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The Sommelier's Box

Chene Bleu, ‘Abelard’ 2013

Regular price
$105.00 USD
Regular price
Sale price
$105.00 USD

Region: Ventoux, Rhone, France

Varietal: 85% Grenache Noir, 15% Syrah

Tasting notes: A very deep ruby with notes of ripe blackberry, garrigue, licorice and spice on the nose. On the palate, it is intense and concentrated with notes of blackberry, morello cherry and spice. Silky tannins bring structure and depth to the wine. Elegant and powerful, distinctly masculine.

Producer: Blessed with a confluence of natural factors, Chêne Bleu has the benefit of an exceptional location, multifaceted geology, and a southern Rhone climate with soils more typical of the northern Rhone. The remarkable 340-acre estate had functioned as a working vineyard since the Middle Ages but was left untended for the majority of the 20th century, leaving the buildings in ruins. Xavier and Nicole Rolet purchased the property in 1993, enchanted by the secluded location of the vineyard and the history of the ancient monastery on site that had been built nearly 1,000 years ago. A decade of meticulous work was required to restore the priory and nurture the neglected vineyards back to biodynamic health. With time, each small improvement in the vineyard was seen to be rewarded ten-fold with qualitative results.

Vineyard and Winemaking: Isolated and protected, high in a mountain saddle, Chêne Bleu has its provenance in a unique, four-corner borderland of the département of Vaucluse in the southern Rhône, where the boundaries of Gigondas, Côtes du Ventoux, Côtes du Rhône and Séguret come together. This area is located in the foothills of Mont Ventoux, 550 to 630 meters (1,800 to 2,000 feet) above sea level, on the northern slopes of a spectacular limestone outcropping known as the Dentelles de Montmirail (from the Latin “Mons Mirabilis, meaning “Lace of Marvelous Mountains”). It enjoys an exceptional terroir due to this pristine, remote location and its complex geology, with many exposed strata of rock. The high-altitude vineyards benefit from warm daytime sun and cool nights allowing a longer, gradual ripening season. Grapes are picked up to five weeks later than the surrounding valley floor. The resulting wines embody the aromas and flavor of southern Rhone, together with the finesse and elegance of northern Rhone and the aging potential of the region’s finest AOCs.