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Chateau Bellevue Mondotte St. Emilion 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • RP99
  • WS97
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The wine's color is reminiscent of black cherries, a sign of perfect youth. Its aromas are an elegant association of fresh and jammy black fruit; careful aging has added a fine, charming woodiness and additional grilled notes of toasted bread. On the palate the attack is fresh, and young, tight tannins are well-incorporated into the wine's body. The tannins will develop with time, but for now they are nicely balanced with the wine's fresh, nervous acidity. The mid-palate is opulent, with a texture that reflects the wine's spirited style. The finish is still dominated by young tannins, and is very long, flavorful and refined. Although this wine will offer great pleasurein several years, it has an incredible potential to age well into the future.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This tiny gem of a property, cropped at 15 hectoliters per hectare, is composed of 5 acres of 45-year old Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and a tiny parcel of Cabernet Sauvignon. It has produced one of the vintage’s most compelling wines in 2005. Sadly, there are only 4,000 bottles of this inky/purple-hued St.-Emilion. It boasts an extraordinary perfume of graphite, blackberries, cassis, and sweet kirsch intermixed with notes of incense, spice box, licorice, and subtle wood. Stunningly rich with full body, zesty acidity, and high but velvety tannins, the final blend is composed of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. This monumental St.-Emilion requires a decade of cellaring, but it should last for 4-5 decades. It will unquestionably be one of the vintage’s immortals. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2035.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
The crushed blackberry and raspberry are wonderful in this wine. Full-bodied, with superpolished tannins and loads of ripe fruit, toasty oak and coffee on the palate. Goes on and on. An opulent young red. Best after 2016. 420 cases made. –JS
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Chateau Bellevue

Chateau Bellevue

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Chateau Bellevue, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
2005 Mondotte St. Emilion
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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

VCCBWPII_1001_05_2005 Item# 101729