Chateau Bellegrave Pomerol 2010
One of Pomerol's best kept secrets except in France! If you've been dining in many Michelin-starred restaurants in France, then you've likely come across the wines of Chateau Bellegrave more than once. The wines are presently in around 36 such establishments in Paris alone, including Guy Savoy, L’Ambroisie, L'Argege, L'Astrance, Pierre Gagnaire, plus Akelaure and Arzac in Spain. Yet, for all of the attention this tiny estate garners, and all of the magnificent cellars the wines become part of, the story couldn't really be any more humble. Located in the southern Pomerol near Castle René and Chateau l'Enclos, this is only a second-generation estate, with Jean Bouldy having purchased the vineyard in 1951. Despite the obvious superiority of Jean's soils to some of his neighbors (classic gravel and super-ferrous red clay, à la Pétrus) the wines gained reputation somewhat slowly. Doubtlessly still, in the dawn of chemical farming (with Bordeaux leading the charge in many cases) the wines must have stood out given Jean's total aversion to any chemicals in his vines. The domaine has been certified organic by Ecocert since 2012. It was only somewhat recently that the wines gained the level of fame outside of the region as they enjoyed inside it, under the guidance of Jean's son, Jean-Marie. Upon taking over care of the vines, Jean-Marie decided to transition from zero-chemical farming to biodynamics, having seen brilliant results elsewhere. Otherwise, winemaking remains the same. These are old-school Pomerols, the likes of which we rarely ever come across anymore. Polished, mouth-filling and long with all of the signature iron and mineral notes that one could hope for. Brilliant wines, made from roughly 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc.