Feature Coverage

Chêne Bleu: First “Super Rhône”: Couture Wines Produced from Pioneering Biodynamic Methods

ST. HELENA, CA (August 28, 2013) – Chêne Bleu teams up with importer Wilson Daniels to debut its couture wines across the U.S. market. Armed with vision and tenacity, one family is succeeding in using advanced biodynamic methods to produce the first “Super Rhône” wines from southern France. Exclusive to the Wilson Daniels portfolio are the multi-award-winning flagship red wines Abélard and Héloïse; the direct-press Rosé; and white wines Aliot and Viognier.

On a remote 450-acre private estate, high above Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas in the southern Rhône, is the meticulously restored ninth-century priory — La Verrière, the property that produces Chêne Bleu. Nearly 20 years ago, Xavier Rolet, his wife Nicole, Xavier’s sister Bénédicte, and brother-in-law Jean-Louis Gallucci single-mindedly set out to produce wines of the highest possible international standard. The extraordinary confluence of complex geology, unspoiled location and pure determination compelled the family to transform the abandoned vineyard and decayed priory into a state-of-the-art winemaking estate.

Stepping outside the AOC system, Chêne Bleu steers clear of preconceived notions and constraints of appellation, with the purpose of extreme originality and consistent quality. Nicole Rolet describes the two flagship reds, Abélard and Héloïse, named after a famous pair of lovers from medieval France, as representing masculine and feminine characters; both are balanced, bold and complex, yet almost the inverse of each other in terms of cépage. Abélard, the Grenache-led blend, is more muscular and southern Rhône in style. Héloïse, the Syrah-led blend, has more finesse and is suggestive of the northern Rhône.

August 28, 2013
Chêne Bleu: First “Super Rhône”: Couture Wines Produced from Pioneering Biodynamic Methods