Northern Rhone series 4, Jean Luc Colombo Gravieres Crozes Hermitage

I admit to not having been a great fan of Jean-Luc Colombo in the past. His wines have seemed slightly too polished and modern, lacking the raw essence of northern Rhone Syrah at its edgy best. But this is one I like. Perhaps it is the vintage?

Jean-Luc Colombo Les Gravieres Crozes Hermitage 2008 Northern Rhone
From 40 year old vines grown on granite terraces, spending 6 months in small oak. Fresh and vivid with lovely black cherry, spice, olive and pepper nose. Good fruit purity, reminding me a bit of New Zealand’s Gimblett Gravels Syrahs. The palate is bright and peppery with real freshness to the cherry, berry and plum fruit. Ripe but grippy: a beautifully balanced wine. 93/100 (£13.99 Waitrose)

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