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Chateau Bellegrave Pomerol

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Producer Information

The paternal grandparents settled in Gironde in the late 19th centurywhile the maternal grandparents arrived in around 1925. Originally from Périgord and Corrèze, they dedicated themselves to agriculture and winegrowing in Arveyres, a municipality near Libourne making Bordeaux Supérieur.

Son Jean Bouldy and his wife Andrée bought Château Bellegrave in 1951. The couple threw themselves into the task of winemaking, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. In the second half of the XXth century, the Bouldys were one of the families bringing fresh momentum to the Pomerol appellation with courage, humility and perseverance, on estates that matched their discretion and self-sacrifice.

Jean-Marie Bouldy took over the estate in 1980 and was joined by his wife Pascale in 1995. Their children also began working at the estate (Aurélie in 2014 and Jean-Baptiste in 2015), continuing Château Bellegrave’s true family orientation.

Grapes

Merlot, Cabernet Franc

Production

Chateau Bellegrave is a certified organic wine estate in the Pomerol appellation of Bordeaux. It makes a single red wine from Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

The property has 8.5 hectares of vines with a 75:25 split in favour of Merlot. Soils are stony gravel, clay and sand; subsoils are iron-rich crasse de fer.

The vineyard began to covert to organic practices from 2001, making it something of a trailblazer within Pomerol. It achieved Ecocert certification in 2009.

Harvests are carried out manually, plot by plot and row by row, with the order dictated by ripening. Hi tech sorting tables remove leaf matter, stems and seeds. The crushed grapes ferment in temperature-controlled vats.

75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc.

Harvests at Château Bellegrave have always been carried out by hand, a practice that has become even more important today in the context of organic growing. The harvest is of course done plot by plot, and the order in which the rows are tackled is based on the final ripening threshold. Technology is incorporated via very sophisticated sorting tables, allowing undesirable leaves, stems and seeds to be removed. The gently trodden grapes are then left to ‘naturally’ ferment and macerate in temperature-controlled vats for better temperature regulation.

Maturation takes place in vats made of Allier oak, specifically from the Forest of Tronçais, a very fine-grained wood that provides delicate spice notes to the wine (without dominating its aromas) and supports its maturation process until it is bottled around 20 months later.

Tasting Notes

The 2011 vintage had a hard act to follow coming after two exceptional years in Bordeaux and whilst the wines aren’t as showy as the ’09’s and ’10’s they are charming and drinking beautifully with a decade in bottle.

Discreet nose, delicately toasted, ripe cherry, sweet spices, bitter almond touch. A little on the reserve with a soft and measured extraction. Finesse of ripe and elegant tannins. Of medium persistence while retaining a nice freshness.

Drink with earthy mushroom dishes, pork or duck.

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