Learn everything about Chateau Bellefont Belcier St. Emilion, Bordeaux producer with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Bellefont Belcier History, Overview
Chateau Bellefont Belcier dates back to the seventeenth century as an estate. The vineyard was officially founded in the middle of the eighteenth century by Count Louis Francois de Belcier, which as you can guess, is where the estate took the first part of its name from. In 1803, the Count constructed the chateau that remains in use today. The Count gave the estate the first part of its name, Bellefont, due to its plethora of natural, small springs or fountains. Bellefont, or Belle Fontaine, which is translated into beautiful fountains was inspired from the numerous natural springs that littered the area. From there, what we know of today as Chateau Bellefont Belcier was born.
The family sold Chateau Bellefont Belcier in 1871 to Pierre Faure. Pierre Faure is responsible for building and designing the estate’s unique, circular vat house. Rumors persist that the ornate iron work was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. During the 1960’s Chateau Bellefont Belcier was owned by cousins of François Mitjavile, who owns the neighboring Tertre Roteboeuf. Back in the early 1960’s the wine was sold under the name of Le Tertre. This is important because the wine of Le Tertre was made in the cellars of Bellefont Belcier for several years during the decade of the 60’s.
Things changed in 1994 when the Labusquire family, descendants of Pierre Faure, sold the estate to a partnership between three families headed by; Jacques Berrebi, Alain Laguillaumie and Dominique Hebard. The new owners invested heavily in the vineyards, where they added terraces to their slopes. By the time September, 2012 rolled around, Chateau Bellefont Belcier, which had been offered for sale for years, was sold to Chinese investors.
That sale marked the first purchase of a Bordeaux classified growth by a Chinese citizen. Chateau Bellefont Belcier was next purchased by the Wang Songwei family from China. The Wang family have interests in several industries, including extensive mineral rights. They also own Juxin Wine & Spirits. It is rumored that the price paid was over 2,000,000 Euros per hectare, which set a record for a Grand Cru Classe’ property at the time. Today, Emmanuel de Saint Salvy is the current director of Chateau Bellefont Belcier.
Chateau Bellefont Belcier Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The total amount of land owned by Bellefont Belcier is 20 hectares. However, only 12.5 hectares are cultivated with vines. The vineyards of Chateau Bellefont Belcier are planted to 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines average 30 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a density of 7,200 vines per hectare. The property rests on the south facing Cote Pavie slopes in Saint Emilion. It is situated not from Chateau Pavie and just east of Chateau Larcis Ducasse, which is its closest neighbor. Troplong Mondot, La Mondotte and Tertre Roteboeuf are also just around the corner.
The terroir is clay and limestone soil. However, the terroir and quality of the soils vary here, with their best parcels placed on the top of the slopes in the limestone, rich soils. They have also parcels with more sand at the bottom of the slopes, close to actual chateau. The vines are planted to a density ranging from 6,000 and 8,000 vines per hectare. The higher levels of vine density are found in the newer plantings.
To produce the wine of Bellefont Belcier, the grapes are vinified in traditional, long, cement vats that are arranged in a unique, circular pattern. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels. The wine is then aged for between 18 and 24 months in 80% new, French oak barrels before bottling. The amount of time in oak during the aging process varies, depending on the quality and character of the vintage. There is a second wine, Marquis de Bellefont. The estate is consulted by Michel Rolland.
The wines have improved under the under the direction of co-owner and estate manager, Dominique Hebrard. Dominique Hebard also owned another small estate in St. Emilion, Chateau Le Trianon as well as Chateau de Francs, in a partnership with Hubert de Bouard in the Cotes de Francs appellation. His family is well known in the Right Bank, as they were previous owners of Chateau Cheval Blanc, before they sold it to Bernard Arnaud and Albert Frere.
However, today, Chateau Bellefont Belcier is making even better wine under the new owners and director Emmanuel de Saint Salvy. 2015 is clearly the best wine ever produced in the history of Chateau Bellefont Belcier. Although, 2016 could give it a run for its money.
The best vintages of Chateau Bellefont Belcier are: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005 and 2000.
When to Drink Chateau Bellefont Belcier, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Bellefont Belcier can be enjoyed early. However, the wine is often better with at least a few years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage. Chateau Bellefont Belcier is usually best enjoyed in the first 10-20 years after the vintage, when it is at full maturity. Young vintages can be decanted for 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 and Decanting Chateau Bellefont Belcier with Wine, Food and Pairing Tips
Chateau Bellefont Belcier is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Bellefont Belcier is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Bellefont Belcier is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.
Château Bellefont-Belcier Wine Tasting Notes
11 Vintages 26314 Views Sort Vintage Rating
Almost opaque in color, the wine is smoky, floral and fruity. There is a profundity of flavor, purity of fruit, freshness and complexity. From a blend of 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, the alcohol reached 15% with no sensation of heat. The harvest took place between October 11 and October 22. This wine is a big step up for the estate and is clearly the best wine they have ever produced.
Apr 29, 2017points - Tasted 763 Views
Not quite at the level of the 2016, this is still a beauty. There is just the right blend of smoky, ripe, polished, earthy fruits, thyme, silky tannins and earth to get you excited.
Jul 12, 2017points - Tasted 838 Views
With a distinctive floral nose, coupled with truffle, thyme and dark red fruits, this wine is fresh and lush with round, polished tannins in the rich finish. This is a major step up for Bellefont Belcier. From a blend of 68% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, the alcohol reached 15%, with no sensation of heat. The harvest took place between October 1 and October 14.
Apr 29, 2016points - Tasted 1219 Views
Licorice, smoke and round, polished black cherries with a soft, forward, sweet cherry finish. 89-91 Pts
Apr 27, 2015points - Tasted 1474 Views
Medium bodied, soft and fresh, this wine shows sweet cherries and espresso, more volume, flesh and complexity than the 2012. From a blend of 77% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 13.5% alcohol and is aging in 80% new, French oak. 88-90 Pts
Apr 28, 2014points - Tasted 2001 Views
From a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is medium bodied, silky, soft and fresh with loads of ripe plums, juicy, sweet cherries and licorice. Forward in style, this will show well young.
Nov 8, 2015points - Tasted 1140 Views
Medium-bodied with licorice, black cherry liqueur and licorice finish. 89-91 Pts
Apr 26, 2013points - Tasted 1291 Views
Surprisingly good for the vintage, this blend of 72% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon offered sweet black cherries, plums, licorice and dark chocolate. Soft, polished and forward, the end notes deliver cocoa dusted plum sensations.
Feb 20, 2014points - Tasted 1502 Views
In the nose, copious notes of licorice, jammy black fruits, plum, cocoa and espresso. Rich, silky, fresh, plummy and lushly textured, this should be better and develop more complexity over the next few years. From yields of only 14 hectoliters per hectare, the wine was produced from a blend of 73% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, reaching 15.5% alcohol.
Nov 17, 2014points - Tasted 3045 Views
This charming, seductive, forward wine opens with licorice, juicy plums, black cherry, jam, coffee and crushed stone. Rich, plush, round and open, this can be enjoyed young or aged for up to a decade.
Jan 17, 2013points - Tasted 3389 Views
Just about there. Licorice, juicy plums, cherries, smoke, espresso bean and earthy aromas meld perfectly with the medium/full bodied, fresh, round, sweet, red berry fruits in the finish.
Oct 4, 2017points - Tasted 608 Views
Licorice, black raspberry liqueur, minerality, coffee and floral scents pair well with the soft, round, voluptuous textures. The wine finishes with chocolate, licorice and black cherry. Give this this rich, concentrated, St. Emilion wine another 3-5 more years. For a stylish Bordeaux wine of this quality from a great vintage, this is still fairly priced.
Oct 10, 2011points - Tasted 6928 Views
Fully mature, elegant, soft, polished, medium bodied, refined expression of St. Emilion that is complicated with the addition of truffle, tobacco, plum, cherry and fresh thyme. Popped and poured, this is in the right place today.
Nov 13, 2016points - Tasted 2116 Views