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2020 Bellefont Belcier

2020 Bellefont Belcier

98 JD

Featured Review
The finest wine I've tasted from this estate, the 2020 Château Bellefont-Belcier is an incredibly gorgeous blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby/purple-hued, it offers a great nose of cassis, ripe black cherries, camphor, dried flowers, cedar, and forest floor. Bringing gorgeous richness, it nevertheless stays flawlessly balanced, with ultra-fine tannins and a great finish. The purity of fruit here is just about off the charts. While it already offers pleasure, it's going to benefit from short-term cellaring and have 20-25 years of prime drinking. This estate uses a five-day cold soak and fermentation, all in concrete, spanning 25 days. Malolactic fermentation occurs in barrel (four months on lees), and the wine spends 18 months in 30% new French oak, with the balance in once- and twice-used barrels. Yields in 2020 were also reasonable at 34 hectoliters per hectare. Jeb Dunnuck

Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JD

Critic Reviews

The finest wine I’ve tasted from this estate, the 2020 Château Bellefont-Belcier is an incredibly gorgeous blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby/purple-hued, it offers a great nose of cassis, ripe black cherries, camphor, dried flowers, cedar, and forest floor. Bringing gorgeous richness, it nevertheless stays flawlessly balanced, with ultra-fine tannins and a great finish. The purity of fruit here is just about off the charts. While it already offers pleasure, it’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and have 20-25 years of prime drinking. This estate uses a five-day cold soak and fermentation, all in concrete, spanning 25 days. Malolactic fermentation occurs in barrel (four months on lees), and the wine spends 18 months in 30% new French oak, with the balance in once- and twice-used barrels. Yields in 2020 were also reasonable at 34 hectoliters per hectare.

Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JD
Fascinating aromas of plums, peaches, lavender, violets, and other flowers. Hints of fresh herbs, too. So complex. Full-bodied yet so elegant and polished with a curated and focused palate. Hints of chocolate at the end. It’s so subtle and complex. Weightless on the palate. About 30% was aged in 30 hectoliter casks. 72% merlot, 18% cabernet franc and 10% cabernet sauvignon.

James Suckling | 97 JS
The 2020 Bellefont Belcier is a terrific follow up to the excellent 2019. Wafting from the glass with aromas of dark berries, licorice, bay leaf and spices, it’s medium to full-bodied, seamless and refined, with lovely depth at the core, vibrant acids and a long, chalky finish. It’s great to see one of Saint-Émilion’s sleeping giants awakening.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94+ RP
The 2020 Bellefont-Belcier signals a major move away from the potent, brooding style of years past towards an expression of this site that seeks greater finesse. That is immediately apparent in the wine’s feel and tannin profile. Dark plum, lavender, espresso, menthol, licorice and spice are all laced together. I would give the 2020 a few years to soften. It is super-promising, that much is clear.

Vinous Media | 94 VM
A vivid and vibrant colour in the glass and fruitiness on the palate. This has crisp and crunchy blackcurrant and plum fruit - fragrant and quite potent but with a lovely smooth and ripe texture where the tannins support rather than overwhelm the fruit and this stays the right side of being too dry in the mouth. It’s on the richer side, and is still extremely youthful and forward, but I like the styling and there is lots of freshness which keeps the palate wide and open. Lots of glamour on show with a sleekness to the overall impression. Confident winemaking.

Bellefont Belcier | 94 DEC

Wine Details for 2020 Bellefont Belcier

Type of Wine Bordeaux Red : Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend : The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.

Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.

For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.

Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.



For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.



France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.



France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.



With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.


Overview

Producer Belcier

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