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The Legacy of Philippe Cambie

One of the greatest winemakers on the planet passed away a few weeks ago. His name was Philippe Cambie, and he was a super-star. But he was a very humble man. He did not brag, he did not boast, he simply revitalized Chateauneuf du Pape and produced a number of the most thrilling wines this planet has ever seen.

It’s amazing, even with all the success that Chateauneuf started to enjoy with Robert Parker blessing the zone with fabulous scores starting in the late-1980’s, there were still very few people in the area in the late 90’s that cared a decade later. Very few folks in the region understood that you had to build on that success, take that bone that Parker chucked you and run with it, creating more consistently better wines so he can chuck you that bone again and again.

Philippe was one of the first to get that, and just happened to be the best. He started his consultancy in 1999, just a few short months after moving to the area to do lab work for the ICV, a company that provides lab and consultancy services in the Rhone. When he arrived, he knew the potential, and knew that precious few folks, even with all the new praise, weren’t getting after it. He also knew Grenache.

Everyone in Chateauneuf seemed pretty happy to hire this smart, affable gentleman to help them make better wines. And he did. The reason that Chateauneuf was able to continue to ride that Parker wave into the new millennium was due (mostly) to Philippe and his passion for each and every one of his clients. He let each client make the wine that they wanted to make, a wine that was adapted to their particular terroir or house style, he just helped them do it better. There are no ‘Cambie’ wines, there is only Clos du Caillou, Vieux Donjon, Tardieu-Laurent, Bosquets and so many more. The lives and vineyards he touched in the Rhone Valley during his 20+ years of greatness are too numerous to mention.

Today’s email is simply an offering of Philippe himself, a roster of current in stock Rhone wines from all the clients he consulted for that we currently feature here at Wine Direct. We just thought that there’s no easier way to get to know the man himself than to get to know the wines he individually touched during his time on this planet.

The list is chock full of ‘stars’ in the Southern Rhone firmament including a few of the hot new release 2019 Chateauneufs, Philippe’s last ‘vintage of the century’ that we are so fortunate to now enjoy. Here’s to a brilliant man and a brilliant talent that left us way too early….If you love Grenache, you owe it to yourself to try these wines. We are proud to offer them on a first-in first-served basis to our valued fine wine customers. 

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