Petit Ballon Rouge is made for us by Celliers Jean d’Alibert, a small group of village wineries in the South of France, with whom we have been working for over 20 years. It is a blend of Grenache and Syrah that delivers an approachable, soft-textured wine with warm, spicy fruit.
The grapes from which Petit Ballon Rouge is made are grown in the heart of the Languedoc region, indeed Celliers Jean d’Alibert is one of the oldest-established and most quality-minded wineries in the entire Languedoc. This cooperative group unites several tiny village cooperative wineries and over 20 small domaines and chateaux covering the high quality Haut-Minervois (‘Upper Minervois’) wine-producing area. Their vineyards – spanning 7000 hectares – comprise some of the most interesting and varied ‘terroirs’ of the region: cool, light-reflective schistous terraces; breezy limestone hillsides; and the sandy-soils of old pre-phylloxeric vineyards vines bordering the Canal du Midi. Such diversity gives access to grapes of many varieties, styles and qualities, bringing with it a dazzling and unrivalled array of different styles and qualities of wine, yet all displaying the winery’s hallmark richness and appetising freshness.
Location: The Languedoc-Roussillon region, specifically the high quality Minervois area.
Harvest detail: Grapes are harvested early in the morning, in order to preserve fruit aromas and flavours. Climate: Mediterranean – dry and very sunny (giving ripeness), tempered by the cooling summer breezes (which help preserve freshness and aromas)
Soil: The rivers here have created a series of terraces made of pebbles, sandstone, schist or limestone. The terraces give optimal sun exposure, and force the vines to struggle to obtain their nutrients, resulting ultimately in higher quality grapes. The soils are held to impart the cool, mineral finesse to the wine.
Grape Variety: 70% Grenache 30% Syrah blend. The vines are 15 to 20 years old, the older vines conferring more complexity and structure to the wine.
Fermentation: in order to extract fruit and maintain freshness, the Grenache grapes undergo the process of thermovinification(the must is taken to high temperatures, then cooled down quickly). The Syrah grapes are fermented in the traditional way in concrete tanks, in order to extract soft fruitiness. When the two are blended together, the result is a wine with freshness, soft-textured fruit and velvety tannins.
A medium-bodied red wine, fresh and satisfying with ripe, baked fruit flavours, hints of warm savoury spice and velvety tannins.
|Name and Appellation||Petit Ballon Rouge Celliers Jean d’Alibert IGP Pays d’Oc NV|
|Grape Variety||Grenache/Syrah Blend|
|Style||A fruity, spicy red wine, good value for money|
|Viticulture & Vinification||Early morning harvesting and cool fermentation help preserve fruit flavours|
|Keywords||Spicy, velvety, accessible|