Syrah, Franck Balthazar 2017 (Rhone, France)
Inky and rich in black cherry flavor, this bottling from Franck Balthazar is the empitome of the untamed nature of Cornas. The domaine’s vineyards are planted exclusively with la petite syrah, the ancient local clone whose small, olive-shaped berries produce a wine of greater aromatic complexity than modern clones. Taken from young, 10 year-old vines, fermented with ambient yeast and bottled sans soufre, it's a cuvée that pulls you in and doesn't let go. Franck took over the domaine from his father in 2002. He plows the vineyard with the aid of a horse and vinifies his plots separately in a small cellar behind a local church.