Mon 3 Dec 2012
Look no further than the Jean-Luc Colombo Les Abeilles Blanc 2011, Côtes du Rhône, for an incredibly reasonably priced white wine to go with all manner of food — we had a few glasses with turkey noodle soup — or to serve as an aperitif. Les Abeilles means “the bees” in French, a reference to the busy little pollen-spreading workers that populate Colombo’s vineyards. This sprightly, highly drinkable wine is a blend of 80 percent clairette grapes and 20 percent roussanne, derived from vineyards in the regions of Cairanne, Rasteau and Vacqueyres, the first two allowed to be named on labels of Côtes du Rhône-Villages, the third receiving its own A.O.C in 1990. Les Abeilles 2011 was fermented in stainless steel and briefly aged 15 percent in oak barrels, 85 percent in stainless steel tanks. The result is a wine that is notably clean, fresh and appealing, while being subtly shaped and supported by the nuanced wood influence. The color is medium straw-gold; aromas of roasted lemon and spiced pear are permeated by notes of dried thyme and sage, almond and almond blossom and a hint of yellow plum. It’s silky and supple on the palate, spare and taut and almost reticent yet imbued with tasty lemon and grapefruit flavors highlighted by touches of cloves and limestone and an invigorating element of salt marsh and sea breeze and crisp acidity. 13 percent alcohol. Drink now through 2013. Very Good+. About $12, a Terrific Value.
Imported by Palm Bay International, Boca Raton. A sample for review.