Like Tour St Christophe, Chateau Bellefont-Belicier has benefited from an owner willing to rejuvenate the estate. Tasting the 2020 Chateau Bellefont-Belcier it was intense. Macerated fruits, aniseed, oak. A fair chunk of tannin. Chateau Bellefont-Belcier is a wine that will go through many phases and all will charming.
Chateau Bellefont-Belcier St Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2020 is sold En-Primeur. You order and pay now, to receive the En-Primeur pricing. You will receive the wine in mid-late 2023
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 2020 Wine Review
The Wine Cellar Insider
“With a strong touch of minerality, the wine is elegant, fresh and refined with good intensity. The fruit is vibrant, lifted and precise. There is a refinement and purity in the sweet, red fruits. The finish is loaded with flowers, crushed rocks and stones providing you with length, complexity and freshness coupled with the ability to age and evolve. The wine was made from blending 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and is aged in a combination of 30% foudres and 30% new, French oak.”
“Sappy, deeply fruited, blackberry and bilberry with subtle juice and smoke running through it. Very much back on the right road for this estate under the Peter Kwok team, with Jean-Christophe Meyrou director and the excellent Jerome Aguirre as winemaker. The toasted black coffee finish is well judged, adding to the savoury and enjoyable feel. 30% new oak. A yield of 37hl/ha, 3.65pH. Drinking Window 2027 – 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.
The noble variety of Bordeaux’s left bank. Firm tannins, a streak of acidity and punctuated by flavours of cassis, violets, spice and leather. The best examples can age for the long-term. Although Cabernet does often require blending with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Shiraz to fix the hole it has in its middle palate.
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.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is pretty special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product. This includes the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. This is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
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I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.