Truly a remarkable wine on so many levels–from the land, the label, the history and the wine. Firstly, the area is in the Rhone Valley and sits on top of a hillside in Provence, near Gigondas. Here is a picture from their website.
Secondly, the label is as mysterious and elusive as the wine. The label shows their respect of the land and history. They show on the label dozens of references as to what makes their wine and project so unique. Embedded in the label are five “bunny rabbits”. Find them and submit to “Where’s Fluffy?” for a prize from the winery!
Now add the name and its meaning for the third facet of this wine. Abélard is one of two of their leading wines, Héloïse the other. In the Middle Ages, Abélard was a theologian and philosopher who had an illicit romance with his disciple Héloïse. Unfortunately they were forced into separation but their love lasted decades of monastic seclusion and correspondence. Abélard, the Grenache blend, is strong, bold and structured. Whereas Héloïse, the Syrah blend, shows a more elegant and softer side with restraint. The winery made both of these wines to showcase their uncompromising commitment of their love, passion and thinking of their vineyard.
While all of this and I haven’t even begun talking the wine! If these auxiliary points were not enough to entice you to explore getting this wine, hopefully the description will. Initially when pulling this out of the cellar with a listing of Grenache/Syrah, I was expecting a mild and light French Grenache. This was so far from reality. This is perhaps one of the largest and extremely robust French wines I have had the opportunity to drink. This is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that spent 18 months in French oak barrels.
On the eyes, it is a deep ruby red and medium weight. On the nose, aromas of blueberries, licorice and black berries almost overwhelm the senses. The spices of various herbs (pepper & sage) linger in the background. On the palate, one is astonished with the liveliness of raspberries, cherry and mocha which make this wine plush and layered. The finish offers up supple tannins with just enough oak to provide “a passing hint of old world” winemaking. This is truly a rich and concentrated offering.
This is must wine to be sought after for a memorable experience.