2017 Chaillot Cornas
Cornas, Northern Rhone
From vines that were once owned by Noel Verset, about half of the site are 97-year old vines planted in the granite-rich soils of the Chaillot vineyard. Hand off in the cellar, the grapes are fermented whole cluster, with manual punch downs. After fermentation, the wine is moved to 600-liter demi-muids, where they are aged for about 18 months before bottling.
96 pts VM (Josh Reynolds)
Inky purple. A highly perfumed nose evokes black and blue preserves, pipe tobacco, olive, incense and violet candy, and a smoky mineral quality emerges with aeration. Palate-staining blue fruit liqueur and bitter cherry flavors become sweeter with air and show outstanding vibrancy and tension. Displays silken texture and becomes spicier on the impressively persistent finish, which is framed by smooth, slow-building tannins.
95 pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Balthazar's 2017 Cornas Chaillot—from a parcel originally planted in 1911-1913 (many vines have since been replaced)—was harvested September 5. It's cool and a bit herbal, with a delightful mix of red currants and blueberries, plus hints of crushed stone but no oak influence (it's aged only in older demi-muids). Full-bodied and silky yet firm, this combines great complexity with ripe tannins and the structure to age, then finishes long and mouthwatering. This is super stuff.