Matthieu Barret is regarded by many (me included), as the best producer in Cornas.
“Matthieu Barret represents the future in Cornas. His domaine is, in my opinion, the single most exciting new domaine in the appellation today.” James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
Barret overseas his 13 ha in Cornas, carefully guiding the characteristics of this perfect terroir, direct to the glass. He works biodynamically and is a member of the group La Renaissance des Appellations (using the English translation Return to Terroir). This group also includes another of my producers, Les Clos Perdus along with 175 other producers worldwide. The aim of the group is to:
“guarantee the full expression of the appellations and a wine with a high quality level with a great originality.”
The granite soils here are absolutely perfect to create wonderful Syrah. His Cornas have a dense core of supple fruit, beautifully soft tannins and a finish that goes on and on. In recent years Matthieu’s touch has become more gentle and his finished wines have rewarded this with harmony and balance.
He creates four different Cornas cuvees from different parcels of land, the best of which (Billes Noir and Gore) are only made in exceptional years. Brise Cailloux is the house Cornas – it’s made from young and old vines and aged in cement eggs and old oak barrels – vivid fruit and structure – an effortlessly pure Cornas. The other cuvee I have available is Billes Noir which is made from the old vines on the summit of the mountain, les Arlettes. The wine is aged in old oak barrels for 18 months. It’s mineral driven, has a dark core of power and opens up amazingly after a decant.
None of the wines are fined, filtered or racked. This is Syrah at its very best.