La Combe Grisard Gevrey-Chambertin 'Champ Franc' 2018Regular price $99.99
An unlikely story is behind La Combe Grisard, yet one that makes complete sense. Winemakers Eric Railsback (of his namesake winery), and Matt Murphy (of Presqu’ile) had long envisioned making wine in Burgundy. As both have made French-inspired wines themselves, they seized an opportunity with the help of Jeremy Seysses of Domaine Dujac. Through Jeremy’s connections, they’ve been able to source fruit from top growers, while the winemaking is done under the watchful eye of the Dujac team. The Montagne de la Combe Grisard is the name of the forested hill above Gevrey, from which Matt and Eric took their inspiration.
“Champ Franc” draws its name from the lieu dit of the same name within the Gevrey-Chambertin appellation. The name simply translates to “open field.” This bottle is the epitome of expression of Gevrey coupled with the style of Domaine Dujac.
A project between the folks from Railsback and Presqu’ile, in which they source fruit from Burgundy, more specifically, fruit sources in and around Domaine Dujac. The wine is then made at Dujac with the team’s guidance. This is just plain pretty. The fruit is ripe with undertones of smoke and roasted meats. Soft and juicy with mushroom, sous-bois, pepper and nicely placed acid at the back end. Drinking great early but a lightly reductive quality blow off after a small amount of air.
“Two Burgundy-loving California winemakers—Eric Railsback (Lieu-Dit) and Matt Murphy (Presqu’ile)—wanted to make some Burgundy of their own. With the help of a Burgundian colleague, they did just that.”
Ian Cauble, Master Sommelier
The grapes for today’s 2018 come from the “Champ Franc” vineyard, a site that sits on the east side of Gevrey-Chambertin, in soils of rich red clay and limestone. The wine was fermented using 60% whole clusters, which lent structure and spice in a ripe, forward vintage. It was aged in second- and third-passage French oak barriques, so the emphasis is really on soil and fruit. In the glass, it’s a deep ruby moving to garnet and pink at the rim, with classically “Gevrey” aromas of black cherry, forest floor, tea leaves, and black pepper. It is medium-plus in body and well-structured, with a well-modulated mix of lush, pure fruit, violet-scented florals, and crushed-rock savor. It is poised to age well throughout this decade, but there’s also a lot to love about the wine now, provided you give it 30-60 minutes in a decanter first. Serve it at 60 degrees in Burgundy stems and pair it with game or even beef.