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Matthieu Barret Petit Ours Blanc


As described by the importer – “If you are not familiar with Matthieu, or as Stéphane Tissot, calls him “Petit Ours Brun” (little brown bear), was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1975 and studied viticulture in Beaune. He is the 7th generation vigneron and joined his grandfather in Cornas in 1997. Previously, his family had only been farming and selling grapes. 

In Beaune, Matthieu discovered immediately his proclivity with organic viticulture and with living ecosystems. Beginning with the first vintage in 2000, Matthieu worked principally in the vineyard, applying his hand with organic viticulture. Not content with his end result, in 2006 he decided to radically change his vinification process by using less barrels and replacing them with concrete eggs. His ongoing evolution and pursuit of purity and expression continue to dominate how he cultivates the vine and, by extension, his cellar practices. In 2012, he stopped using machines in Cornas and replaced them with mules, horses, and manual labor. He also started to create ‘green spaces’ around the farm, digging watering holes to nourish an ecosystem with a diversity of species. ie: vines and the forest, meadows and woodlands. 

According to Matthieu, the plant is happier in a wild environment rather than in a desert comprised of only vines. This diversity brings a distinct identity to his grapes; when the vineyard biome is treated with respect, he says, this balance is easier to maintain. Matthieu owns 11 ha in Cornas of the total 150 ha in the AOP, including his monopole ‘Vallée du Coulet’ in the northern most part of Cornas, most famous for its impossible steep grade.”

This is how the importer describes the Petit Ours Blanc – “95% Roussanne, 5% Viognier  made from biodynamic vines. From the terroirs of clay-limestone soils with fine silty clay around the village of Autichamps just outside of the Diois region, at 400 meters altitude. The grapes are harvested just before fully ripe to obtain a sharp and mineral wine – essentially the opposite of the style of wine we typically expect from these two very aromatic grape varieties. Matured in vats. Neither fined nor filtered, with just a micro-dose of sulphur. A very expressive and floral nose, with notes of apricot and dried fruit. The palate is bold yet smooth, well-balanced, and mineral, with fine bitter notes.”

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