Abélard, AOC Ventoux – 2011
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: 540 meters (1,771 feet)
- Exposure: Southwest facing
- 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, 15% Syrah
- Alcohol: 15%
Appearance: Deep, brilliant garnet
Nose: Intense with notes of black cherry, plum and liquorice, mixed with hints of torrefaction and ﬁne spices.
Palate: Powerful, full-bodied, with velvety tannins. Notes of cocoa and mocha, mixed with hints of dark 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, AOC Ventoux – 2011 – Jeb Dunnuck – 95 Points
Lastly, the 2011 Ventoux Abelard is, as always, more Provençal in style and always reminds me of a top Gigondas. Based largely on Grenache, it boasts rocking notes of blackberries, black cherries, licorice, and black olives. This full-bodied 2011 has a ripe, sexy style, no hard edges, and perfect balance. Drink it any time over the coming decade.
Chêne Bleu Abélard, AOC Ventoux – 2011 – Jancis Robinson – 17.5 Points
Deepest crimson, very youthful in appearance. On the nose, riper and sweeter than the Héloïse, even a hint of red fruits as well as the peppery bramble notes and an attractive slight leafiness – even though I sometimes find Chêne Bleu's Grenache is almost more like Syrah in its dry elegance. Smooth yet still a little chewy (without food) with the sweetness of Grenache and a start of its leathery development. Not as elegant as the Héloïse in this vintage but generous and chewy with a long way to go, and a more savoury side starting to show in a meaty, black-olive flavour on the finish...
Chêne Bleu Abélard, AOC Ventoux – 2011 – The Wine Advocate – 92 Points
Full-bodied, backward and tannic, the 2011 IGP Vaucluse Abelard deserves a couple of years in the cellar. It offers hints of asphalt and cola on the nose, followed by flavors of black cherries and plums, marked by a roasted, caramelized sense of sucrosity. This Grenache-dominated blend is full-bodied and amply concentrated, with a long finish.
Chêne Bleu Abélard, AOC Ventoux – 2011 – Wine Spectator – 91 Points
This late release shows maturity, featuring enticing truffle and cedar aromas that lead the way for mulled currant and plum fruit flavors. Tobacco, savory and lavender notes curl through the finish, where sweet fruit still lingers. Fully mature, with sneaky depth, this is still providing pleasure. Grenache and Syrah. Drink now through 2022. 1,000 cases made, 200 cases imported.