Combrillac - 'Petchalba' - Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon - Dordogne, FR - 2020
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From a hill overlooking the Dordogne Valley, this blend of macerated Sauvignon Blanc (50%) & Sémillon (40%) and direct-pressed Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), is aged in a mix of Italian sandstone amphoras and used barrels. Its name references a Macedonian rite of passage: the courageous decision to leave home to find one's fortune. You would do well to crack a bottle and discover some newfound fortune of your own— the luscious terroir of an oft-overlooked corner of France.
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc (50%), Semillon (40%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%)
Style: White Wine
*Sub-Region or Appellation: *Bergerac
*Viticulture: *Organic & Biodynamic
*Age of Vines:
Vinification: *Sauvignon Blanc undergoes a 4-day maceration; some Semillon is direct-pressed, while other batches undergo 1 month of maceration; Cabernet Sauvignon is direct-pressed in 8-year-old barrels
*Aging: 9 months in Italian sandstone amphoras
*Fining or Filtering: *none
*Sulfur: *10mg/L at bottling
Presiding over the vines of Combrillac, perched on a hill overlooking the Dordogne valley, at the gates of the city of Bergerac in the heart of the Périgord Pourpre just east of Bordeaux, is a couple whose names you need to know: Thien Uyen Do and Florent Girou. A winemaking duo unlike any we've met before, Uyen and Florent each brings a distinct set of talents to bear.
Florent, for one, has nearly two decades of winemaking experience under his belt, spanning from the Dordogne to Languedoc to Tuscany, despite officially taking over the family domaine just four years ago.
Uyen, his partner in farming and in life, is so invested in the biodiversity of their terrain that only half of their twenty five hectares has been planted to vines. Together, their vines have been co-planted with four thousand _trees and medicinal herbs, _vite maritata — an ancient grape-growing technique in which vines are trained on trees instead of wooden stakes.
Uyen and Florent, tandem vigneron.ne, work tirelessly to preserve the ecosystem of which their grapes are only a part: the crown of trees surrounding the whole property, the groves of oak and acacia, the natural meadows which weave between each parcel, the hops and cereals they cultivate, as well as the aromatic and medicinal plants under their care: holy basil, chamomile, comfrey, tansy and Persian clover.
Preserving biodiversity, as well as mitigating the monoculture of grapevines, has been paramount to their joint project. The result in your glass is something between Bordeaux and the Loire, perhaps the best parts of each: elegance on the approach, freshness on the finish.