Emile Balland started his domaine in 1999 and today has just 5ha of vineyard, though his family have been making wine in the Loire since 1650. The vast majority of his holdings are in the Coteaux du Giennois in separate sites around the villages of Bonny sur Loire and Beaulieu which are neighbouring villages either side of the Loire with both chalky and flinty soils allowing Emile to blend to create inexpensive wines that deliver surprising amounts of complexity and concentration for a relatively humble appellation.
Whilst his holdings in Sancerre, just 0.8ha of them planted with Sauvignon, are on steep (up to 50% gradient!) clay soils. These were not replanted after Phylloxera because of the difficulty in working them, until Emile came along determined to do something special in Sancerre following on from his parents domaine.
Emile meticulously works his vineyards with a view to continually improving biodiversity and the organic life of the soil itself and to this end he only uses natural products in the vineyard believing that healthy soil will help to impart a sense of place in his wines (a view that makes sense given the need for healthy soil biology to allow nutrients to be absorbed by roots).
Of the wines on offer Balbuzard offers a really pocket friendly Sauvignon Blanc that is refined, fresh and mineral
We import this wine so its not available on many places and superb value and quality for the price. Also a wine made biodynamically and naturally.
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