The Bellevue Estate
Chateau Bellevue was founded in 1998, with its oldest origins dating to the 1960's. The project is aided by Chateau Cheval Blanc's former enologist, Gilles Paquet. Reserve wines are produced when the vintage merits; most recently in 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Production: 380 hectolitres (4,222 cases), 95% Claret Rouge and 5% Claret Rosé.
The Bellevue Vineyard
The 8.5 hectares (21 acres) of vineyards are 40 year old vines, planted to Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Yield: 40 hectolitres/hectare. Hillside Clay and Limestone soil.
Bellevue Cotes de Bordeaux-Castillon Cé Ma Cuvée is made from 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc
The wine is made with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. Average age of the vines is 50 years old (everything is between 40 and 60 years old).
Cé Ma Cuvée is a tribute from Michel Lydoire to his 2 daughters:
Cé is for Céline. She is like the Merlot grape varietal. Pleasant and calm.
Ma is for Marina. She is like the Cabernet Franc grape varietal. Tough and with a lot of character.
The color is deep and inky.
The nose is spicy, fruity and oaky with some nice vanilla and coconut aromas.
The mouthfeel is complex, with ripe red and black fruit flavors. Some spiciness and integrated oak flavors.
The wine starts as the Vieilles vignes, but some wine is aged in 500-liter American Oak Barrels for 18 months.
They are using a mix of different toastiness for the barrels. Some high toast and some are medium toast.
This is a fun wine that can be enjoyed with any food, charbroil burgers, grilled vegetables, cheeses ... or even with dark chocolate desserts.
2015 Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux Cé Ma Cuvée Céline Lydoire focuses this wine on Bellevue's old Merlot plots, blending in Cabernet franc from southern exposures on gravelly soils. It's her top selection, treated to 18 months in new 400-liter oak barrels; she started making it at the behest of her French customers, who wanted a step up from her cool and refreshing Cuvée Tradition. This is just as cool, but more saturated in its distinctly Castillon fruit flavor—think wild strawberries and blueberries with an earthy mineral undercurrent. That silky fruit gains its supple impression from the new oak, which boosts the textural richness. As I thought about how to score this wine, I found myself writing, "If that were from California, I'd be all over it." Absolutely. But it's also got Castillon limestone clarity. And, it's $27. Buy a case. You won't be sorry -Wine & Spirits 93 Points
Bellevue Cotes de Castillon Cuvee Vieilles Vignes Eleve en Futs de Chene is made from 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc. Aged in mostly new oak barrels (90% French oak and 10% American oak), and some Château Haut Brion 2nd Barrels.
Sometimes, the best things come from tough experiences. Our Black Label Reserve Portteus Syrah embodies this ideal. In one of the tougher growing seasons in recent memory, I was not sure what would come of the vintage. Within 6 months after harvest, I knew I had something special with this wine. Month after month, it evolved highlighting what these almost 20 year old Syrah vines could produce. The color is an incredibly deep and glass coating purple, the nose erupts with aromas of bacon fat and a subtle bouquet of wisteria . lilac. Viscous and dense, you will get mouth-filling notes of swiss chocolate and white pepper. Sit back and savor each velvety sip with a coffee-cocoa spiced rack of lamb and chocolate cheesecake. Decant for at least an hour to release its aromatics and enjoy this Syrah easily through the next decade.
Another stunning effort is the 2012 Portteus Vineyard, which is located in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. Exhibiting layers of smoked plums, liquid smoke and serious minerality, this full-bodied, layered and rich Syrah has notable underlying structure and tannin, with a firm, compact and focused feel. Fermented with 33% whole cluster and aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels, it comes from the second oldest Syrah vines planted in the state. Give it 2-3 years in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2025. This Walla Walla estate is owned and run by Justin Wylie. He excelled with his 2011 and 2012s. -Wine Advocate Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Lismore Estate Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
A careful selection of the best of the vintage that exemplifies the extraordinary terroir of Lismore.
An exotic experience which shifts your mind to another place. Cassis, brambles and succulent cherry. White pepper, classic garrigue and the strong floral perfume of crushed violets. Light and elegant, but structured with a fresh acidity. To experience the best this wine has to offer, decanting is suggested.
The grapes were fermented 40% whole bunch in a 5000 litre wooden fermenter with gentle pigeage throughout. The process allowed for a long extraction period which lends to the fruit expression of this wine. The wine was left for a 30 day extended maceration on the skins and then pressed in a traditional baskets press. Matured in 500 litre barrels for 10 months (35% new). Time in the bottle will allow integration, the deepening of layers and full expression of the fruit.
"This is the best release yet from Lismore, superior even to the impressive 2017. Made from blocks that are now 13 years' old, this is wonderfully, enticingly floral, showcasing all that is best about Syrah: aromatic spices, layered cherry and strawberry fruit, bright acidity, some tannic backbone, subtle whole bunch notes and a long finish. The oak is on point, the alcohol daringly restrained. 2020-30 Greyton (13.2%)"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2019 Special Report), 97 pts
"The 2018 Estate Reserve Syrah contains 50% whole-bunch fruit and is aged in 500- and 700-liter barrels, 30% new. It has an extremely pure, slightly floral bouquet of bright blueberry and black currant fruit infused with scents of crushed iris petals and violets, almost Burgundian in style. The palate is extremely well balanced with perfectly pitched acidity and filigreed tannins. There is an unerring sense of weightlessness about this Syrah, which is one of the most precise Lismore reds I have encountered over several years of tasting. Absolutely stunning. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 97 pts