In a nutshell: A vibrant, fruity, punchy biodynamically farmed Syrah from the Southern Rhône.
The lowdown: Matthieu Barret has long been a convert to organic principles in winemaking and his 'Petit Ours' range, meaning 'Little Bear' - a nickname of Matthieu himself, is about showcasing this in a fun and approachable way to wine lovers. This great little Syrah comes from north facing vineyards near the village of Visan, towards the northern part of the Côtes du Rhône, and is grown along biodynamic principles. Aged for 9 months in concrete without the addition of sulphur, and bottled with only a tiny 1g/hl of sulphur, this is a punchy, vibrant and highly expressive wine. Lots of fresh, juicy blackberry and black cherry fruits, bags of spice with a real black pepper kick, vibrant acidity, grippy tannins and a good, clean finish.
When to drink: In the summer try slightly chilled. Great with barbecues and grilled meat and vegetables in general.
Mattieu Barret of Domaine du Coulet comes from a long line of vignerons and currently produces wines from his family domaine around his base in Cornas overlooking the Rhône just north of Valence. He also sources grapes from other locations in the Rhône valley with which to make his wider range of wines. From his early days in viticulture he was a convert to organic farming and since 2002 Matthieu has practised biodynamic viticulture on his vineyards which, along with minimal intervention winemaking, is aimed at producing wines which fully express the terroir of each of his locations. Whilst marketing and slick presentation are not really Matthieu's kind of thing the quality of his wines certainly speak for themselves.