Learn everything about Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle St. Emilion, Grand Cru Classe, with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairings. Learn about the best vintages, the history of the property, vineyards, and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle History, Overview
Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle dates all the way back to the fifteenth century. Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle found the inspiration for its name from a member of the clergy, Canon Balestard. The historic tonnelle (or tower) is located right in the middle of their vines.
At the time the tower was constructed, it was built for use an observation tower. One of the oldest structures in Saint Emilion, the ancient tower dates almost as far back as the birth of the estate as it was erected in the fifteenth century. Today, the tower is used as the symbol for Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle.
Both those estates are located in the St. Emilion appellation. The Capdemourlin family have a history in Saint Emilion that dates back almost as far as the vineyard, as they have been in the region since the early 1600s!
Balestard La Tonnelle has had fans of its Saint Emilion wines for centuries. In fact, the poet, François Villon wrote about Balestard La Tonnelle in his famous fifteenth-century poem.
To immortalize the poem, the estate includes a copy of it on the labels for Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle to this day. Thierry Capdemourlin is in charge of the property. Michel Rolland is the consultant.
Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The 10.6-hectare, Right Bank vineyard of Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle is planted to 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Located just outside the town of St. Emilion, they are not far from Chateau Soutard, Chateau Villemaurine, or Chateau La Couspaude.
The terroir is a mix of clay and limestone soils. The vines average 33 years of age. The vine density ranges from 6,300 to 6,900 vines per hectare. To help determine the level of ripeness, the estate employs satellite imagery.
To produced the wine of Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle, the grapes are vinified in a combination of 50% epoxy lined cement vats and 50% thermoregulated, stainless steel tanks for at least 3 weeks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels. The wine of Balestard La Tonnelle is aged in 50% new, French oak barrels for 15 to 18 months depending on the quality of the vintage.
The best vintages of Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001, 2000
The average annual production is 4,500 cases of Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle per vintage. There is a second wine, Chanoine de Balestard.
When to Drink Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle can be enjoyed on the young side. The wine is usually better with just a few years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage.
Balestard La Tonnelle is usually best enjoyed in the first 10-15 years of life. Young vintages of Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle can be decanted for up to 1-2 hours. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
Serving Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle with Wine, Food Pairing Tips
Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes.
Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta as well as cheese.
Château Balestard La Tonnelle Wine Tasting Notes
14 Vintages 32,834 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2020||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
With a strong touch of oak right out of the gate, the deeply colored wine also brings you incense, spice box, licorice and black with blue fruit. Forward, lush and round, the finish is all luscious red berries and espresso notes. 90-92 Pts
701 Views Tasted May 20, 2021
|2019||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Medium-bodied, fresh, bright and chewy, with ripe red berries and cocoa from start to finish, the wine leaves you with lift and freshness along with more red fruits and a hit of cocoa in the finish. 90-92 Pts
2,439 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
|2018||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Medium-bodied, soft, sweet and silky with licorice, spice, espresso and earthy accents. The polished, red fruit and stone finish seals the deal. 92 Points
481 Views Tasted Mar 9, 2021
Medium-bodied, soft and polished with freshness, silky tannins, sweet plums, ripe cherries, licorice and earth in the supple, polished finish. 91-93 Pts
1,440 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2017||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Bright, fresh, soft, forward, medium-bodied, fruity, plum and dark cherry centered wine with chocolate dusted, licorice accents in the finish. 91 Points
1,225 Views Tasted Aug 28, 2021
|2016||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Fresh herbs, thyme, licorice and red plums work together in this medium-bodied, easy to like wine. Soft, fresh and juicy, this is quite already quite charming. 90 Points
1,946 Views Tasted Sep 21, 2019
Medium bodied with polished soft fruits, hints of licorice, thyme, herbs and cherries, the wine leaves you with an earthy finish. 90 Points
1,579 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2015||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Medium-bodied, soft, sweet and fresh, the silky, polished, spicy. red fruit oriented wine sticks with you from the nose to the finesse driven finish. 91 Points
1,844 Views Tasted May 21, 2018
Medium-bodied and softly-textured, this wine displays a wealth of ripe, dark, red fruits, plum and thyme with juicy black cherries in the finish. 90 Points
1,630 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2016
|2014||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Soft, medium bodied, approachable, silky and offering fresh, red fruits and licorice from start to finish. 88-90 Pts
2,043 Views Tasted Apr 27, 2015
|2013||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
With licorice, black cherry and cocoa, this soft, early-drinking, medium-bodied wine has minerality and an open red berry finish. 88-90 Pts
2,012 Views Tasted Apr 28, 2014
|2012||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Oak, licorice, caramel with round and soft black raspberries and chocolate-covered cherries. 90-92 Pts
2,136 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2013
|2011||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Coffee, stone, ripe red berries, polished textures and soft red cherry are found in this supple wine. 90-91 Pts
2,342 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2012
|2010||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
2010 Balestard La Tonnelle is filled with licorice, fresh berries and minerality. 87-89 Pts
4,615 Views Tasted Apr 22, 2011
|2009||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Dried cherries, espresso beans and earthy scents, medium bodied, finishing with sweet and tart, dark red berries. 88 Points
2,113 Views Tasted Nov 19, 2014
|2005||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Fully developed, medium-bodied, fresh, bright, earthy, round and soft with sweet, juicy plums, smoke, licorice and earthy nuances. 89 Points
1,813 Views Tasted Sep 13, 2020
|2000||Château Balestard La Tonnelle (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Fully mature, this is probably going to fade from here, so if you want to catch the licorice stained, cherries, juicy plums, thyme and round textured, sweet, fruit, filled finish, if you have a bottle, pop a cork sooner than later. 90 Points
2,475 Views Tasted Dec 13, 2017