2020 Matthieu Barret Cornas "Brise Cailloux", Rhone Valley, France
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ABOUT THIS WINE
The selection of Syrah for this wine came from old and young vines located throughout the estate except the Coteaux peaks and foothills. The purity of the fruit is due in part to its maturation, which combined the use of oval-shaped concrete fermenters and 500-liter barrels. The fruit is hand-harvested, hand sorted, and undergoes 21 days of maceration in concrete eggs. It is then racked and pressed to 50% concrete eggs and 50% used oak. The wine is then aged for 12 months in 50/50 concrete eggs and used oak barrels, followed by an additional 12 months in concrete eggs.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Matthieu Barret was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1975 and studied viticulture in Beaune. He is the 7th generation vigneron, joining his grandfather in Cornas in 1997.
In Beaune, Matthieu Barret immediately discovered his proclivity for organic viticulture and living ecosystems. Beginning with the first vintage in 2000, Matthieu worked principally in the vineyard, applying his hand to 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.