About Franck Balthazar
Franck’s vineyards are exclusively planted with la Petite Syrah, the ancient local clone known for producing a wine of greater aromatic complexity than modern clones. Franck is so dedicated to his traditional methods that he plows his holdings with a horse. His approach in the cellar is just as old-school, with whole cluster, native yeast fermentation in concrete vats, manual cap punching, and bottling without fining or filtration.
Franck has some of the finest vineyard holdings, including a 97-year-old parcel purchased from retired Cornas icon Noël Verset, which has created his flagship bottling “Chaillot.” Chaillot is praised for its depth, concentration, and complexity, while the “Cuvee Casimir,” which Franck named after his grandfather, is more elegant. Both wines are stunning and among the finest of Cornas. Franck has created terraces and planted vines on previously overgrown land on the steep Légre slope above Sabarotte, demonstrating the Cornasien willingness to develop a backbreaking site for the reward of the aromas and flavors that only Syrah grown here can express.
Franck is a purist and a traditionalist who has perfected his method of cultivation and vinification of the Syrah grape, as evidenced by the luxurious, expressive, and elegant wines that he produces. Franck’s humility, dedication, and passion are evident in every bottle of wine he makes, and he continues to be one of the greatest producers of the Northern Rhone.