Domaine Balansa 'La Vinhota' Vin de France 2022

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Domaine Balansa 'La Vinhota' Vin de France 2022
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Country France
Region Aude
Appellation/Sub-Region Vin de France
Grapes Grenache, Lledoner Pelut
Vineyard/Cellar Practices Certified Organic, Certified Biodynamic, Low-intervention/Natural Wine

Clinging to the hillsides of the Aude’s Hautes-Corbières, in one of the windiest departments in the south of France, are the 100-plus-year-old grenache, carignan and syrah vines from which Céline Peyre and partner Alexandre Gressent make a handful of terroir-driven, perfumed and pure-fruited wines under the name Domaine Balansa. Though the various parcels have been in Céline’s family for generations, grapes were sold off to the local co-op until she and Alexandre took over in 2012. That wasn’t the only change the two made, either: Immediately, they began to farm each site organically, converting to biodynamics a few years later and earning Demeter certification in 2021. In the cellar, work is gentle and precise, and interventions are as minimal as possible—macerations are short, nothing is fined or filtered, and just a single scant gram of sulfur is added at bottling (as an “insurance” preservative). A 50-50 blend of grenache and lledoner pelut—a hardy mutation of grenache known for its massive furry vine leaves—grown at about 1,300 feet in elevation, this bottling is ultra fresh, wafting pithy pink grapefruit, geranium and wild cherry aromas, and bursting with red berry and pomegranate flavors. Certified Organic, Certified Biodynamic, Low-intervention/Natural Wine.