Haut-Médoc
Château Belgrave 5ème Grand Cru Classé, 2012

Situated at the extremities of the St-Julien appellation, separated from its neighbour Château Lagrange by only a stream, Château Belgrave is one of the oldest Cru vineyards in the Médoc.

In 1855 it was classified as a 5th growth because of the exceptional quality of its deep gravel soils. Since 1979, with Chateau Belgrave, we have been extremely privileged to manage this large, classic estate, which is amongst the finest in Medoc.This significant responsibility, continued source of investment and tireless, never truly assuaged quest for perfection, brings with it the immense satisfaction of in someway expressing the character of the soils and revealing in our wines the refinement, depth and personality of this outstanding terroir.

Grape

65% Cabernet Sauvignon

35% Merlot

Vineyard & Vinification Note

The soils at Château Belgrave show remarkable diversity. Two hillocks made up of gravel and pebbles deposited thousands of years ago by the Garonne river, overlying a bed of clay, rise to 23 and 26 metres. This type of soil is favourable to late-ripening grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and also Petit-Verdot, which now covers 4% of the surface area following remodelling of the vineyard. The gravel thins towards the foot of the hillocks, where the soil is a combination of gravel and sand offering good drainage, and clay outcrops, which are particularly adapted to the cultivation of Merlot. A significant amount of work is carried out in the vineyard to ensure optimum quality of the grapes. Increasing the planting density per hectare to 10,000 hectares across 75% of the vineyard and increasing the canopy area moderates yields and improves the concentration of the grapes. The cultivation regime combined with sustainable plant protection throughout the growing cycle is then tailored to the mapping, including pruning methods, bud stripping, suckering, leaf plucking and cover planting.

Vintage 2012: After several years of significant water shortage, 2012 began with exceptional precipitation levels, which fortunately were fully absorbed by Belgrave’s deep layers of well-drained gravel. Led by experience and patience, we remained on guard, balancing the work in the vineyard to combat disease pressure caused by unsettled weather conditions. The return of ideal weather conditions at the end of July was our just reward, allowing the ripening to conclude in perfect conditions, with sunshine and good day/night temperature variation, and as often is the case in Bordeaux, Indian summer conditions in September made all the difference to the quality of the must – the skins were ripe and the grapes had developed good aromatic complexity.

Harvest : Merlot : October 8th to 13th Cabernet Sauvignon : October 11th to 18th AGEING : In barrel during the month of January 35% of new oak.

BOTTLED : June 2014

Tasting Note

Deep and concentrated in appearance. The complex bouquet reveals dark fruit aromas of blackberry and cassis, precious woods and mint, enhanced with a subtle mocha note. Initially velvety on the palate, the wine gains in body, with the very delicate and silky tannins adding structure. The wine is well-balanced and fresh throughout the tasting, and elegant until the lingering finish. Similar to Saint-Julien in style, Chateau Belgrave’s neighbouring vineyard. Frédéric Bonnaffous, Dourthe Estates Director

Wine Enthusiast

Barrel sample. Rich blackberry fruits are surrounded by a dense structure on this wine. The palate is ripe, but balanced with acidity, juiciness and a solid concentrated character. 92 Points – Roger Voss, April 2013

James Suckling

Beautiful nose showing concentrated ripe fruits. This is a full-bodied red with velvety tannins, lovely acidity and a long, fruity finish. Well done for the vintage. Drink from 2017. 91 Points, February 2015

World of fine wine

Very ripe fruit to smell, rich, full, medium-bodied wine with a fresh acidity and firm tannin; a chewy frame round a juicily ripe fruit; long and savory to taste, and with fine sweet, aromatic length; very good, slightly solid style, but complete and satisfying and ageworthy. 2022-30+. 89 Points, Michael Schuster, December 2016

Food Pairing

Perfectly matches red grilled or in sauce meat (roasted quails, beef fillet, rack of lamb with vegetables, duckling casserole, beef medallion with carrots and onions, spit hind), game (rolled fillet of hare with olives, roasted pheasant, pigeon in red sauce…), mature cheeses (cantal vieux, mimolette, gouda, Saint Nectaire, Salers, Morbier

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