Chêne Bleu Héloïse, Vin de Pays du Vaucluse – 2011 – Jancis Robinson – 17 Points
Deep crimson with very little sign of age in the colour. On the nose this is seductive like the northern Rhône in its complex peppery, smoky sophistication but with an added smoky bacon sweetness. On the palate, riper than the northern Rhône and more generous, still with lovely peppery Syrah flavour, plus a slight spicy meatiness and just a hint of leathery complexity and oak’s sweet spice. The tannins are à point – ie you could drink this now, with food, as it was intended, or you could certainly cellar it for at least another decade. I admire the fact that this vintage has only just been released when delaying it has serious financial implications for the producer. Long, smooth, lingering and cool aftertaste, which is surprising given the alcohol level. Unusual to include Roussanne rather than Viognier in the blend. I am not sure how it influences the wine but I think it is in a slight creamy fruit sweetness on the finish. Tasted again, lightly chilled, two days later, this is still beautifully fresh and lively.