Image of Domaine Combier via Snooth
At the 2009 Decouverte du Rhone one one of the last few days of the weeklong tasting event than was held in and around Avignon, one of the wines I fell head over heels in love with was the 2006 Domaine Combier Crozes Hermitage, as well as their St. Joseph reds. Those happen to be two of my favorite Northern Rhone appellations and Combier was so dead on in style and taste that I had to find their wines in the USA. I vividly recall pointing out the wine to my two Parisian wine bar owning pals, Mark Williamson, who I convinced to blog, of Willi's Wine Bar and Juan Sanchez, of Fish (hint home of the best burger in Paris) as the blend of Syrah grapes from three different parcels, and which hail from two different sides of the mountain, bring a level of elegance and at the same time sauvage to the glass.
Well, last evening some frieds and I gathered for an impromptu gathering of some bottled wine exfiltration exercises, and the 2007 Combier stood out as a winner. Tasted originally at Decouverte du Rhone, the then youthful, and really just bottled red was vibrant, soft, seductive. Now it's rich, ripe, robust and silky with black and blue berry notes, hints of Provence herbs, and of course the black olive scents that always comes to me from a Crozes-Hermitage or a well made Saint Joseph.
What also showed well? Another Crozes-Hermitage did. The 1998 Domaine des Entrefaux was smoky with notes of violets and a hint of black anise. Most evident was how well the wines age. The cork showed almost no wear, maybe because the bottle has been on it's side for the past eight or nine years in my cellar. After being opened for about an hour, the wine showed power, vigor and yes, youthfulness. It was a joy to taste, and while not as engaging as the Combier, the Entrefaux showed one more reason to invest in a cellar and to let well made, mid-priced wines age. Not all wines need to cost hundreds of dollars to age, and the Entrefaux Crozes-Hermitage just proved that, once again.