La Combe

La Combe

La Combe

Regular price $47.00
Burgundy, France
Grapes: Chardonnay
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Chardonnay located close to the village of Puligny-Montrachet where there is deep brown soil which is managed biodynamically. The yield is only 35 hectolitres per hectare and this means the fruit is packed with flavour and the wine reflects this. La Combe is a tiny plot of only .5 hectare (they purchased .2 hectare recently).

This is a wine for contemplating. It opens up slowly in the glass, but then reveals an array of flavours and aromas that are truly compelling. This is a lovely, expressive Chardonnay.

Domaine Derain

Dominique Derain started his career making wine barrels but decided, instead, to study winemaking in Beaune. In 1988 he and his wife Catherine purchased 5.5 hectares of vineyards in Saint-Aubin just south of Beaune and began tending the vines biodynamically and making their wines in a non-interventionist way. This formed the basis of Domaine Derain.

The Saint-Aubin appellation is one of the hidden secrets of Burgundy because the vineyards border those of the premier crus of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet but do not command anywhere near their price.

Some years ago Dominique and Catherine were joined by an eager young assistant, Julien Altaber, who wanted to learn the finer points of natural winemaking and Dominique was an ideal teacher. As the business grew there was plenty of work for Julien helping Dominique in the vineyards and in the winery.

And there was also a lot of administrative work so Dominique hired a young woman named Carole Schwab to help in the office but also to assist with wine tastings and other work in the cellars. 

A few years ago, Dominique officially retired. Julien and his now partner Carole bought the domaine from him.

Julien, in addition to working for Dominique, had started his own domaine (Sextant) some years before, initially making his own wine in Dominique’s cellar, so it was a natural changing of the guard.

You can see the change of ownership in the labels. The older labels reference ‘Catherine & Dominique Derain’ and the new wines are labelled ‘Domaine Derain’. 

However, although no longer an owner, Dominique is still intimately involved in the cellar and vineyard. He may not have the responsibility any more but as a mentor he is still ever-present. He maybe waxing (he is still the master) or labelling bottles.

The wines are certified biodynamic by Ecocert and have been certified since 1989.

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