Olivier Decelle takes his research seriously. The same attention to detail and commitment to quality inputs that propelled his Picard food company to great success in France are readily apparent in his wine business, which he started in 2000.
Prior to purchasing Mas Amiel in Maury and Chateau Haut-Ballet in Canon-Fronsac, Decelle turned to the most famous viticultural agronomist in France, Claude Bourguignon, to examine the soil and determine the potential of the land. When Bourguignon saw Haut-Ballet, he was blown away by the highly calcareous nature of the soil, saying that the land was perfectly suited to the production of superb Bordeaux variety grapes -- adding that the highly mineral soil was so unusual, it could just as easily produce superb Chardonnay!
Decelle immediately purchased this small, 10-hectare estate that sits high up on a knoll in the appellation. Then, he matched Bourguignon's genius in the vineyards with Michel Rolland's (Chateau Bon Pasteur, Harlan Estate, etc.) world-renowned palate in the cellar. The fruit was luscious in the 2003 and 2004, but with the miraculous 2005 vintage, Haut-Ballet has reached new heights. Rolland's signature is all over this rich, elegant, highly mineral new release.
The 2005 vintage of Haut-Ballet is deep purple in color and shows rich red and purple fruit aromas on the nose. Full, rich and complex on the palate with surprising vibrancy, the wine is a testament to the calcareous soil of the estate.
Serve this wine alongside duck confit with white bean ragout.