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Domaine Combier

The history of the domaine began in 1936 when Camille Combier came down from the Ardèche and bought a property with 3 hectares of vines and 4 hectares of apricot trees in La Roche-de-Glun, a commune in the Drôme department of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region of France. He sold his wine to the Tain l'Heritage cooperative. In the 1970's Camille's son Maurice with his wife Paulette invested all their time and money in pioneering organic cultivation both for arboriculture and viticulture. They were visionaries as organic farming was still in its infancy at this time, but they continued to sell their wine to the cooperative. The founder's grandson Laurent and his wife Ghislaine took over the estate in 1990, which then had 5 hectares of vines and 15 hectares of fruit trees. Laurent was newly qualified in viticulture and oenology and decided to build his own winemaking premises and bottle his own wine. His vision was to achieve greatness for the wines of Crozes Hermitage. Laurent continues to run the estate today assisted by his sons Julien and David. They are passionate about organic farming and now take a biodynamic approach as well. These days the apricot trees have been reduced to 5 hectares and the vineyards have been greatly expanded. There are 25 hectares under vine in Crozes Hermitage, and the the two extremes of the appellation are found in their vineyards. To the north, in the towns of Gervans and Serves-sur-Rhône, Syrah is planted on outcropping bedrock on granite soils, and on the southern plateau the same grape variety is planted on clay-limestone soils, covered with galet roulés. This diversity shows in wines with unique typicity. The 9 hectare Clos de Grives in the south of the Crozes Hermitage appellation is enclosed by a natural shrub hedge. 4 hectare here were planted in 1952, and 2.5 hectares make an exceptional white wine from Marsanne and Roussanne, and both white and red Clos de Grives have reputation as one of the greatest wines of the Rhône Valley. There is also a 1 hectare plot across the river in Saint Joseph in the town of Saint Jean de Muzols, planted on granite hillsides. At Domaine Combier they believe that the expression of fruit must be immediate, and do not believe that wine should be austere in its youth, and that “a great wine must be good at the beginning, in the middle, and in the end”, and with this aim they say they make “cheerful and charming wines”. They use a variety of of fermenting and ageing receptacles; thermo-regulated stainless steel tanks, concrete eggs, concrete vats and historically demi-muid barrels have always been present in their cellar. Domaine Combier are Syrah specialists and their wines are known for their elegance of fruit, and fabulous aromatics. These are supreme Crozes Hermitage, and for wines of this quality represent tremendous value for money.