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Chateau Bellevue (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • JS98
  • V96
  • WE94
  • D93
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • JS97
  • RP94
  • WE94
  • D93
  • WS93
  • JS94
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • RP94
  • WS91
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • RP95
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 98
James Suckling
This is very exciting this year with a profound depth and power of fruit in addition to mineral undertones. Full and intense. Great finish. Better than the 2015?
Barrel Sample: 97-98 Points
V 96
Vinous
The 2016 Bellevue is simply extraordinary. The aromatics alone are captivating, but it is the wine's balance and poise that are most impressive. Graphite, gravel, smoke, licorice, crème de cassis and blueberry jam all flesh out on the palate as this deep, dense Saint-Emilion shows off its personality. Hints of blood orange and citrus add a touch of freshness. Complete and satisfying, Bellevue is a total knock-out on 2016. Tasted two times.
Barrel Sample: 93-96 Points
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
This 100% Merlot is elegant, fresh and fruity, with fine acidity and just enough structure. The wine has a fresh energy that makes it delicious, and a delicious juiciness at the end.
Barrel Sample: 92–94 Points
D 93
Decanter
From the Angélus stable, this lovely property has a 0.5ha slice on the top of plateau, with the remaining 6ha on clay limestone top slopes. Late ripening soils mean that this can be austere when young, even though it is 100% Merlot. Plum fruits, wild berries and a touch of austerity through the mid-palate. Needs time in the glass, but it opens to reveal lovely elegant mineral notes that layer over the top of restrained power.
Barrel Sample
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Bellevue has an attractive bouquet with bright redcurrant and cassis notes although not as complex as either the Angelus or Carillon d'Angelus. The palate is medium-bodied with smooth tannin, silky to the touch with a touch of oyster shell tincturing the red fruit on the finish. Probably earlier drinking that others, it is a well-crafted Saint Emilion.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 Points
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Chateau Bellevue

Chateau Bellevue

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Chateau Bellevue, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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The Chateau was the property of the de Conink and Pradel de Lavaux families, also owners of the historic negociant house of Horeau-Beylot. In September 2007, Chateau Angélus acquired a 50% share in the company. This purchase was motivated as much by the geographical situation of the chateau, next-door to Angélus, as well as chateaux Beaséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse and Beau-Séjour Bécot, as by the exceptional quality of its terroir. Already in 1938, Maurice de Boüard de Laforest wished to buy the property and seventy years later his children and grand-children have realised his dream.

It is the de Lavaux family who hold the other half of the property. Together, the two families will carry on the work started in 2000 by Nicolas Thienpont and Stéphane Derenoncourt. The promotion of the property will be reinforced by the dynamism of Chateau Angelus.

St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vienyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BALF202247_2016 Item# 202247