Whilst I was in hospital a couple of weeks ago I was repeatedly and sternly warned that I should watch my boozing now I have type 1 diabetes. Obviously I thought, “Tish, pish and bollocks to that!”. However, further research into the effects alcohol can have on diabetics did perturb me a little, so I haven’t been paralytic since leaving hospital. Indeed, this bottle of Domaine Colombier Hermitage 2007, opened with Christmas dinner, is the first wine I popped since getting out. Consequently, I was as pleased as chips that is was totally cracking.
I last wrote about Colombier Hermitage 2007 back in 2011. Back then it was a burly, strapping, powerful wine, the epitome of ‘the manliest wine in France’. I thought it needed ten more years to come around. However, we were have roast rolled sirloin of Woodlands Jersey Beef for Christmas dinner and, given my desire for something fairly robust, we thought we would pop the bottle I had lying around. It was certainly manly, but it was more than that.
A couple of years in my wine fridge appeared to have developed it to a reasonable degree and whilst lacking nothing in terms of robust vigour it was also deeply silky and smooth. It oozed (relatively) elegant charm and had a degree of softness I haven’t encountered in a Hermitage since the brief fad of Gerard Chave to make good wines in the 1990s before his son took over and decided he preferred jam with napalm mixed in. This was a really refined, classy wine that left us utterly smitten with me jumping up and down on the sofa, shouting repeatedly “See? See? I told you Colombier was brilliant!”.
It has the ability to age for much longer and further develop the soft, elegant, svelte characters this showed, but last night’s bottle easily matched the gimungus poonts quality of the meal we cooked. Indeed, I would go as far as saying this was as good as the best of any Hermitage I’ve ever had. I solid mean it.
Given that Colombier Hermitage still sells for a fraction of the price of the more famous, and also more despicable, loathsome and doubtless infected with a few social diseases, producers who dominate the Hermitage scene, you would be doing yourself a service to pick up any you see for sale. More recent vintages don’t seem to show any drop in the extremely high standards of Colombier – although when they are very young they do have a tendency to be a bit reduced. Give them a few years. However, this 2007 shows you don’t have to wait forever to have a refined, but recognisably manly, Hermitage experience.