La Beau Dame en Rouge

Domaine Balliccioni – Kalliste 2013 – AOP Faugères – Clifton Cellars Bristol – Grape Opportunities

Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault.

Domaine Balliccioni features quite heavily in my reviews over the last couple of weeks. I simply cannot sing the praises of this winemaker enough. Kalliste is the premier wine produced by Domain Balliccioni, and like his other “High End” wines it’s a triumph in complexity. Named after the ship that discovered Corsica, originally where Andre hails from, and meaning the “beautiful one” Kalliste is certainly a beautiful wine.

Kalliste is a Faugères and uses four varieties of the permitted five grapes to create this wine. Interestingly Carrignan, Syrah and Cinsault are used this time. The Syrah producing a spiciness, the Carignan, very popular in this area imparts an earthiness, and the Cinsault gives a wonderful fruity edge. Kalliste is blended from the four varieties after being aged for 14 months in French oak barrels.

Domaine Balliccioni is fortunate to be able to produce wines in the shade of the Cévennes and as has been mentioned in other reviews, has a proximity which allows the cooling sea breeze to fan the vines during the hotter months. This is very evident when tasting all of the range but most notably here. What could easily become an “overcooked” jam like experience is far from it. The freshness of the Grenache and the spice of the Syrah, with hints of the garrigue and vanilla are immediately evident on the nose. On the palate this translates to a well-balanced wine – which although has an alcohol percentage of 14% and is oak aged is incredibly well integrated. There are notes of Ginger, Blackcurrant and Vanilla, with a wonderful spicy finish which lasts. This wine is simply a very elegant creation.

Paired well with red meats, casserole, game and cheese, and most notably is excellent with Indian Cuisine.

Kalliste is recognised in the Hachette Des Vins – France’s premier wine bible and was awarded 2 stars.


Available in limited quantity

Please contact Clifton Cellars – details below to purchase a bottle.


Clifton Cellars

22 The Mall,


Avon BS8 4DS

0117 973 0287





Nouveau Tradition !

Domaine Balliccioni – Tradition 2014 – AOP Faugères – Clifton Cellars Bristol

Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault

Faugères is an appellation in Languedoc – South West France. It consists of the villages Autignac,Cabrerolles Caussiniojouls,FaugèresFosLaurens and Roquessels.

Domaine Balliccioni resides in the picturesque village of Autignac. The vines sit upon schist soil and are nestled in the shade of the Cévennes Mountains. Fanned by the cooling breezes of the Mediterranean, the conditions for producing excellent fruit are perfect.

Andre and Veronique Balliccioni have been making wine since 1998 and whilst the recipe for Faugères is followed ( you are obliged to use a combination of 5 varieties )  CarignanCinsaultGrenacheMourvèdre and Syrah. Andre has used his knowledge of the terroir to produce a fresh and unique example of a Faugères using just 4 of the five required grape varieties.

Tradition is unique in style, other Faugères tend to be very heavy lacking in finesse and only drinkable with food. Tradition conversely is fresh with a nose of black fruits, a hint of spice, black pepper and full bodied. On the palette there are dark fruits, with black cherry and the warmth of spice. A lingering finish gives a hint that this wine is perfect now but will age well also.

This wine will serve well as a winter wine by the fire, or is well suited to grilled meats and casserole.


Please contact Clifton Cellars – details below to purchase a bottle.


Clifton Cellars

22 The Mall,


Avon BS8 4DS

0117 973 0287



Hungry like the Wolf !

Esprit 2013 – Mas Peyrolle – AOC Pic St Loup – Grape Opportunities – Clifton Cellars 

41% Grenache, 31% Syrah 28% Mourvedre

The Wines of Pic St Loup (Wolf Mountain) are regarded very highly in France, situated approx. 20 miles from Montpellier in the rugged terrain of the Cevennes the Appellation of Pic St Loup is regarded as an excellent source of wine production within Languedoc. It boasts a unique micro-climate and terroir, resulting in wines that offer a wonderful unique structure and exciting taste.

Jean Baptiste took the helm of this third generation domain in 2002, taking over the reins from his father and grandfather. Jean Baptiste farms 30 acres of vines using organic and biodynamic methods. He is careful to ensure that science and extensive knowledge of the terroir are employed alongside to ensure the best results.

Passionate about producing wines of an excellent standard it’s clear to see the passion runs deep in this small domain.

Esprit is a wine that oozes class, produced as a homage to Jean Baptiste’s grandfather the colour is a deep ruby red with swathes of purple evident. The bouquet is representative of the area, with wild thyme, dark fruits, juniper and spice present.

On the palette this wine is special, rounded and deep in character, the flavours of Morello cherry and the warmth of the spicy Syrah give way to a velvety long finish. This wine could be kept for up to 5-7 years, and will continue to improve and develop. It’s perfect now and is something to be savoured with red meats or slow cooked dishes.




Jean-Baptiste Peyrolle
pic st loup
Pic St Loup

espirit red



Volcanicity !

Les Larmes Du Volcan 2012 – La Cave La Fontesole AOP Languedoc – 13%

Syrah 60% Grenache 35% Mourvedre 5%

With winter finally here, all be it for a few days, the fire glowing and the casserole prepared. I settled back with a glass of sunshine to further warm the soul.

Les Larnes du Volcan derives the name from the volcanic soil that surrounds the Fontes vineyards at the foot of the Cevennes Mountains in the south of the Languedoc. The mineral content of the soil clearly lends something special to this wine, as does the proximity to the cooling Mediterranean breeze.

I was taken by the colour initially, the purple colour appearing very vivid in the glass. On the nose there are the usual garrigue notes associated with this area, wild thyme and rosemary, and the abundance of dark fruits and spice. On tasting the wine is surprisingly rounded, there is minerality that’s detectable resulting in a dry finish, notes of cassis, dark cherries and black pepper. Medium to long finish.

Excellent with red meats and casserole, drink now, although will become deeper in flavour and further integrated over the next 2-3 years.