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Drown in the Rhône

on 13/09/13 at 10:30 am


monsieur marcel was the place for Jean-Luc Colombo’s Master class in wines of the Southern Rhône.  With an absurdly overt French name as monsieur marcel, it felt like the kind of swank establishment Betty and Megan Draper would frequent for their night out in the city.  Later, Megan would entertain Don and pals with a song she picked up that night.

zou bisou

With expectations so high from the nomenclature, Jean-Luc did not disappoint.  I have to admit, wading through his accent was a bit tough for me at times (and I have French-in-laws!), but worth the focus.  Particular stand-outs for me were his La Belle de Mai’ Saint-Peray 2011 and Terres Brulees’ Corans 2010.  The Terres Bulees’ Corans Syrah had a spice to it reminiscent of the great Paso Robles old vine zinfandels.  Another of Jean Luc’s wines — The Les Abeilles’ Côtes de Rhône — gives a portion of its profits to the UC Davis Department for Honey Bee Research.

jean luc1

While the hyper French name of our host shop seemed like a throwback to yesteryear, Jean-Luc Colombo’s approach to wine-making is very forward with his understanding of the life-cycle of the vine.  “If you think Picasso is modern – then I am a modern producer,” said Colombo.  And having a Legion of Honor medal in your backpocket (as does his wife) gives you some serious cred (although you have to fend off the obligatory barb that Jerry Lewis has one too).

For the future, Jean-Luc warned us that this year the Rhône experienced a late harvest, due to a cold June, so it will be interesting how 2013 plays out.

jean luc

by D.R. Stewart