2015 Calamiac Terroir Domaine Combe Blanche
|Grapes||Carignan, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache|
I have not tasted the wines from this estate before but, interestingly, I read the L&S notes after I had made my own and both focus on earth and mineral descriptors as opposed to fruit expressions. I adore wines that taste of the dirt and rock in which they are grown and the dark, slate-y coolness in this fabulous red underpin all of the blueberry and blackberry fruit tones. It is refreshing, slightly gamey and also deep, with proud tannins which make the palate salivate. A definitive winter red for rakish chefs and culinary bandits. Matthew Jukes, Moneyweek (Jan 2019)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The charming and affable Guy Vanlancker is an outsider originating from Belgium who 30 years ago, followed his dream of becoming a winemaker and fell in love with the beauty of the Languedoc-Roussillon, he has 15 hectares in the most prized Minervois cru of La Laviniere, where the southern end of the Massif Central combines to give a veritable melting pot of minerals, schist, sandstone, quartz & marble. Vineyards are high up, surrounded by garrigue and benefit from the cooling evening breeze that rolls down from the plateau. The 2015 Minervois Calamiac Terroir is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault, all of which are cropped very low, the result being a bright cherry fresh red with a touch of garrigue, juicy attractive wine that on smell alone leaves you wanting to drink another glass, this is classic and delicious Minervois. Drinking range: 2018 - 2020L&S(Apr 2018)
Domaine Combe Blanche
Domaine Combe Blanche was founded 30 years ago by Guy Vanlancker, a Belgian teacher who moved south to pursue his dream of making top red wine. Today he has around 15 hectares of vineyards surrounding the village of La Livinière. The terroir surrounding La Livinière is on the slopes of the black mountains and produces some of the best, most long lived red wines in the Languedoc. His Minervois and Minervois La Livinière wines are based on Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault. He also does single varietal Roussanne, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo (very unusual in the Languedoc) and Cinsault which are bottled as IGP. Winemaking is traditional - destemming, long fermentations with punching down or pumping over and it is carried out in his higgledy piggledy cellar (definitely not state-of-the-art!)
As well as his earlier drinking Minervois, Calamiac terroir, Guy makes three distinctly different Minervois La Livinière. La Galine is his benchmark La Livinière, usually a roughly equal blend of Syrah and Grenache with a small amount of oak to add richness rather than oaky flavour. Chandelière is his top wine, only made in the best years and is 85% Syrah with a splash of Grenache. It is usually oaked but subtly and the wine rewards ageing in bottle for 10 year or more. The 2001 is drinking beautifully now. The third La Livinière is Clos du Causse. This Grenache based wine comes from a small vineyard near Felines Minervois, about 5km from La Livinière which Guy does not own, hence it is under a different label.
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