Franck Balthazar

Cuvée Casimir

2020
Cornas
No. Rhône Valley
France
Say It
Frank Bal-ta-ZAR Kew-VAY Kaz-MEER Bal-ta-ZAR
Varietal
Syrah
$83
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Palate Character

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GRAPE(S)
Syrah
Cornas, Northern Rhône Valley
GRAPE VARIETAL(S)
Syrah
100% See-RA
Syrah is widely planted throughout the world, but that was not so until the late twentieth century when Syrah was principally grown in the Rhone Valley and, as Shiraz, in Australia. Stylistically, the Palate Character of Syrah can vary depending on ripeness from a rich Round & Fleshy, Tone & Backbone, to a Powerful & Extracted. The flavors and aromas can also vary with a dark, sometimes sweet, fruit character, varying amount of spice, floral, and earth, and smoke, and meaty aromas and flavors.
Country / State
France
Region
No. Rhône Valley
Sub Region
Cornas
Producer
Franck Balthazar
Vintage
2020

Franck Balthazar

Cornas, Northern Rhône Valley

Franck Balthazar left an engineering career in 2002 to return to Cornas to take up the traditional farming and winemaking methods of his father René. Today, Balthazar is among an elite group of traditional winemakers who have helped establish Cornas as a sought-after region in the Northern Rhône. 

Franck Balthazar in the vineyardsFranck Balthazar in the vineyards
Franck Balthazar portraitFranck Balthazar portrait

The Balthazar estate was started by Franck’s grandfather, Casimir. René took over in 1950 and started limited domaine bottling in the 1970s. Before then, most wines in Cornas were sold in bulk. Working by hand and horse-drawn plow, Franck Balthazar farms steep granite-terraced hillsides that have old vines of a local clone, "le petit syrah.”

The wines are vinified whole-cluster with a natural yeast fermentation before being aged in large-oak casks. They are powerful yet nuanced with dark fruit, spice, and minerality that unfold in layers.