Domaine Des Combiers, Beaujolais Villages Prestige

A boutique family-owned estate, Laurent Savoye of Domaine Des Combiers makes this old vine (average vine age 80 years with a centenary plot) Beaujolais, and what a treat it is. 

Hand-picked and entirely vinified on site. The black Gamay grapes undergo whole bunch ferment and the characteristic carbonic maceration (10-12 days) to ‘extract the spicy tannins of the terroir’. Black cherry, licorice, black pepper, blood plum, raspberry, pomegranate.  This is dark and black and lithe and spiced. The palate has that edginess and structure that is one of the exciting hallmarks of Beaujolais, it is stemmy and sappy and interesting. Light and airy and fine-boned, but also has good concentration – it has a bright chinon character which I find intriguing.  Structure. The acidity is quenching, and the wine has a piquant quality to it. It’s exciting. More serious and age-worthy than perhaps I expected, but shame on me for that – I should know that Beaujolais is not just a drink ‘immediately’ wine.

The family cultivates the vineyards under the ‘lutte raisonnee’ practice (literally meaning, the ‘reasoned struggle’), that is – as few chemicals as reasonably possible in order to rebuild the natural microbiology of the soil. The planting of varied cover crops, regular ploughing and the employment of animal manure as natural compost are all part of the ‘lutte raisonnee’ program.

93+ Points

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