The Roller Coaster Ride that We Call Combe

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When Rajat Parr convinced us to plant our first one acre block of Trousseau, I had no idea just how madly I would fall in love with the wines. Light, fun and perfect for fresh, flavorful food.
And then the orders started flowing in. Upon tasting the newly fermented wines, the Rouge still in concrete and the Pet’Nat yet to be disgorged, Rajat hinted about the success of our Trousseau project on his travels around the world. Sager + Wilde London and Nomad New York demanded allocations.
Before the 2014s were even released, Ruben and La Cuadrilla planted an additional 1.3 acres of Trousseau. The future was bright for our little project.

The Storm Clouds Gather
Summer of 2015 was late to arrive. Cold gusts of wind pounded Ballard Canyon through May and we began to fret about the impact the blustery weather would have on flowering and fruit set. As we feared, the generous crop of pale, bulbous Bastardo grapes failed to appear. Instead, 2015 yielded tiny, darker clusters.
With demand through the roof, we will barely have enough 2015 wine to give to our repeat mailing list customers, let alone cases to dole out to restaurants around the globe.

Silver Lining
The reduced yields mean more intensity and nuance in both wines. The Rouge sings a beautiful high note backed by a firm mineral backbone – Rajat decided to leave it in barrel until April rather than bottle it in February as we did last year. The Pet’Nat possesses an exciting energy above the soft mousse.

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More Highs on the Horizon
The 2016 harvest will see augmented production as our second block produces Trousseau for the first time. Thank God!
We have also started to graft an acre and a half block to Chenin Blanc and a half acre to Gamay. After Rajat struck gold with Trousseau, we’re following his passionate decries to plant two more varietals. The 2017 vintage will see three additional Combe wines produced: A barrel fermented still Chenin Blanc, a Chenin Blanc Pet’Nat, and a Trousseau-Gamay blend (perhaps co-fermented).
Never a dull moment!