The ‘Brise Cailloux’ has an expressive nose of plush red fruits, fennel and white pepper. The palate is fresh with cherry and blackberry fruit, structured tannins and a long mineral finish .
Domaine du Coulet has 11.1 hectares. The vines are planted on steep south and south-east-facing terraces which are carved into the granite rock of Cornas. The ‘Brise Cailloux’ is made using fruit which comes from the mid and lower slopes. They are on average 40 to 55 years old and were certified organic in 2001 and biodynamic in 2002. In 2012, Matthieu replaced vineyard machinery with mules, horses and manual labour and started to create green spaces around the vineyards to encourage a healthy environment for wildlife.
The 2017 vintage began with a very cold winter. At the end of February it warmed up and set the tone for the rest of the growing season. Temperatures remained high throughout the summer, which was also one of the driest summers on record, with only 30mm of rain falling between May and September. This resulted in very small grapes and reduced yields.
The grapes were hand-harvested. Upon arrival at the gravity-fed winery, they were destemmed but not crushed. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts took place in concrete diamond-shaped vats, with limited punching of the cap. After two weeks the wine was gently pressed. It aged in concrete tanks for 14 months. A small amount of the blend aged in six hectolitre amphorae.
A seventh-generation vigneron, Matthieu Barret studied viticulture in Beaune and joined his grandfather in Cornas in 1997. After inheriting a parcel of vines from his grandfather, who used to sell grapes to the local co-operative, Matthieu built up his own domaine in Cornas. He immediately started working the vines organically and produced his first vintage in 2000.