Emile Balland started his domaine in 1999 and today has just 5ha of vineyards, 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 and create inexpensive wines that deliver surprising amounts of complexity and concentration for a relatively humble appellation.
His holdings in Sancerre, just 0.8ha of them, are planted with Sauvignon, they are situated on steep (up to 50% gradient!) clay soils. These were not replanted after Phylloxera because of the difficulty in working them. 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, 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.
We have two wines from Emile, a Coteaux du Giennois and this Sauvignon Blanc called Balbuzard. It offers a really pocket friendly Sauvignon Blanc that is refined, fresh and minerally.
We import this wine so its not available in many places it is superb value and great quality for the price.
A firm favourite in our household, especially with fish, risotto and various veggie dishes.