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Wednesday 22 February 2012

Jean-Luc Colombo, Les Forots, Côtes du Rhône Syrah, 2009

Spent some bank - I got a high powered jumbo
Rolled up a wooly and I watched Colombo

- Beastie Boys, The New Style
In Beastie Boys' The New Style, "Colombo" is a reference to the US detective show starring the late Peter Falk as the eponymous crumpled-but-incisive detective.

The Colombo that we have here is Jean-Luc Colombo of the Rhône - who is no relation to either the "lootenant", Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek or Beastie Boys, but somehow these are all linked in my mind by Pavlovian-esque free association.

Wine-maker Jean-Luc Columbo is something of controversial moderniser in France's Rhône valley - the spiritual home of Syrah - who favours modern techniques and less tannic grip than some.

I previously reviewed a JLC Syrah from the Rhône, the Collines Rhodaniennes 2009, in my September Wine of The Month column and, very impressed by its dense, inky texture firm, muscular tannic grip and acidity, was keen to see what this one would be like.

On first opening, this wine has an intense and complex nose of leather, Pinot-esque mushroomy, peaty earthiness, truffles, dark spices, elderberry and blueberry fruit, tarriness, cigar box and pencil shavings.

It's a heady and hedonistic blend and on the palate, it seems initially to be all about the aromas.

By the following day, the nose has become much less intense with aromas of blueberries, elderberries, spice and liquorice remaining and a more rounded-feeling palate with black cherries, soft tannins and some gentle grip on the finish. The texture is inky but smooth and it is a relatively easy drinker.

By day three, the nose has settled down into dark fruit and berries, vanilla spice, liquorice and pencil shavings and the acidity on the palate has rounded out further into a soft-yet-mouthfilling almost custardy texture with some gentle grip on the finish and it feels like a more accomplished wine overall.

£12.49 from Booze Bargains (SL4), DK Vintners (RH14), Le Parc Delicatessen (N16), Wimbledon Wine Cellars, Laytons Wine Merchants (N1), Partridges of Sloane Street (WC2), Rhythm & Booze; provided for review.

Match with roast lamb or darker game in a spiced sauce.


Jean-Luc Colombo - http://www.vinscolombo.fr/uk/

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