3 May – With its very trying weather conditions, 2021 required constant vigilance, rapid decision making and targeted interventions. It was what is known as a “winemaker’s vintage”, because in these sorts of conditions experience is essential and being a family estate for over 8 generations is an inestimable asset. This vintage, so different from previous years and particularly demanding, in the end proved to be an opportunity and the chance to pass on valuable knowledge to the new generation.
A DEMANDING VINTAGE
Since 2015, harvests had been occurring earlier and earlier in the Northern Rhone, until it seemed almost normal to start picking at the end of August or the beginning of September. And then along came 2021 that overturned what had gone before, with a vintage that was closer to what we had known in the nineties. From the moment of budbreak, with frost in April, drought conditions in May, excessive rain in June and July and hail in September, we were spared nothing. On paper there was no indication that 2021 would produce a great wine, but our persistence and diligence in our daily work has been the key to the grandeur of this vintage which is looking full of promise.
TRANSMISSION DOWN THE GENERATIONS
We had to be everywhere at once, to be constantly vigilant, working night and day to get the best out of our terroirs. Stringent sorting, precise winemaking, delicate extractions, with our noses permanently in the vats. It is a vintage that has necessitated choices, within tight timeframes and under stressful conditions. Experience is vital for making the right decision with a cool head. All through the growing cycle Julien and David were fortunate enough to benefit from the precious advice of their father Laurent, and from the transmission of his knowledge and skills. An invaluable strength which contributed to the success of a vintage such as 2021.
“We are very familiar with the management of the hot, early vintages that we have experienced in recent years. But in 2021 it was the first time we had to face up to the unknown with a more demanding, cooler vintage, very different from previous years. Our father’s experience and awareness not only enabled us to cope, thanks to his precious advice, but also to work calmly, without haste. We are enriched and made stronger through the experience he has shared with us and all the skills that he has been able to pass on to us. It is a strength, beyond the pleasure we have in working hand in hand, the three of us.” – Julien and David Combier
FINESSE AND ELEGANCE
Both whites and reds are magnificent in this 2021 vintage, all in finesse and elegance, full of freshness and energy. The whites are stunning, with superb balances and fresh, succulent juices, best drunk young to savour this remarkable freshness. In the reds, the primary aromas of Syrah are juicily delicious, with smooth, very fine tannins, magnificently balanced by a freshness that enchants the tastebuds. This quality is principally due to the unrelenting work and passion of the family and the whole team, who gave their all to make this vintage great.