The wines of Jean-Luc Colombo (well, three of them....)

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Jean-Luc Colombo sounds like a very interesting chap. I don’t imagine there are many people who’ve been a pharmacist, then wine consultant and then winemaker. He’s known for making relatively bullish wines, and when he was wine consulting this was certainly the direction he steered his clients in. He’s been described in the past as being “Parker friendly” which is probably a fair description but not necessarily a bad thing. There’s nothing wrong with wines with personality and packed full of flavour in my view. He’s also known as being someone who put Cornas on the map, or rather, put Cornas back on the map with his flair and enthusiasm for the region. With his outspoken methods and views Jean-Luc Colombo has joked that he is “the most hated and loved winemaker in the Rhône”. Personally I think wine needs personalities like this, wine is meant to be fun after all.

Whichever way you look at it, he is one of the Rhône’s top winemakers and wine personalities and I therefore leapt at the chance to sample three of his wines, the Crozes Hermitage, Cornas and Chateauneuf du Pape. My thoughts on each wine are set out below.







Les Fées Brunes – Crozes Hermitage 2009 (£15.99 Handford Wine)          

This had a lovely gamey / meaty scent with the palate being peppery and spicy as you’d expect of a Rhône Syrah. The black fruit notes were wonderfully pure. The finish was very

elegant I really thought this seemed like a lot of wine for the money. Super stuff which will age well.




Cornas Mejeans 2009 (£22.99 Handford Wine)

An altogether more decadent seeming wine than the Crozes Hermitage. The dark berry notes leapt out of the glass and the wine had a silky smooth texture and mouthfeel. The faint toasty notes sat really well alongside the dark berry flavours. A very classy wine.


Chateauneuf du Pape Les Bartavelles 2009 (£22.99 Fareham Wine Cellar)

I generally prefer my CdP a little older than this and this really showed why. Initially the wine felt very tight though did open up with a little persuasion. It tasted wonderfully clean and pure but just felt a little dilute and quiet. There are signs of this wine being excellent. After a few hours open it was coming into its own. If you have one of these, or buy one, I’d recommend you leave it a few years and you will definitely be rewarded.

For drinking now, the Crozes-Hermitage seemed like a great value wine. If patience is something you have in spades then the Cornas and CdP will reward you in time. These are all super wines and I’ll be looking out for Jean-Luc Colombo’s wines in the future.