Location: Cornas, Ródano
Winemaker: Jean-Luc, Anne y Laure Colombo
Properties: 10 choice hectares around Cornas and St. Peray. They also purchase grapes from other districts in the Rhône where he works as consultant-winemaker.
Production: 600,000 bottles of which 60% is exported.
Thierry Desseauve: "The Rhone Valley needs more Jean-Luc Colombos!" Wine Spectator: "Colombo doesn't even bottle his wines in traditional formats, but the proof of their quality is inside the bottle... his Cornas wines are extraordinary" Robert Parker: "Outstanding" with Five Star rating "One of the best in the Rhône Valley" according to La Tribune of Paris "Some of the best wines in France today" according to Frank Prial of the New York Times "Probably the finest syrah vineyards in the world"
The controversial and dynamic winemaker Jean-Luc Colombo has sparked off many changes in the northern Rhône Valley. Their vineyards, which are organically farmed, are located on extremely steep and granitic terraces in Cornas and St. Perey. Jean-Luc and his wife Anne, both winemakers of prestige, drew much attention in the 1990s for their modern vinification practices aimed at producing elegant, rather than powerful wines. For many years, Jean-Luc also worked as a “flying winemaker”, specializing in the variety Syrah for projects in South Africa, Spain, California and of course the Rhone Valley. Their daughter Laure, after years of apprenticeship and winemaking abroad, has now joined the team and pays special attention to the family estate wines of Cornas.
Among his more than 100 clients in the area, Jean-Luc promotes the use of the most organic methods, best hygienic practices and proven methods of winemaking, aiming to produce quality wines which reflect their appellation, vintage and soil. Destemming and long maceration periods are among his preferences so as to obtain smoother tannins, as is use of new oak for secondary fermentation and bottling with little if any filtration. Colombo is renowned for his rich and elegant wines made with the Syrah grape grown on the steep vineyards of Cornas. But at the same time, Colombo is growing an increasing number of other varieties in the Rhône, such as the white grape Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. These wines, made with grapes grown by his clients, are often typical of their class, with an excellent price-quality ratio. His basic Côte du Rhône has been described by Robert Parker as "better than the Cornas of many winemakers". More recently, Jean-Luc has been exploring the winegrowing potential of the Côte Bleue, a small peninsula on the Provençal coast near his birth place of Marseille. This narrow strip, almost entirely surrounded by water, enjoys a cool climate and the intense Mediterranean sunshine, a combination which Jean-Luc believes shall soon produce some of the best wines in the region. His delicious and thirst quenching rosé "Les Pins Couchés" is grown here.