Stirring The Lees With James Molesworth
“With its vineyards sitting atop a mountain above the Southern Rhône town of Le Crestet and set around a 9th-century priory, Chêne Bleu is fairly unique. I sat down with owner Nicole Sierra-Rolet and winemaker Thomas Oui to taste through some unreleased vintages and talk about where this project is going. For background, reference my blog notes from 2014.
“The site itself, based on altitude and longitude, is basically the limit of where Grenache will ripen. Consequently, a big, meaty style of wine is only going to occur in outlier vintages here—2010, for example. Now with a decade of experience developing the site, they are establishing a ripe but elegant style here, with silky, structured reds marked by pure fruit and floral notes.
“Sierra-Rolet likes to ask questions, of herself and of her team. The approach here continues to be a wine laboratory of sorts, with Sierra-Rolet soliciting lots of advice and showing a willingness to experiment. She’s worked with Philippe Cambie, Alain Graillot and the late Paul Pontallier, among others…”
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