Héloïse, Vin de Pays du Vaucluse – 2011
Héloïse and Abélard (our other flagship red wine) are one of history’s most celebrated couples, 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 during the Middle Ages until the end of their lives, making it a symbol of enduring romantic love. The perfumed, intense but restrained character of this Syrah blend reminded us of Héloïse, whose intellect was matched by passion which, though bridled, never died.
- Viticulture: Organic and biodynamic practices
- Vine Age: Grenache - over 40 years old; Syrah - 30 years old
- Soil: Clay and limestone, very stony
- Elevation: Grenache - 530 meters (1,738 feet); Syrah - 540 meters (1,771 feet)
- Exposure: Grenache - northwest facing; Syrah - 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: 65% Syrah, 31% Grenache Noir, 4% Roussanne
- Alcohol: 14%
Appearance: A magnificent garnet color, deep and intense.
Nose: Rich with notes of coffee, dark fruits, trufﬂe, mocha and blueberry.
Palate: Complex yet balanced, both fresh and intense, voluptuous.
Finish: Very long on the palate, with lingering notes of dark fruits and ﬁne tannins.
- Serving Suggestions: A generous and intense wine with strong aging potential, ideally suited to lamb, red meat and roasted vegetables. Decant for 2-3 hours and serve at room temperature.
Chêne Bleu Héloïse, Vin de Pays du Vaucluse – 2011 – Wine Specator – 93 Points
This late-release version sports a broad and slightly mature feel, with roasted meat, dried bay leaf, tobacco and smoldering alder wood notes swirling around a core of steeped plum, blackberry and fig fruit flavors. Shows a lovely tug of loam at the very end. Distinctive. Syrah, Grenache and Roussanne. Drink now through 2024. 1,000 cases made, 200 cases imported.
Chêne Bleu Héloïse, Vin de Pays du Vaucluse – 2011 – The Wine Advocate – 92 Points
Starting with the 2011 IGP Vaucluse Heloise, the Viognier component has been replaced by Roussanne, so the 2011 is 61% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 4% Roussanne. It offers hints of smoked black olives on the nose, followed by a wine that's full-bodied and sturdy on the palate, with some rustic, meaty notes that linger on the finish. Give it a couple of years in the cellar, then drink it over the next decade.
Chêne Bleu Héloïse, Vin de Pays du Vaucluse – 2011 – Jancis Robinson – 17 Points
Deep crimson with very little sign of age in the colour. On the nose this is seductive like the northern Rhône in its complex peppery, smoky sophistication but with an added smoky bacon sweetness. On the palate, riper than the northern Rhône and more generous, still with lovely peppery Syrah flavour, plus a slight spicy meatiness and just a hint of leathery complexity and oak's sweet spice. The tannins are à point – ie you could drink this now, with food, as it was intended, or you could certainly cellar it for at least another decade...
Chêne Bleu Héloïse, Vin de Pays du Vaucluse – 2011 – Jeb Dunnuck – 96 Points
Also brilliant stuff, the 2011 IGP Vaucluse Heloise (70% Syrah, 20-25% Grenache and the rest Viognier) offers lots of blackberry fruits, peppery herbs and smoked earth aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, yet with an incredible sense of elegance and finesse, no doubt imparted by the limestone soils and higher elevation vineyards, this beautiful Syrah will continue drinking beautifully for another decade or more.