Cornas-based winegrower and negociant Jean-Luc Colombo divides opinion. To some, he’s too modern – and I have had mixed experiences with his wines, finding some a little oak influenced, and perhaps too polished. But I have had some really nice wines from him, too, like this superb and very typical Crozes Hermitage.
Jean-Luc Colombo ‘Les Fees [...]
I’m not giving up on my northern Rhone series, which began almost a year ago, and is now in its 21st installment. It’s a region I love, filled with great wines alongside poor ones – I guess, like most wine regions worldwide. When its on form, it’s brilliant.
This is a brilliantly focused Crozes Hermitage that [...]
Now this I like. It’s just been listed by Waitrose at a very good price (£12.99), and it’s quite a serious expression of Crozes-Hermitage in a somewhat modern style. I get a lot of samples, but this is one that got drunk, rather than just tasted.
Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes Hermitage 2009 Northern Rhone, France
13% alcohol. [...]
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
I’ve lost touch a bit with the wines of Domaine du Columbier, ever since I enjoyed a half-case of the 1999 Crozes Hermitage Gaby. But from this showing, it seems they are still on form, making Crozes Hermitage which is a bit less wild than Graillots, but not so polished to have lost the bloody, [...]
This is a really lovely northern Rhône Syrah, made by Maxime Graillot, son of Alan (the most famous grower in this appellation of Crozes-Hermitage). It’s quite an edgy, polarising sort of wine, though: with its high acidity and bold, striking flavours, some will fall in love while others will find it a bit too much.