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A Hidden Treasure

A few months ago when there was still a nip in the air and one could comfortably sit by the fireside,  I ventured into my wine cellar looking for a red wine to open. 

Although I had lots to choose from I zeroed in on a bottle of 2004 Les Ruchets Cornas from Jean-Luc Colombo winery located in the northern appellation of Cornas in the Rhône Valley, France.

Jean-Luc’s background is far from boring.  As a child, he spent a lot of time helping his mother in her restaurant in Marseille where he was always surrounded by good food and wine. Growing up with a successful restaurateur certainly had its advantages!  Jean-Luc went on to receive a pharmacy degree where he combined his love of Syrah and science by creating a wine laboratory in 1984 with his wife Anne called Centre Oenologique des Cotes du Rhone. Jean-Luc quickly established himself as a wine consultant for wineries throughout the Rhône Valley, including many top domaines.  Today, Jean-Luc and Anne produce wines from vineyards in the Rhône Valley, the Languedoc and Provence, with the core of the Colombo winery situated in Cornas. Their daughter Laure joined the family in 2010 as their winemaker.

The Colombo family. Photo credit: Taub Family

Cornas is the smallest appellation in the Rhône Valley consisting of approximately 300 acres and is dedicated to producing only red wine from the Syrah grape. The Mediterranean climate and decomposed granite soils contribute to the richness and character of these wines.

Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas Les Ruchets 2004 is an impressive wine that after 15 years is still powerful and expressive. It is 100% Syrah made from very old vines that are over 90 years old. As I poured this garnet colored wine into my glass seductive aromas of dark berries, spice, floral and hints of herbal notes greeted me. My first sip confirmed that I was in for a royal treat. I patiently allowed the wine to open and then rewarded my palate with layers of berries, plum, earth, cedar, spice and a lengthy jammy finish sprinkled with pepper. It had a silky mouth-feel with soft tannins.  After drinking this wine, I’m inclined to purchase a few newer vintages to drink in about 10 years or so! Cheers to Jean-Luc Colombo and his family!
Alcohol:  14.5%

Photo credit:  Penny Weiss

Although I’m not ready for winter evenings sitting by the fireside, I would welcome a nice nip in the air to alleviate the oppressive heat wave that is upon us right now! Stay cool!
Until next time...

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