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Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Abeilles 2014

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
    14% ABV
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    • WE88
    • WS88
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    14% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Intense purple color. Seductive aromas of red fruits, coriander and bay leaf. This is a fresh and silky wine, with notes of licorice and spice on the palate.

    A food-friendly wine which will perfectly match grilled lamb, pork and assorted cheeses.

    Blend: 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Jean-Luc Colombo

    Jean-Luc Colombo

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    Jean-Luc Colombo, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
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    A native of Marseilles, Colombo first developed a strong admiration for the wines of the Rhône Valley in the late 1970s as a pharmacy student. A devotee of the Syrah grape, Colombo was convinced that the northern Rhône appellation of Cornas offered enormous and, at the time, unrecognized potential for producing super-quality Syrah wines. After earning degrees in pharmacy and enology, Colombo and his wife Anne, also a pharmacist and enologist, moved to Cornas, fully intending to support themselves as pharmacists while developing a wine consultancy on the side.

    It was not long before Colombo began purchasing and cultivating his own vineyards - first in Cornas then throughout the Rhône Valley and Languedoc - leading to the establishment in 1994 of Vins Jean-Luc Colombo. The wines of Vins Jean-Luc Colombo are all sourced from Colombo's own vineyards and from carefully selected domains under his direct consultation.

    Colombo has not limited his magical sphere of influence to Cornas. The company now embraces 27 wines representing major appellations of the Rhône Valley as well as the Languedoc and Roussillon regions of southern France. Most recently, Colombo has returned to his roots for his latest winemaking venture in the Côte Bleue district near Marseilles.

    Cotes du Rhone

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    Typically thought of as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhone actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of the major southern Rhône appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhône appellations. White can be produced under the appellation name, but very little is actually made.

    The region offers some of the best values in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds. Red varieties include most of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.

    Rhône Blends

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    With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

    In the Glass

    The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

    Perfect Pairings

    Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

    Sommelier Secret

    Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

    SWS97832_2014 Item# 165900