21 Oct Domaine du Coulet

Matthieu Barret
Domaine du Coulet

Cornas

“Matthieu Barret represents the future in Cornas. His domaine is, in my opinion, the single most exciting new domaine in the appellation today.” High praise from the Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth.

Domaine du Coulet was founded by Matthieu’s grandfather in the 1950s, and over the years has supplied grapes to some of the best known producers in the Northern Rhône, including Chapoutier and Delas. While his father eschewed the agrarian lifestyle, opting instead for a career in international business, Matthieu knew early on that he wanted to be a vigneron. In 1998 at the age of only 23, he took over the family’s 25 acres of well-situated vines on the terraced hillsides of Cornas.

From the beginning, Matthieu has employed natural, organic practices and by 2002 (his second year of production) the domaine received its biodynamic certification. With each vintage, Matthieu has gained a better understanding of his vine parcels and through thoughtful experimentation with various shapes and sizes of aging vessels, he now turns out a remarkable selection of Cornas wines that express the unique nuances of this very special Northern Rhône appellation. No new oak, no racking, minimal use of sulfur and no fining or filtration. Pure, sexy Syrah.

DOMAINE FACTS

Vines & Wines: Approximately 25 acres of the appellation’s 255 total planted entirely to Syrah
Multiple parcels all on one mountain
Cornas Brise Cailloux (Rock Breaker): From terraced vines on mid-slope of the côteaux
Cornas Billes Noires (Black Marbles): From two 55-year-old parcels at the Summit of Arlettes
Cornas Gore: Special selection from Coulet’s best micro-terroirs bottled only in magnum and only in exceptional vintages
Certified organic by Ecocert and biodynamic by Biodyvin
Soil: Decomposed granite gore (small crumbly pebbles composed of granite sand) over base of Jurassic limestone and clay marl).
Harvest: Moderately steep slopes require manual harvest using small bins.
Yields: 25 hectoliters/hectare on average for Brise Cailloux parcels
Miniscule 15 to 20 hl/hectare for Billes Noires and Gore parcels
Vinification & Elevage: 100% de-stemming. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Pigéage (punching down) once a day for three weeks. Élevage for Brise Cailloux is 13 months in a combination of 400-liter neutral barrels (none newer than five-years-old) and the new Diamant Ovoïde cement cuves. Billes Noires and Gore spend one year in neutral 500-liter barrels before transfer to cement cuves for a second year of aging. Wines are not racked until bottling, reducing need for sulfur. No fining or filtration.
Annual Production:
15,000 bottles / 1250 cases of Brise Cailloux
5,000 bottles / 833 six-packs of Billes Noires
Cuvée Gore produced only in exceptional vintages.