Chêne Bleu Abélard, AOC Ventoux – 2011 – Jancis Robinson – 17.5 Points
Deepest crimson, very youthful in appearance. On the nose, riper and sweeter than the Héloïse, even a hint of red fruits as well as the peppery bramble notes and an attractive slight leafiness – even though I sometimes find Chêne Bleu’s Grenache is almost more like Syrah in its dry elegance. Smooth yet still a little chewy (without food) with the sweetness of Grenache and a start of its leathery development. Not as elegant as the Héloïse in this vintage but generous and chewy with a long way to go, and a more savoury side starting to show in a meaty, black-olive flavour on the finish. Powerful, long and with the freshness to balance the power. Two days later, and slightly chilled, this seems to have become a little slimmer. Still rich and generous but with more elegance on the long finish.