Jean-Luc Colombo, based in Cornas, is a Rhone modernist. His Cornas wines aren’t in my favourite style, I’m afraid. But I do like the wines he makes when he tries less hard: I bought a case of his northern Rhone Vin du Pays a year or so back, made from declassified young vine Cornas fruit because it was so honestly northern Rhone in style. And I like these two inexpensive negociant wines.
Jean-Luc Colombo Les Abeilles de Colombo Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2013 France
80% Clairette, 20% Roussanne, named ‘the bees’. Very pretty, fresh and vibrant floral pear, apricot and citrus fruit. Nicely textured. Crisp but with a bit of richness. The key is the pure, expressive fruit. 89/100 (£9.99 Define Food and Wine, Le Mouton Rouge, Dalling & Co, Trinas Wines, Fountainhall Wines, Tivoli, Taylors Fine Wine, Aiken Wines, Partridges, DP Vintners, The Butlers Cellar)
Jean-Luc Colombo Les Abeilles de Colombo Cotes de Rhone Rouge 2012 France
60% Grenache, 30% Shiraz, 10% Mourvedre. Perfumed and supple with ripe cherry and plum fruit. Pure and quite elegant with some peppery notes and a bit of grip. Medium bodied. A stylish Rhone red with lovely drinkability. 88/100 (£9.99 Tivoli, The Bottleneck, Define Food and Wine, Sunninghill Wine, North & South, The Butlers Cellar, Fountainhall Wines, Bacchus et al)