Rajat Parr and Pete Stolpman’s esoteric collaboration is labeled “Combe” referring to the French word for a small sheltered valley within a vineyard.
Sometime around 2010, Rajat Parr became convinced of the great potential for the pale red Trousseau grape on the Limestone soils of Stolpman Vineyards. We decided to partner with him to make a light red Trousseau and a Trousseau Pet’Nat (the only Pet’Nat of Trousseau in the world). The first vintage was 2014, and we now have 2.3 acres of Trousseau planted. Next, Rajat lobbied to plant Chenin Blanc, and the 1.5 acres we grafted gave us our first wine in 2016. In 2017 a .5 acre block of Gamay will come online, most likely to be blended with Trousseau. More confident than ever in Rajat’s vision, we will potentially plant Poulsard, Savignin, Granget, and Mondeuse in experimental trial quantities in 2017.
The first vintage of the newly grafted Chenin Blanc gave us extremely conservative yields. The resulting wine shows both beautiful flavor concentration and graceful balance.
The quantity of Chenin Blanc - barely ¾ of a ton – was so small we decided to borrow one of our Lompoc Wine Ghetto neighbor’s miniature press to efficiently pop all the grapes. The juice was fermented a new Ermitage 500L French Oak puncheon and then transferred to neutral oak for secondary fermentation.
Quince, Pear, and honeysuckle on the nose with a punchy palate and vibrant acidity. We are very excited to bottle this wine “sans soufre” – without added sulfur. Please decant and serve cool (not too cold). The wine is delicious now but we expect it age 10+ years.
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