97 Pt Vintage, WS: 2017 Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Forots

If you love the wines coming out of Côtes du Rhône today, you may want to send a little thank you note to Jean-Luc and Anne Colombo. They’ve been firmly rooted in the eastern France Syrah/Grenache-loving region since the early 1980s. In 1984, they founded the Centre Œnologique des Côtes du Rhône in Cornas. As an oenologist, Jean-Luc puts his experience at the service of the estates of the Rhône Valley (and Provence) and advises them—while remaining a top producer in Northern Rhône, crafting quality wines from his own vineyards.

Today’s wine is one of his own, the 91-point 2017 Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Forots. 2017 was an epic year for Northern Rhône. Wine Spectator blessed the vintage with 97 points and praised its reds specifically, saying the "reds are ripe and seductive."

We’re big fans of Colombo wines here at BHW, and so are our customers. Several former offerings from the winery have sold out, and we’re always excited to offer newer vintages from Colombo. Their winery is based in Cornas, the smallest appellation in the Rhône Valley, covering only 325 acres. The region’s ancient vineyards are dedicated to producing the purest and finest expression of Syrah. Decomposed granite soils and stressed growing conditions greatly contribute to the quintessential quality and character of Cornas wines, the best Syrah in the world.

Les Forots (which means Forests) is 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache, another grape that absolutely thrives in the region’s terroir. The wine expresses the typicity of this terroir with elegance and character. It’s a structured and pleasant red with surprising precision, displaying the Syrah grapes' spices yet with a fruity character and the round and attractive flavor of the Grenache. We love how Wine Enthusiast put it when it gave this wine 91 points: “It's powerful, penetrating wine, with more gravitas than you expect from a typical Côtes du Rhône bottling.”

That gravitas comes from decades of dedication to making wine in the region. For their significant life-long contributions to their country, both Jean-Luc and Anne have been awarded the French Legion of Honor, France’s highest civilian award, given for their innovative approach in the northern appellation of Cornas that’s been nothing short of revolutionary.

Columbo produces a variety of Rhône beauties that range from hundreds of dollars to any-night drinking value wines. Les Forots is from the any-night value part of their portfolio. In Jean-Luc’s skilled hands, it doesn’t taste like an average any-night wine. And with BHW 20% discount and Lowest Price Anywhere, this is truly a quality, value wine that drinks way above what you’ll pay for it.
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