Côtes-du-Rhône, Southern Rhône, France
Matthieu Barret of Domaine du Coulet also works with trusted growers who share similar viticultural and winemaking principles to produce a range of négociant wines from the Northern and Southern Rhône. The concept is light-hearted, as shown by the joyful bear on the label (“a self-portrait”, jokes the short and stocky Barret), with wines intended to be more approachable in their youth. The ‘Petit Ours’ Côtes-du-Rhône, meaning ‘little bear’, is 100% Syrah sourced from vineyards planted on clay and gravel soils surrounding the village of Visan, next to Vinsobres. The vineyards are north-facing and are all farmed organically and worked using biodynamic methods, in keeping with Matthieu’s philosophy.
The grapes are hand-harvested and de-stemmed before fermentation takes place with indigenous yeasts in concrete vats for around 15 days. The wine is then lightly pressed and aged for approximately eight months in concrete vats to preserve its freshness and purity of fruit. The wine has a very expressive nose with layers of blackberry and black cherry fruit. The palate has smooth and well-integrated tannins with juicy black fruit and a touch of black pepper on the finish.