Domaine du Colombier
We know plenty of growers who are larger than life. At the same time, there are plenty who see themselves merely as humble custodians of the land that has been left to them by the preceding generations. Florent Viale is of that style, presenting his wines with a shrug of the shoulders, taking no credit himself.
Thirty years ago, Domaine du Colombier was a simple fruit farm: extremely fine apricots were produced (still farmed to this day), while the grapes were sold to the local négociants in Tain l’Hermitage (including some to the famous Guigal family). Come 1991, the Viale family followed what is now a well-trodden, and well-documented path, deciding to go their own way. The emphasis here is on the purity of the fruit – oak only plays a minor role in the ageing process, and even then, the barrels are 600 litre ‘demi-muids’, rather than the smaller 225 litre ‘barriques’ that can have a much bigger influence on the finished wine. Lovely.