red cherry and blackberry, hints of fennel, black olives, supple tannins, and a long mineral finish.
Notes: 21 days of maceration in concrete eggs. 12 months of aging in used oak barrels (50%) and concrete eggs (50%). Aged for another 12 months in concrete eggs. Certified Organic and Biodynamic farming. Harvesting is done by hand. Decomposed granite soil. Vine age average of 40 years old.
Aged for the first year in 50% used oak barrels and 50% concrete eggs, then moved to concrete eggs for the second year. 1200 cases produced
The Domain: Matthieu Barret was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1975 and studied viticulture in Beaune. He is the 7th generation vigneron and joined his grandfather in Cornas in 1997. Previously, his family had only been farming and selling grapes.
In Beaune, Matthieu discovered immediately his proclivity with organic viticulture and with living ecosystems. Beginning with the first vintage in 2000, Matthieu worked principally in the vineyard, applying his hand with organic viticulture. Not content with his end result, in 2006 he decided to radically change his vinification process by using fewer barrels and replacing them with concrete eggs. His ongoing evolution and pursuit of purity and expression continue to dominate his chais.
In 2012, he stopped using machines in Cornas and replaced them with mules, horses, and manual labor.
He also started to create ‘green spaces’ around the farm, digging watering holes to nourish an ecosystem with a diversity of species. ie: vines and the forest, meadows, and woodlands.
According to Matthieu, the plant is happier in a wild environment rather than in a desert comprised of only vines. This diversity brings a distinct identity to his grapes; when the vineyard biome is treated with respect, he says, this balance is easier to maintain.
Matthieu owns 11 ha in Cornas with of the total 150 ha in the AOP, including his monopole ‘Vallée du Coulet’ in the northernmost part of Cornas, most famous for its impossible steep grade and its exposure to Le Mistral. Le Mistral is a famous current of wind that blows from Lyon and ends in Provence. It’s a maddening wind, that keeps this vineyard spectacularly dry even in times of rain.