Chateau Bellefont-Belcier St Emilion is 12.5 hectare of vines on the South facing Cote Pavie. The plantings are 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. These vines have an average age of 30 years. Chateaux Pavie, Troplong Mondot, La Mondotte, and Tertre Roteboeuf are all close neighbours. Most of the terroir is clay and limestone with some sand towards the bottom of the slope. New owners took over in 2017 and went about immediately renovating the property. 2018 was their first ‘proper’ vintage at the Estate.
Chateau Bellefont-Belcier St Emilion Grand Cru Classe Notes
I’ve been buying Chateau Bellefont-Belcier for the last couple of years because it is a superstar in the making. Chateau Bellefont-Belcier is living up to its potential and I want in before the prices skyrocket. 2019 is another step in the evolution.
Tasted by Jane Anson(at Bordeaux, 01 June 2020)
Bellefont-Belcier is now fully owned by Peter Kwok, after a number of years with rotating chairs of owners and co-owners. Plenty of layers going on here, alongside silky tannins. Smooth and appealing as in 2018 but with a more serious slant, and some excellent depth of fruit and intent. Really like this wine, feels like it is stepping into a more recognisable style – as it should in its location next to Pavie. 40% new oak, 3.7pH.
Drinking Window 2025 – 2040
Situated near the Atlantic coast of France. The Gironde, Dordogne and Garonne rivers provide its shape. Cool conditions and frequent rainfall, including during harvest time, make Bordeaux quite a marginal region with vintages frequently ruined by rain or saved from the rain at the last-minute by timely sunshine.
With approximately 5400 hectares planted it is a vast appellation with a few distinct personalities. Like the famous neighbour Pomerol, the wines are Merlot dominant and offer the silk, perfume and charm that Merlot can give. The best of the wines will live as long as, if not longer than most Left Bank wines and often cost two or three times more.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus, they are almost not needed.
Is one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux. But also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red, highlight aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
This year I got to taste the barrel samples for the first time. And while I don’t think 2019 is the vintage of the century. But is of outstanding quality. 2019 is up there with some of the best in the modern era. What’s more, this is the most affordable great vintage of Bordeaux we’ve seen in many, many years. And if you’ve been as lucky as I have and drunk a fair bit of mature Bordeaux, you will know that the great vintages, like 2019, are always a pleasure to drink.