In 1998 at the age of only 23, Matthieu Barret took over his family’s 25 acres of well-situated vines on the terraced hillsides of Cornas. From the beginning, Matthieu employed only natural, organic practices and by 2002 (his second year of production) the domaine received its biodynamic certification. With each vintage, Matthieu has gained a better understanding of his vine parcels and through thoughtful experimentation with various shapes and sizes of aging vessels, he now turns out a remarkable selection of Cornas wines that express the unique nuances of this very special Northern Rhône appellation. No new oak, no racking, minimal use of sulfur and no fining or filtration. Petit Ours Brun (Little Brown Bear) by the way, is one of the few repeatable nicknames for Matthieu bestowed upon him by fellow biodynamic rockstar Stéphane Tissot (Jura). For a guy who makes some of the Northern Rhône’s most serious reds, it’s refreshing to see that Matthieu doesn’t take himself that seriously.