I attended this masterclass last year, following Hatch Mansfield's acquiring of the agency for these wines in the UK. I'd known of Colombo for years, but had never really tasted the wines. This masterclass brought us through their single parcel Cornas cuvées. Cornas used to be considered the scruffy cousin of Hermitage and Côte Rotie. Now it's considered the expensive scruffy cousin of Hermitage and Côte Rotie. The wines are all 100% Syrah.
Jean Luc Colombo Cornas 'Les Méjeans' 2007
Sort of a breakfast Cornas, though I'm not sure I'd pair it with cornflakes. A blend of younger vines from their holdings in the appellation.
Nicel floral on the nose, that are quickly followed by some bloody, more savoury notes and maybe a touch of mint?
Lovely grip - bright red and black fruit with a touch of liquorice. Good unity between the fruit and the structure. Interesting - a light style of dark wine.
Jean Luc Colombo Cornas 'Les Terres Brûlées' 2007
This parcel of vines is between 20 and 60 years old, and the cuvée is said to be their 'prettiest' expression of Syrah.
The fruit is more intense on the nose, as is the black olive tapenade and crushed rose petals.
Serious stuff. Young. Dark, tight and tight knit with fantastic grip. Grabs hold of the tongue and all parts of the mouth. Great structure but still waiting to blossom. One to lay down.
Jean Luc Colombo Cornas 'Les Ruchets' 2007
From 90 year old vines in the heart of the appellation.
Jammy, menthol-y and a touch stewed. No floral notes.
It's a bit of a beast. Big, bramble (not stewed on the palate, just the nose), backed by very rustic tannins. Hugely backwards. Not entirely sure what to make of it. Needs time.
Jean Luc Colombo Cornas 'La Louvée' 2007
The name means 'she-wolf', which is kind of cool. The vines are around 70 years old, with great south-eastern aspect.
More ephemeral, floral and elegant on the nose. Roses, strawberries and some darker blueberries as well.
Fantastic integration. Soft and pretty to begin with that then deepens as the palate goes on. Not as rustic as the others. Fruit, structure and secondaries all in great harmony. You could probably crack this one open now.