Chateau Bellevue, Grand Cru Classé, St Emilion, 2018

  Château Bellevue

Chateau Bellevue, Grand Cru Classé, St Emilion

This 100% Merlot cuvee from the slopes above Angelus is often overlooked. This Clay and limestone terroir is capable of producing really sensual, fleshy, even opulent wines that can age beautifully. Since the late 2000s, Hubert de Bouard has been consulting, and he is putting his technical know-how to good effect. The 2018 is the most impressive young Bellevue we have tasted. Cloaked in fine oak, the bouquet offers flamboyant aromas of crème de cassis, fruit pastels, graphite and sumptuous griotte liqueur. This is very seductive and deeply mineral with an abundance of creamy dark fruit, some starry redcurrants and harmonious tannins. This should be one of the best buys of 2018.

Contains Sulphites.

Appellation: St Emilion

St-Émilion is a very different region to those of the Médoc, dominated by small-holding farmers and estates rather than grand Châteaux. Merlot is widely planted as is Cabernet Franc in some parts. The wines are enormously variable in style depending on the terroir, the grape variety make-up and winemaking style. Loosely the region is divided between the limestone Côtes, Graves or gravelly limestone plateau or the sandy alluvial soils nearer the Dordogne. Traditionally Médoc wines were trade from Bordeaux and St Emilions from Libourne so they have their own classification system separate to that of 1855. The classification is revised every ten years and falls into four categories, St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé
Most of the district's best properties are either on the steep, clay-limestone hillsides immediately below the town or on a gravelly section of the plateau west of St Emilion itself abutting Pomerol. There are several high profile estates in the region, including Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Figeac, Le Dôme, Valandraud and Pavie.

Grape Type: Merlot

The supple, alluring plummy characteristics of Merlot have made it hugely popular the world over. It is often blended with the more structured Cabernet Sauvignon, though on its own there are some very serious, long-lived examples in Pomerol and Saint Emilion, where it is planted on both cool clay and hotter gravely soils. It is grown more extensively throughout France and the rest of the world to produce soft, approachable, uncomplicated wines, namely in the Languedoc, Chile, California, Italy and Australia.