Learn everything about Chateau Bellevue St. Emilion with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, information on the vineyards, and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Bellevue History, Overview
Chateau Bellevue in Saint Emilion is known to have great terroir. The ancient Romans were aware of this. In fact, when walking the vineyards, it’s easy to spot remains of the original cultivations left by ancient Roman vintners. The rebirth of Chateau Bellevue begins in the 17th century.
At that time, the Fief de Bellevue, took charge of the vineyard As was the custom of the day, he renamed the Bordeaux vineyard using his name.
The property remained in the hands of the same family from 1642 until Chateau Bellevue changed hands in 1938 when the vineyard was purchased by the de Coninck family along, with the Pradel de Lavaux family as a joint venture.
Starting with the 2000 vintage at Chateau Bellevue, the dynamic duo of Bordeaux, Nicolas Thienpont and Stéphane Derenoncourt were hired to turn the estate around.
That was the first vintage in ages showing how good Chateau Bellevue could be. In late 2007, a 50% stake in the 5.9-hectare vineyard of Chateau Bellevue was purchased by the de Bouard family, owners of Chateau Angelus, which is located almost adjacent to the property.
Since the time, Hubert de Bouard began calling the shots. Once Hubert de Bouard took charge, he instituted top to bottom renovations for the wine-making facilities, chateau, and vineyards of Chateau Bellevue. The labels on the bottles were updated as well. This was to complement the changes in the vineyards and chateau.
Ironically, the de Bouard family had an opportunity to purchase the Right Bank property several decades earlier. But due to difficult economic conditions at the time, they did not buy it when it was first offered.
Following the recent acquisition of the property, a complete, top to bottom renovation of Chateau Bellevue took place in the Saint Emilion vineyards as well as in the cellars, reception area, and wine-making facilities.
The de Bouard family own other estates in the Right Bank including; Chateau La Fleur de Bouard in Lalande de Pomerol, and Chateau de Francs in the Cotes de Francs appellation. Starting in 2012, Stephanie de Bouard-Rivoal, the daughter of Hubert de Bouard took over control of the estate.
Chateau Bellevue Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The 6-hectare vineyard of Chateau Bellevue is planted to 100% Merlot, Previously, there was a minor, 2% portion of the vineyard that was planted to Cabernet Franc. But those vines were ripped out in 2015.
Interestingly, several years before that, the estate had even more Cabernet Franc planted in the vineyards. But those vines were also removed in favor of Merlot.
The terroir is clay and limestone soils. The vineyard is on the plateau of a slope, next to Chateau Beausejour Duffau, with a south-facing exposure. All the work in the vineyards has been done using 100% organic farming methods since 2006. They were certified organic in 2009.
Chateau Bellevue is also located exactly across the road from Angelus. The vines are on average, 40 years of age. Chateau Bellevue is one of the few estates in Saint Emilion with 100% Merlot in their vineyard. Chateau Bellevue is also one of the oldest vineyards in the Right Bank.
In fact, the ancient Roman ruins found throughout the soil, make it difficult to plant in some areas, as the remains are protected by law and cannot be disturbed.
However, this makes it an amazing walk as your stroll through the vineyards of Chateau Bellevue, as the remains are easy to see scattered about in the soil. To get an even better understanding of their terroir, visit the limestone caves located under the chateau.
Hubert de Bouard refers to the estate as the Petrus of St. Emilion, due to its high concentration of Merlot. Chateau Bellevue is a labor-intensive wine to make. After the fruit is hand-harvested, the grapes are taken to the reception area and placed on four sorting tables.
Vinification of Chateau Bellevue takes place in a combination of cement and oak tanks. Each block is fermented separately.
In 2009, for the first time, 40% of the wine was micro-vinified, meaning that those grapes were fermented in barrels. Malolactic fermentation takes place in 100% new, French oak. The wine of Chateau Bellevue is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels. Sur lies aging takes place in barrel for the first six months of the aging process.
The best vintages of Chateau Bellevue are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005 and 2000.
Chateau Bellevue produces on average about 1,500 cases of wine per year. There is a second wine, La Caze Bellevue.
When to Drink Chateau Bellevue, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Bellevue is better with at least 8-10 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for 1-2 hours or more. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume.
Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Bellevue offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 9-22 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Chateau Bellevue with Wine and Food Pairing Tips
Chateau Bellevue is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Bellevue is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes.
Chateau Bellevue is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta as well as cheese.
Château Bellevue Wine Tasting Notes
17 Vintages 85,272 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2020||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Flowers, black plums, cherries, licorice, wet earth and cigar box aromas create the beautiful nose. On the palate the wine is medium/full-bodied, soft, silky, fresh, sweet and polished. There is a gorgeous sense of purity to the fruit, opulence on the palate and in the finish that really works here. The wine is produced from 100% old vine Merlot. 94-96 Pts
841 Views Tasted May 20, 2021
|2019||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Showing a nice deep color, the wine exudes a dark berry, truffle, chocolate and plum filled character. Round, lush, polished and concentrated, the finish offers length and complexity. 93-95 Pts
2,758 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
|2018||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Chocolate covered cherries galore here. Soft, silky, sexy, opulent and loaded with layers of dark cocoa covered black and red fruits, licorice and smoke. This feels just as good as it tastes. This gem will deliver fabulous drinking for at least 2 decades or more. 95 Points
626 Views Tasted Mar 9, 2021
Dark in color, this wine is packed with cashmere textured, black, red, and blue fruits, licorice, cocoa and truffle. Opulent in nature with layers of velvet drenched berries, smoke, spice and chocolate, this is going to need at least 6-8 years or longer to begin expressing itself. Undoubtedly, this is the finest vintage ever produced here. The wine is made from 100% Merlot. 95-97 Pts
1,935 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2017||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Satiny, sumptuous, ripe, medium/full bodied with heaps of sweet, dark plums, chocolate, licorice and wet earth, there is a softness to the tannins that engages perfectly with the delectable fruits. This wine is made from 100% Merlot. 92 Points
2,237 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2016||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Silky, lush, round and concentrated with dark cherries, licorice, espresso, plums and wet earth, The wine is opulently textured, fresh and long, leaving you with a serious depth of flavor, silky tannins and layers of plummy fruits covered with dark chocolate. 95 Points
3,074 Views Tasted Sep 26, 2019
Deep in color, this blend of 100% Merlot is all about the rich, silky textures, polished tannins, freshness, and the ripe, plush, plummy, mineral-driven finish with that touch of dark chocolate, spice and earth in the endnote. This could be the best ever wine from Bellevue. 95 Points
5,492 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2015||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
The essence of a mineral-driven wine, with salty tannins, fresh, dark, plums, juicy, black cherry, anise and chocolate, this wine is silky, crisp and fresh. The wine was made from 100% Merlot. 93 Points
5,919 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2016
|2014||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
With a touch of fresh-brewed espresso, earth and plums, this wine is forward, soft and open. Made from 100% Merlot, there is a nice touch of ripe red and black cherries in the finish. 89-91 Pts
2,967 Views Tasted Apr 27, 2015
|2013||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Using 100% Merlot, there is an earthy smoke, licorice and black cherry quality to this forward-styled, medium-bodied, open wine. 89-91 Pts
2,367 Views Tasted Apr 28, 2014
|2012||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Peppery, spicy, herbs and cherries open to a soft, forward, medium bodied, easy to drink, fresh, Merlot dominated, soft, chocolate, plummy wine. 91 Points
2,223 Views Tasted May 15, 2015
With its typical blend of 98% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the wine pops with licorice, blackberry jam, truffle and stone aromatics. Ripe, sweet, lush and polished with good depth of flavor and a sweet, jammy blackberry personality, due to its high Merlot content, the wine is quite successful this year. 92-94 Pts
2,189 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2013
|2011||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Chocolate covered black raspberries, smoke, licorice and espresso notes open to a medium bodied, fresh, black cherry, plum and mineral driven wine. 90 Points
3,196 Views Tasted May 20, 2014
With an assemblage the same as the cepage at 98% Merlot and a bit of Cabernet Franc, this wine is inky in color. With licorice, smoke, coffee, graphite, boysenberry, truffle and earth, the wine is plush, sexy and concentrated with sweet, ripe, dark, polished boysenberry. 92-94 Pts
2,439 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2012
|2010||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Juicy ripe plums, coffee bean, licorice and earthy notes pair perfectly with the round textures, sensation of minerality and the plush, black cherry and cocoa filled finish. 91 Points
4,204 Views Tasted May 7, 2013
2010 Bellevue 98% Merlot with the remaining smidgeon Cabernet Franc, this wine comes from the recently acquired property located across the street from Chateau Angelus. Hubert de Bouard thinks the terroir is as good, or better than much of the Angelus terroir. This opaque colored wine shows a perfume of licorice, minerality and spice. Rich, opulent textures concentrated with ripe spicy fruit, the wine ends with boysenberry, chocolate, mineral and fennel. 92-94 Pts
2,898 Views Tasted Apr 22, 2011
|2009||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Round, lush, opulent and silky, the wine is richly textured, sensual and loaded with dark chocolate covered black cherries and licorice, with spring flowers, truffle a hit of espresso. You can drink this now or age it for more secondary notes. 93 Points
1,789 Views Tasted Sep 20, 2019
Coffee bean, licorice, blackberry, smoke, stone and chocolate scents create the perfume. Lush, round and soft in texture, the wine ends with a blast of licorice, cocoa and black cherries. 92 Points
5,697 Views Tasted Dec 11, 2012
Licorice, truffle, smoke, earth and blackberry jam scents open to a rich, soft, low acid St. Emilion with freshness, stone and deep, ripe berries. 93 Points
2,567 Views Tasted May 1, 2012
With jam, coffee, stone and ripe black and blue fruit scents, this soft, round and opulently textured wine shows a touch of heat in the sweet, fruit filled finish. 92 Points
2,573 Views Tasted Jul 10, 2011
2009 Bellevue comes from recently acquired property across the street from Angelus. Hubert de Bouard thinks the terroir is as good as much of the Angelus terroir. if not better. The inky colored wine, with its potent black raspberry, licorice, floral, and stone aromas, is enticing. Made from 99% merlot, it is full bodied, concentrated, and opulent. Low in acidity, the wine fills your mouth with dark berry flavors. 93-95 Pts
2,683 Views Tasted Jun 28, 2010
|2008||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
The wine has firmed up over the past 12 months and is currently a bit tight. It requires effort and air to open and find its licorice, black cherry and crushed stone driven qualities. I'd let it sleep for at least 5 more years before popping a bottle. 90 Points
5,340 Views Tasted Dec 11, 2012
|2005||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Just starting to show its lushly textured, black cherry, plum, licorice, smoke, espresso and wet earth character. The tannins is soft, the fruit is sweet fresh and ripe, finishing with supple textured, dark red fruits, chocolate and cocoa. 93 Points
4,311 Views Tasted Nov 18, 2017
|2004||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Medium bodied, elegant, supple, fresh and fruity, the texture was on the silky side, which I really liked. Not much density, but the sweetness and purity in the fruit was a pleasure. Fully mature, this is not a wine to hold for further development. 90 Points
2,651 Views Tasted Mar 17, 2019
Better on the nose, with its earthy, thyme and cherry profile, than on the crisp, tannic, red berry and olive palate. 88 Points
2,506 Views Tasted Nov 30, 2014
|2000||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Smoke, mocha, herbs, plums, cherries, licorice and wild herbs create the nose. On the palate, the wine is soft, medium bodied and elegant, with a dark chocolate and fresh plum finish. Splash decanted and poured, this is drinking at its peak. The wine softened in the glass after an hour or so, but it did not gain additional complexities and does not warrant further aging. I'd drink any remaining bottles over the next decade. 92 Points
2,709 Views Tasted Jan 22, 2018
Filled with black raspberry, ripe plum, fresh herbs and crushed stone aromatics. Soft, supple, fresh and filled with perfectly ripe dark fruit, this is developing nicely. 94 Points
5,012 Views Tasted Mar 5, 2011
|1937||Château Bellevue (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Very smoky, with a rustic leaning, yet there was a lot of charm here in the remaining vestiges of bright, crisp, floral oriented, red plums. For a wine of this age, not so bad. 80 Points
2,069 Views Tasted Jun 5, 2018