Chêne Bleu - 'Astralabe' Blanc 2019

$54.00
Sale price

Regular price $54.00

"Tasting Note: 55% Grenache Blanc, 20% Rolle, 10% Clairette, 10% Rousanne, 5% Viognier. A floral nose with notes of fleshy white peach and almond. The palate is round, mouth-filling and rich with good acid backbone.

Certification: Organic, Biodynamic"

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Chêne Bleu

Blessed with a confluence of natural factors, Chêne Bleu has the benefit of an exceptional location, multifaceted geology, and a southern Rhône climate with soils more typical of the northern Rhône.

Isolated and protected, high in a mountain saddle, Chêne Bleu has its provenance in a unique, four-corner borderland of the département of Vaucluse in the southern Rhône, where the boundaries of Gigondas, Côtes du Ventoux, Côtes du Rhône and Séguret come together. This area is located in the foothills of Mont Ventoux, 550 to 630 meters (1,800 to 2,000 feet) above sea level, on the northern slopes of a spectacular limestone outcropping known as the Dentelles de Montmirail (from the Latin “Mons Mirabilis, meaning “Lace of Marvelous Mountains”). It enjoys an exceptional terroir due to this pristine, remote location and its complex geology, with many exposed strata of rock.

The 135-hectare (340-acre) estate has existed since the ninth century and was christened “La Verrière,” or “The Glassmaking Workshop,” in 1427 by Aliot de Montvin, an artisan glassblower of noble birth. The estate is surrounded by forests, hills and valleys in spectacular isolation that, in conjunction with its elevation, create a unique microterroir. In fact, Chêne Bleu is located within the UNESCO-designated Mont Ventoux Biosphere Reserve, an 81,000-hectare (more than 200,000 acres) nature preserve with its own microclimate that has been set aside in recognition of its diversity of flora and fauna.

A working vineyard since the Middle Ages, the vines had not been tended during the past 50 years. The vineyard plots are planted on the slopes of the Dentelles and total 35 hectares (87 acres). Chêne Bleu is one of the highest vineyards in the entire region, and this altitude provides essential temperature variations between day and night, allowing the grapes to ripen more slowly and preserving acidity in the cool nights. Harvest can be up to five weeks later than in the valleys below. Being so far south, on the same latitude as Gigondas, there are more than 300 sunny days in the year to ensure the grapes’ physiological ripeness, while the altitude and geology assure acidity and freshness. This results in wines that have the aromas and flavors of the southern Rhône, the finesse of the northern Rhône and the aging potential the region’s finest AOCs.

Xavier and Nicole Rolet purchased the property in 1993, enchanted by the secluded location of the vineyard and the history of the ancient priory that had been built nearly 1,000 years ago. The estate had been abandoned for much of the previous century, and the buildings were in ruins. The Rolets became completely passionate about every aspect of the place and the project, determined to do absolutely everything necessary to bring it to the highest possible world standards. A decade of meticulous work was required to restore the priory and nurture the neglected vineyards back to health.

With time, each small improvement in the vineyard was seen to be rewarded ten-fold with qualitative results, and expert advisors became extremely excited about the potential for the estate to produce “premier cru” calibre wines. The project evolved into a full-fledged winemaking endeavor that entailed reviving and replanting the vineyards, building a state-of-the-art multi-level winery and converting to biodynamic viticulture. Fortunately, much of Xavier’s family was involved in winemaking, and his sister Bénédicte Gallucci and brother-in-law Jean-Louis Gallucci joined the team as viticulturist and cellar master/winemaker, respectively. Encouraged by some of the top oenological talent in the world, Chêne Bleu released its first vintage in 2006.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Rhone White Blend

Just like the Rhone Red Blend you will often find an amalgam of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier in blends. Whilst they are less common than their red counterparts they play an important role in the aromatic white world. Leading winemakers in South Africa, Australia and California have helped to popularise them outside of France.


The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

"Tasting Note: 55% Grenache Blanc, 20% Rolle, 10% Clairette, 10% Rousanne, 5% Viognier. A floral nose with notes of fleshy white peach and almond. The palate is round, mouth-filling and rich with good acid backbone.

Certification: Organic, Biodynamic"

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Chêne Bleu

Blessed with a confluence of natural factors, Chêne Bleu has the benefit of an exceptional location, multifaceted geology, and a southern Rhône climate with soils more typical of the northern Rhône.

Isolated and protected, high in a mountain saddle, Chêne Bleu has its provenance in a unique, four-corner borderland of the département of Vaucluse in the southern Rhône, where the boundaries of Gigondas, Côtes du Ventoux, Côtes du Rhône and Séguret come together. This area is located in the foothills of Mont Ventoux, 550 to 630 meters (1,800 to 2,000 feet) above sea level, on the northern slopes of a spectacular limestone outcropping known as the Dentelles de Montmirail (from the Latin “Mons Mirabilis, meaning “Lace of Marvelous Mountains”). It enjoys an exceptional terroir due to this pristine, remote location and its complex geology, with many exposed strata of rock.

The 135-hectare (340-acre) estate has existed since the ninth century and was christened “La Verrière,” or “The Glassmaking Workshop,” in 1427 by Aliot de Montvin, an artisan glassblower of noble birth. The estate is surrounded by forests, hills and valleys in spectacular isolation that, in conjunction with its elevation, create a unique microterroir. In fact, Chêne Bleu is located within the UNESCO-designated Mont Ventoux Biosphere Reserve, an 81,000-hectare (more than 200,000 acres) nature preserve with its own microclimate that has been set aside in recognition of its diversity of flora and fauna.

A working vineyard since the Middle Ages, the vines had not been tended during the past 50 years. The vineyard plots are planted on the slopes of the Dentelles and total 35 hectares (87 acres). Chêne Bleu is one of the highest vineyards in the entire region, and this altitude provides essential temperature variations between day and night, allowing the grapes to ripen more slowly and preserving acidity in the cool nights. Harvest can be up to five weeks later than in the valleys below. Being so far south, on the same latitude as Gigondas, there are more than 300 sunny days in the year to ensure the grapes’ physiological ripeness, while the altitude and geology assure acidity and freshness. This results in wines that have the aromas and flavors of the southern Rhône, the finesse of the northern Rhône and the aging potential the region’s finest AOCs.

Xavier and Nicole Rolet purchased the property in 1993, enchanted by the secluded location of the vineyard and the history of the ancient priory that had been built nearly 1,000 years ago. The estate had been abandoned for much of the previous century, and the buildings were in ruins. The Rolets became completely passionate about every aspect of the place and the project, determined to do absolutely everything necessary to bring it to the highest possible world standards. A decade of meticulous work was required to restore the priory and nurture the neglected vineyards back to health.

With time, each small improvement in the vineyard was seen to be rewarded ten-fold with qualitative results, and expert advisors became extremely excited about the potential for the estate to produce “premier cru” calibre wines. The project evolved into a full-fledged winemaking endeavor that entailed reviving and replanting the vineyards, building a state-of-the-art multi-level winery and converting to biodynamic viticulture. Fortunately, much of Xavier’s family was involved in winemaking, and his sister Bénédicte Gallucci and brother-in-law Jean-Louis Gallucci joined the team as viticulturist and cellar master/winemaker, respectively. Encouraged by some of the top oenological talent in the world, Chêne Bleu released its first vintage in 2006.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Rhone White Blend

Just like the Rhone Red Blend you will often find an amalgam of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier in blends. Whilst they are less common than their red counterparts they play an important role in the aromatic white world. Leading winemakers in South Africa, Australia and California have helped to popularise them outside of France.


The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.