Château La Caze Bellevue 2020
Château La Caze Bellevue is a 13-hectare vineyard located just southeast of Libourne in St. Sulpice-de-Faleyrens along the Dordogne River, formerly the property of the Countess of Rochefort, though currently run by the ambitious and knowledgeable Philippe Faure. The vineyard is planted solely with Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and the vines are between 30 to 50 years old. Much of the soil on the hills is argilo-calcaire (clay and limestone). However, closer to the river at the base of the hills where the grapes for this wine are grown, the soil consists more of sand and gravel. This type of soil is responsible for the traditional, rich style of St. Emilion wines that are so well-known and well-loved.
The Château La Caze Bellevue, a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, is a fabulous Saint-Émilion, one that can be enjoyed now or aged in cellar for a further 5-10 years. The only question you'll be asking yourselves is: now or later? 2016 was an exceptional vintage in St. Emilion, and this quality is reflected in the wine. It is fermented primarily in concrete vats before it is moved to old French oak barrels for 12 months. In the glass, the wine is a deep crimson color with a violet rim. After a few good swirls, elegant aromatics of raspberries and blackberries waft from the glass, intertwined with subtle notes of earth and spice. The very first sip showcases a vibrancy of youthful fruit with the tannins to match, foreshadowing a great future for the wine. Although, after letting it sit for awhile longer, the next sip provided another explosion of flavor: dark fruits of elderberry and currant were lush on the palate with soft, but still mouthcoating tannins that had softened to a more supple feel with a silky, smooth finish. This is an amazing pairing wine, excellent with lamb dishes, beef bourgone or hearty stews.