Beautiful day at Chateau Bellegrave in Pomerol

"Natural nourishment!" Last call on Chateau Bellegrave's lovely 2010 Pomerol, Stock up on the brilliant 2o15s

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“It took prolonged, painstaking work to re-establish the soil’s underground life and give the plants the logical ingredient that we had forgotten: natural nourishment!”

Château Bellegrave was farmed conventionally, with synthetic products, for fifty years before taking on organic practices. They describe this shift, which began in the early 2000s, as “more than just a colossal undertaking” - but they are obviously happy with the choice: “Hares are back running between the rows [of vines] and birds are nesting again beneath the Merlot leaves.”

Owner, Jean-Marie Bouldy

Jean-Marie Bouldy, the second-generation owner of the estate, made the decision to commit to organic vineyard work after a law passed requiring his suppliers to provide safety data sheets. After realizing the dangerous quality of some materials, Bouldy “immersed himself in works devoted to organic cultivation.” Conversion began unofficially in 2001, leading to certification with ECOCERT in 2009. Today, we’re offering the last few cases available of the Château Bellegrave 2010, as well as highlighting the well-stocked vintage 2015.

The 2010 Château Bellegrave is something serious. Not an outright meaty wine, it's savory in more of an alluring, herbaceous, mint-and-tobacco way. An hour open reveals a nose of red fruit, flavors of dark minerals and plum, and a bracing structure of lean edges and good acidity. The crucial stuffing, the attractive, semi-plump middle, forms after three hours or so of air. At this point, the wine's aromas and flavors have expanded, too. Dashes of extra-dark cocoa and dried cherries hum under more pungent and lasting aromas of black pepper, leather and smoke. A subtle, bitter kiss of ground espresso and an even subtler peck of mint give pleasurable nuance to a palate of dates, plum, and red currants. No cellaring needed, drink this today - just open it at 5 if your meal begins at 8.

Château Bellegrave's 2015 Pomerol doesn't tip-toe like the more accented 2010. Yes, it takes the same amount of time as the older vintage to come together, but the concentration and strength of the wine is noticeable the instant the cork is popped. At its prime, it has a fantastic nose of dark cherry, woodsy spice, and a rich smell of birch and cinnamon. The palate is equally as powerful, displaying flavors of plum and blackberry, along with spicy flavors of fennel and caraway seeds.The mouthfeel is tannic, but a wash of clean acidity keeps the wine from being gritty or overly chewy. The most stand out quality of this wine was the smell I took before my last sip, which was a pungent smell of Autumn, intense with the scent of maple. A good pairing with roast chicken, but definitely qualifies for heartier, oilier meats, like lamb. This ripe wine is delicious today, but has many years ahead.

Hand harvest at Chateau Bellegrave

Located on the Right Bank, in the south-west part of Pomerol, Château Bellegrave covers 8.5 hectares of vines. Three quarters of their plots are planted to Merlot, Pomerol’s major grape, with the remaining planted to Cabernet Franc. The soil “consists of stony surface gravel, clay and sand with a subsoil rich in iron oxide, also known as ‘crasse de fer," according to the website. All fruit is picked by hand, beginning with whatever parcel ripens first. 

Bouldy also covets low-intervention techniques in his cellar. Grapes, after being destemmed, are “gently trodden,” starting the maceration process while natural fermentation begins. Château Bellegrave’s website makes a point of highlighting the Allier oak vats they use to age their wines, which come from the Forest of Tronçais, a national forest in the dead-center of France. According to the producer, it is “a very fine-grained wood that provides delicate spice notes to the wine.” Aging lasts roughly 20 months before bottling.

When our distributor reached out to say that the 2010s were running low, my first thought was writing an email offer. This vintage and the 2015 have many differences, but together they offer a snapshot of Jean-Marie Bouldy's work and his commitment to good practices. The bottles are both perfect food wines, that have the spirit of a dinner with family or friends. May Château Bellegrave continue on its healthy and delicious journey within the vines of Pomerol. David Hatzopoulos

No Longer Available

Bellegrave 2010 Pomerol

The 2010 Château Bellegrave? is something serious. Not an outright meaty wine, it's savory in more of an alluring, herbaceous, mint-and-tobacco way. An hour open reveals a nose of red fruit, flavors of dark minerals and plum, and a bracing structure of lean edges and good acidity. The crucial stuffing, the attractive, semi-plump middle, forms after three hours or so of air. At this point, the wine's aromas and flavors have expanded, too. Dashes of extra-dark cocoa and dried cherries hum under more pungent and lasting aromas of black pepper, leather and smoke. A subtle, bitter kiss of ground espresso and an even subtler peck of mint give pleasurable nuance to a palate of dates, plum, and red currants. No cellaring needed, drink this today - just open it at 5 if your meal begins at 8. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $64.99

  • Organic

Bellegrave 2015 Pomerol

Château Bellegrave's 2015 Pomerol doesn't tip-toe like the shier, more accented 2010. Yes, it takes the same amount of time as the older vintage to come together, but the concentration and strength of the wine is noticeable the instant the cork is popped. At its prime, it has a fantastic nose of dark cherry, woodsy spice, and a rich smell of birch and cinnamon. The palate is equally as powerful, displaying flavors of plum and blackberry, along with spicy flavors of fennel and caraway seeds.The mouthfeel is tannic, but a wash of clean acidity keeps the wine from being gritty or overly chewy. The most stand out quality of this wine was the smell I took before my last sip, which was a pungent smell of Autumn, intense with the scent of maple. A good pairing with roast chicken, but definitely qualifies for heartier, oilier meats, like lamb. This ripe wine is delicious today, but has many years ahead. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $67.99

  • Organic