NOTE Bellefont-Belcier St Emilion 2018 is due to arrive mid-late 2021.
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 is their first ‘proper’ vintage at the Estate.
“(70 Merlot, 25 Cabernet Franc, 5 Cabernet Sauvignon) | 30% new oak | 14.3% alc | 37 hl/ha | Production is 55000 bottles | Harvested between the 20th September and 10th October A suave and controlled Bellefont-Belcier with much of the flavour sitting right at the back of the palate and this is fascinating because it builds slowly to a crescendo of flavour. The palate is sleek and not as dense as many wines on account of the elegance and freshness of the Cabernet Franc which also adds perfume and class. A slow wine to evolve, this will be a classic, but one must wait for more than a decade for this wine to blossom.” Score: 18+ Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019
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 actually 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 in colour, 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.
Quality Red Bordeaux in 2018 will be deeply coloured, aromatically complex, and opulent in the mouth. While it sounds like they will be ready to go from day one, most experts are predicting this is a vintage for long-term cellaring. Think 30 years or more! It wasn’t the best start to the vintage so quality is not uniform. Look for Northern Medoc, Margaux, Pomerol and Saint-Emilion.