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Chateau Bellevue Claribes Bordeaux Sainte Foy 2003

Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    Living in an area that is dominated by the effects of the sea, the people of Bordeaux have always been drawn, mostly by necessity, to all things that are nautical. Shipyards dominate the coast and surfers flock to the Peninsula of Lege Cap-Ferret. The inland Gironde estuary attracts windsurfers thrilled by the winds and concurrent waves of the Mascaret. The Chaloupe, which graces our bottle, is a small sloop which, originally, was used to harvest the rich oysters, crab, and lobsters offshore. It is known currently as the craft-of-choice among the fashionable, young, vacationing gourmands who come to Bordeaux in search of the perfect day.

    The 28 acres estate is planted to both vineyards and lush floral gardens. The wine produced from the vines is 66% Merlot for fruity roundness, 20% Carbernet Franc for structure, color and spice, and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon for lush cassis flavor and tannin. It is drinkable now or can be aged for 3-5 years.

    In 2003, crop levels were very low, so the wines are very concentrated. With quantity low and quality very high, this is a rare bargain in an otherwise expensive vintage.

    This wine pairs well with hearty stews, aged hard cheeses and all grilled meets.

    Critical Acclaim

    Chateau Bellevue Claribes

    Chateau Bellevue Claribes

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    Chateau Bellevue Claribes, , France - Bordeaux
    Chateau Bellevue Claribes
    Chateau Bellevue Claribes has been in the Sellier de Brugiere family since 1720.

    The estate, located in Sainte Foy, half way between Saint Emilion and Monbazillac, has a rich oenological history manifesting itself in the limestone caves where Gallo-Romans stored wines made from vines planted in 235 B.C.

    More recently, monks from a nearby abbey made wines to quench the thirst of peasants in the Middle Ages. The caves at the estate are used to this day.

    Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This sub-zone of Tuscany has it all—sweeping views of undulating hills, the hot Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine, and a rich artistic heritage. Historically packaged in short, round, straw-covered bottles known as “fiaschi” and containing insipid red liquid, Chianti today is typically not your Italian grandfather’s pizza wine. The heart of the Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, as the region has expanded its boundaries over time to capitalize on the wine’s fame, thus diluting its reputation. Within Chianti there are seven other subzones with unique characteristics, including Colli Senesi, Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Rufina.

    Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 20% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Mammolo, and Marzemino, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah have also been approved in more recent years. Basic, inexpensive Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner involving red sauce. At its apex, it is savory and rustic with high acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, salami, balsamic vinegar, and smoky tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.

    Sangiovese

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    The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

    In the Glass

    Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

    Perfect Pairings

    Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

    Sommelier Secret

    Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

    VCF10703_2003 Item# 78523

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