Abélard, AOC Ventoux – 2012
Abélard, one of the most distinguished philosophers of medieval times, is most remembered for his tragic romance with the gifted young Héloïse. One of history’s most celebrated couples, Héloïse and Abélard are known for their intellectual brilliance, passionate love affair, eloquent letters and the tragedy that cruelly separated them. Sometimes referred to as “the Romeo and Juliet of France,” they were actually far more complex and accomplished individuals, and their love spanned many decades until the end of their lives, making it a symbol of enduring romantic love. This complex, brooding Grenache blend from older vines seems worthy of Abélard, who combined erudition with deep thinking and a near-fatal attraction.
- Viticulture: Organic and biodynamic practices
- Vine Age: Grenache - over 40 years old; Syrah - 30 years old
- Soil: Clay and limestone, very stony
- Elevation: Syrah: Southwest facing; 540 meters (1,771 feet) Grenache: Northwest facing; 530 meters (1,739 feet)
- Fermentation: In wooden tanks, with skin maceration for 5 weeks; 100% malolactic
- Barrel Aging: 18 months in mix of old and new French oak from various coopers, primarily 228-liter (60-gallon) barrels with medium and medium-plus toast; plus 12 months in concrete tanks
- Filtration: Unfiltered
- Fining: Unfined
- Bottle Aging: 2 years
- Varietal Composition: 85% Grenache Noir, 15% Syrah
- Alcohol: 14%
Appearance: Deep, brilliant garnet
Nose: Rich with notes of cloves, liquorice and pepper, mixed with plum and cherry aromas.
Palate: Full-bodied and smooth, fresh with velvety tannins and notes of ripe red fruits.
Finish: Long aromatic ﬁnish, with hints of spices and plums.
- Serving Suggestions: Enjoy with roast beef, venison, duck and roasted vegetables. Decant for 2-3 hours and serve at room temperature.
Chêne Bleu Abélard, Vin de Pays du Vaucluse — 2012 – The Wine Advocate – 93 Points
A blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah, the 2012 IGP Vaucluse Abelard is nominally the more "masculine" of the two red cuvées. In fact, this vintage, the Abelard is softer and plusher, albeit slightly less complex. Smoky elements frame ripe black cherries on the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate is ripe and supple, giving way to a velvety feel on the finish.
Chêne Bleu Abélard, AOC Ventoux – 2012 – Jancis Robinson – 17.5 Points
As dark at the core as the Héloïse 2012 but with more brick in the colour and at the rim. A little more smudgy. This seems sweeter fruited and a little further down the path of tertiary aromas, though I still find a hint of wild scrub and lavender that is clearly more vineyard than grape variety. The fruit sweetness – including some dried red fruits – is more penetrating on the nose compared with the Héloïse, the developed character is more leathery than black olive, with just a hint of mocha...