Château Bellevue – 2017

Update 20.6.2019(27.2.2019)billn

Tasted in the Château Bellevue with Tristan Larsen, 20 February 2019.

Château de Bellevue
Lieu-dit Bellevue
69910 Villié-Morgon
Tel: +33 4 74 66 98 88

Tristan is here at the domaine for a couple of years now, having taken on the responsibility from Claire Forestier.

Tristan on 2018:
Our first year separating some climat wines – also with new livery for the labels. We are now really concentrating on the Morgon – there’s still a Fleurie but we have no more Brouilly. 2018 was a canicule year which followed a great flowering – though the yield was still quite high – some vines produced grapes that were normal and concentrated, some with more volume and less concentration. I think the two together make a good balance – in fact I’m agreeably surprised with the quality of some of the wines, but we shouldn’t forget that this wasn’t an easy vintage to vinify – there is much possibility for highly variable wines, despite beautifully clean grapes.

Tristan on 2017:
2017 is a very sad vintage, with two episodes of hail – we had 100% losses in some places. I expected maladies after the hail but it was very dry and hot the days that followed, and I give thanks to the vibrating triage table for doing a sorting of dry grapes that probably wasn’t possible manually. The best I hoped for at that time were nice wines that would be drinking well after 5 years – in the end I think we have achieved more. We always do a small amount of destemming here and with the hail causing damage to the stems, there wasn’t going to be a change to that. Overall we lost over 60% of our grapes compared to a normal year.

There is 15 hectares of vines here at the château, but they actually vinify 25-30 here as the Hospices de Moulin à Vent wine is also vinified here.

The wines…

The first two wines have some structure that you should wait for, the second two wines anyway won’t be released for sale for almost 5 years – the result is the same then!

2017 Fleurie
This is mainly exported and will keep its old label. Still in tank for bottling in the next 2-3 weeks.
A beautiful, clean red-berry fruit – gorgeous. In the mouth, round, quite supple but also a lot of structural tannin here. It will need much more patience than the nose suggested. Slightly saline, lots of slightly spiced complexity – this will be fine, but wait at least a couple of years.

2017 Morgon Les Charmes
2009 was the first vintage for this cuvée. Also in tank, also planned to be bottled in the next week.
A deep nose, darker-shaded fruit – a deep, floral perfume rather than fresh flowers. Big in the mouth, plenty of tannin again – a little more volume and fewer angles to the structure. Still a baby, baby wine. Fresh finishing flavour of subtly long flavour. Super, but, again, be patient…

2017 Morgon Les Clos – Reserve Caveau
From within Corcelettes – 0.5 ha, since 2018 these vines worked organically. A sample from barrel. This cuvée is normally held back for at least 5 years before it goes on sale.
Deep, a rounder nose, an accent of oak for sure, but there is a lovely fruit core to this wine. Fresh, supple, concentrated, a little vanilla, a little drag to the texture from the tannin – ooh – great wine here – but I anyway wouldn’t touch it for 5 years.
2017 Moulin à Vent La Roche – Reserve Caveau
2010 was the first vintage for this cuvée – it wears the same ‘reserve’ label as the last wine. All barrel elevage, 20% new.
A deep colour. Wide, calm, sweet dark fruit. There’s an accent of barrel, but not a stark one. Fresh, sleek, driving, direct wine – ooh less generous than the last but melting with more complexity and a more granular tannin at the base – but still on a modest level. Open in the middle and finishing flavour. Lithe, tasty. Great wine…

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