The vineyard is cut into the hillsides of the Rasteau plateau. The clay-limestone soils, the long sunshine hours and the cooling influence of the Mistral wind all combine to produce wines of such quality that Rasteau wines were promoted from Cotes du Rhone Village to AOC status in 2009.The grape varieties mainly consist of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, as well as some old Carignan
Traditional winemaking methods are used in this small, authentic family run estate. The grape varieties are mixed together after harvest; the free run juice is collected first and then the grapes are gently pressed. The juices is blended in large concrete or resin tanks and then fermented for 15-21 days. The long fermentation allows for all the natural flavours of the grapes to be gently extracted, giving a full body and complexity to the final wine.
2016 was a good vintage, with a plentiful harvest of good quality grapes resulting in an authentic expression of Rasteau. The wine is 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 10% Carignan. No oak was used which allows the purity of the fruit to shine through.
Background on the Chateaux/Winery
Domaine de la Combe Dieu takes its name from the local area (known as Combe Dieu or "God's Country") and has been part of the Saurel family for 3 generations. They have 55ha of vines, 50ha of which produces Rasteau AOC wines, 1ha which produces Cairanne AOC and 2ha which produce Côtes du Rhône Village.
The winery was built in 1982 and Agnes Saurel makes the wine herself. Before then, the grapes were taken to a family facility in Gigondas for fermentation.
Background on the winemaker/family
Agnes Saurel's grandfather had vineyards in Gigondas but had many sons whom he wanted to share his heritage. In order to stave of family arguments over inheritance, he bought Domaine de la Combe Dieu in 1966. Grand-père Saurel would be proud to know that 5 of his 9 children still work in the wine industry!
In 1966 the domaine was an old farm with 10ha of old vines and lots of forest.Agnes father cut down the woods and created terraces on the hillsides, on which he planted his vineyards. Consequently, 80% of the vineyards surround the domaine - quite a view!