Wine of the Week:
2011 Chêne Bleu Rosé
Region: Provence, France
Much like red or white wine, all rosé wines are not created equally. Unfortunately too often they are lumped together as ‘not serious’ and best enjoyed within a year of being bottled. Not so with the rosé wines from Chêne Bleu, a wine producer in the south of France.
A recent tasting of multiple vintages of Chêne Bleu rosés back to 2007 clearly demonstrated that these rosé wines not just hold up over time, but actually improve, becoming more complex and minerally on the way.
Pale salmon in color with coppery glints, the 2011 Chêne Bleu Rosé has an enticing nose of well defined creamy red berry fruit – strawberry, red-currants with hints of watermelon, and exotic citrus, a distinct savory minerality with notes of dried herbs and delicate spice. Mouth-filling this wine is refreshing with firm acidity and a moderately fleshy texture, but not in anyway heavy. Flavors, which mirror the nose, are bright, compact and persistent across the palate with slightly more lively citrus evident. The minerality and garrigue notes add complexity to the finish, which is long and refreshing.
At the Table: While many rosé wines are for summer sipping, this 2011 Chêne Bleu Rosé belongs at the table. It has the body and richness to pair with a wide variety of dishes, especially fish and seafood with a little spice, cold cuts and a host of grilled vegetable dishes. For a weeknight treat why not pair a glass with Anjali’s prosciutto and arugula pizza recipe or for a special occasion with Faith’s scallops with lime and cilantro. The options are many.
About Chêne Bleu Estate and the 2011 Rosé: The Chêne Bleu Estate is located in the south of France, where Provence meets the southern Rhône Valley. The estate takes its name from a magnificent, centuries-old blue oak tree on the property. Chêne Bleu is owned by Nicole and Xavier Rolet, who purchased the property in 1993 , and have spent over 13 years of hard work restoring the property and vineyards, bringing them back to productivity and their former glory.
The Chêne Bleu Estate and vineyards, situated in the foothills of Mont Ventoux, rise up to 2000 feet above sea level, and are considered some of the highest altitude vineyards in all of southern France.
Chêne Bleu focuses on what it calls ‘Super Rhone’ wines, wines created to best express their vineyard terroir, rather than automatically following the local appellation rules.
This 2011 Chêne Bleu Rosé is a blend of 60% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 5% Cincault. About 20% of the wine is aged for a short while in large, old oak before being blended and bottled.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne