The newly-launched Chêne Bleu Vin de Pays wines – A taste of Chêne Bleu

Last month saw the launch of the eagerly anticipated Chene Bleu range of vin de pays wines...

Last month saw the launch of the eagerly anticipated Chêne Bleu range of vin de pays wines. The estate, located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the foothills of Mount Ventoux, near Gigondas, was purchased in 1992 by Xavier Rolet, the newly appointed chief executive of the London Stock Exchange. Rolet, together with wife Nicole, sister Benedicte Gallucci and brother-in-law Jean-Louis Gallucci, has spent the last 10 years renovating the medieval propriety and restructuring the 400-year-old vineyards to create a state-of-the-art boutique winery. With no background in wine, it was down to Rolet’s wife Nicole to enroll in intensive wine courses in both France and California, and today the approach is totally biodynamic. The renowned microbiologists Claude and Lydia Bourguignon are involved in the project – they specialise in soil analysis – and top winemaker Zelma Long who visits twice a year: ‘I am the mentor or rather a counsellor for Chene Bleue; I don’t make the wine but taste the blend and give direction,’ she says.

The range consists of two whites, a rosé and two reds. The 2007s are much more harmonious than the estate’s first, 2006 vintage, and were produced using less new oak and picking the grapes earlier. The wines are distributed in UK by Philippe Messy of Sarment Wines (tel 020 8834 1723), but can also be purchased online at www.chenebleu.com.