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 vintage in 2006 in Bordeaux varied greatly depending on the amount and quality of work done in the vineyards. At Haut-Ballet, where Decelle has not only invested heavily, but also introduced biodynamic methods in the vineyards, they turned out a terrific wine that year.
The 2006 vintage of Haut-Ballet is deep purple in color, with a red-fruit nose. On the palate, it's classically structured and dominated by that same beautiful, ripe red fruit. The finish reveals plenty of ripe, mature tannins.
This classic Merlot-dominated Bordeaux wine will pair delightfully with prime rib.