When Mark Knopfler, the quiet man of rock ‘n’ roll, speaks of generosity, the wine enthusiast thinks of Laurent Combier, another quiet man who, in wanting to make people feel good, has seen many good things come his way. Trained in the Burgundy style, he has never forgotten the magic of Pinot Noir in great terroirs: “I like to find some of that finesse and restrained vividness in my Crozes-Hermitage Syrahs.” Bypassing the cul-desac of “fashionable” wines, he aimed for mouthwatering wines with sincerity.
A path that is harder by necessity, first requiring a deep understanding of the vineyards and their living soils. At the estate, the dialogue with nature began in the ‘70s when Maurice Combier, Laurent’s father, wanted to work differently and shifted to organic – even if it meant swimming against the tide. For Laurent, who likes to say that a winegrower is, above all, a farmer with a passion, and for his son Julien, who joined in 2014, organic is now self-evident: what’s essential in the bottle is awakened in the vine. A keen aviator, Laurent Combier is forever seeking a better overview, combining his constant reflections on organic and biodynamic vine cultivation with a perfectionist approach in the cellar: was it not he who chose the now much-revered ovoid concrete amphoras to coax his young-vine cuvée towards lush richness by respecting its fruit, finesse, cleanliness and balance?
From Cuvée L for a tableful of friends to the haute couture of Clos des Grives, it’s all right there, in his wines – whether drunk young and fresh or cellared!