08 Apr Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Chêne Bleu Rosé 2016
Each week, it is my goal to share the one thing that stood out that week. It could be a wine, a cocktail, a dish or something, someone or somewhere that stood out among everything else. This week proved to be a challenge to find that one thing. I have spent the week traveling from the north to the south of France, visiting six regions and eight wineries. We have eaten a lot and tasted a lot of wine….and all of it was great! The breads, cheeses, butter are just a few to name. And there were so many one-of-a-kind experiences that I promise to share. But, if I have to pick one thing as the Please The Palate “pick-of-the-week,” it is the Chêne Bleu Rosé 2016.
I was first introduced to Chêne Bleu more than a year ago when I met owner Nicole Rolet in Los Angeles and wrote about her and her winery. At the time, I learned about her winery in the mountains which sits at the crossroads of four appellations in the Southern Rhone – Gigondas, Cotes du Ventoux, Cotes du Rhone and Sequret. I also had the pleasure to taste two of her wines – Abèlard, a grenache blend, and Hèloïse, a syrah blend.
This week I had the privilege to visit Chêne Bleu during my journey through France. We tasted the current vintages of the entire line-up of wines, from white to red and the wine that stood out was the Chêne Bleu Rosé 2016. In the past, their rosé has been made with grenache, syrah and cinsault. But in 2016, in addition to 67% grenache, 18% syrah and 5% cinsault, they not only added 5% mourvedre but 5% vermentiono (aka rolle). Thirty percent of the wine was aged in barrels for two months to add texture and flavor.
The resulting rosé is delicious. The pale pink wine is aromatic, bright and crisp but also complex. The aromatics, which come from the small percentage of vermentino, leap from the glass. White peach, lime, papaya and citrus zest are on the nose and on the palate there is tart cherry, tangerine, white flowers and granite. The wine has soft acidity that sits on the front of the palate which there is a delicate creaminess on the mid-palate.
Winemaker Jean-Louis Gallucci wanted a wine that was fresh, fruity and lean with bright aromatics but also rich enough to pair with food. As Gallucci explained, “rosé IS wine.” And this is a serious rosé that can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif but is also designed for food. It will pair with salmon, tuna, charcuterie or or white fish with garlic mayo aioli, as I enjoyed it.
During our visit to Chêne Bleu, our group was the first to try the 2016 Rosé but rest assured it is currently on the boats on its way to the U.S. It will be in the country by next week and should be available in the market before the end of the month. It will cost between $25-$30.
Chêne Bleu Winery Rosé 2016 is everything you want in a rosé (fresh, bright, crisp) and more (rounder and more complex) and that is why it is the Please The Palate “pick of the week.”