2009 Château Belle-Vue, Haut-Médoc

I actually drink many more Bordeaux wines than I mention on my blog. That’s because lots of them are consumed at dinners (chez moi or at friends’ houses) where you would look like a real nerd if you wrote down tasting notes of the wines you were enjoying…

However, Sunday lunch is usually at home, slow-paced, and relaxed, with every opportunity to take an unhurried look at the wine.

I decanted 2009 Château Belle-Vue two hours before the meal. I had good expectations for this wine. In fact, a bottle of this same vintage was featured on the cover of the Revue de Vins de France. It seemed like a very safe bet.

I unfortunately cannot say I came away impressed. The wine had a good deep colour, still showing some purple, but also beginning to brown on the rim. The bouquet was the best part of the wine. This was unmistakably Médoc, with graphite nuances. The wine fell down, however, on the palate. While there was an attractive black cherry component, it seemed thin and mean on the whole, with bitter tannin and the decided impression of alcohol (as though there were more than the 14% alc./vol. listed on the label – not that such a degree is anything to condemn out of hand).

Belle-Vue (there are about 20 wines in Bordeaux with the same, or approximately the same name) is a 15-hectare estate in Macau, in the Haut-Médoc appellation that was promoted to Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel status in the 2020 classification, one of just 14 wines. The château was acquired by Vincent Mulliez, along with Château de Gironville and Château Bolaire in 2004. The Muilliez family own the huge Auchan supermarket chain in France, the equivalent of a Walmart or Tesco.

I have one more bottle of 2009 Belle-Vue and will revisit it down the road. The saying goes that “there are no great wines, just great bottles”. Between bottle variation, the hazards of storage, etc. one experience cannot be deemed definitive by any means. If the next bottle is better when I revisit it, I will be sure to mention it on the blog.
I also have a couple of bottles of the rare Belle-Vue 100% Petit Verdot that will be the subject of a separate report down the line.

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