Helen’s blog

Thoughts and tastings from Helen Savage, wine writer.

Combebelle – back soon!

One of  many sad consequencies of the demise of Oddbins was that many UK wine lovers were deprived of a handy supply of Chateau de Combebelle, Catherine Wallace’s wonderful, biodynamic St Chinian. I visisted Catherine yesterday and was able to taste wine from the 2010 and 2009 harvests as well as from earlier vintages, including 2007 – which has been snapped up (hallelujah!) by Waitrose Direct and Ocado. Keep an eye open for it and the don’t hesitate. A blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache its is, like all  Catherine’s wines, wonderfully perfumed and marked by deliciously crunchy black fruit flavours. Let’s hope that Waitrose move quickly to secure the 2008 and later vintages too. The 2008 is more concentrated than 07 with particularly juicy acidity; the 09 is incredibly rich, silky and seductive, with elegant, fine tannins; the 10 is chunkier and more structured, with chocolaty black cherry fruit – a great wine worth waiting for.  Catherine hopes that they show signs that she’s improving as a wine maker. They do – but the bar was already set high.

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