2005 Chateau Bellevue Fronsac

Chateau Bellevue Fronsac

It's all about 'la matiere primaire' -- the raw ingredients. When Olivier Decelle and his father opened the first Picard frozen food store in the suburbs of Paris, they had a big idea. If they could source the best raw ingredients in the world (lobster from Maine, scallops from Argentina, tomatoes from Italy), they could create and flash freeze delicious meals for Parisiens on the run. Olivier told us that revenues on that first day on the Rue de Rome were just 10 francs. Thirty years later, the company had grown to over 400 stores and represented a healthy percentage of all prepared frozen food purchased in France.

So, when Decelle turned his attention to the wine business in 2000, he did so with the same commitment to the raw ingredients. Prior to purchasing this chateau in Fronsac, he turned to the most famous viticultural agronomist in France, Claude Bourguignon, to examine the soil and determine the potential of the land. When Bourguignon saw Bellevue's vineyards, near Saint-Michel de Fronsac, he was surprised by the highly calcareous nature of the soil, saying that the land was perfectly suited to the production of superb Bordeaux variety grapes -- adding that the highly mineral soil was so unusual, it could just as easily produce superb Chardonnay!

Olivier Decelle The vines of Chateau Bellevue are low-yielding, providing less than 3 tons per acre. Like all of the fine Bordeaux from 2005, the grapes were perfectly mature at harvest. Thick skins provided lots of tannic structure, speaking to the unusual aging potential of this deeply colored Fronsac. Ripe cassis and violet aromas with richly layered purple fruit on the palate. Good, firm finish. Drink now-2012.

Pair with breast of veal stuffed with fontina, bacon & mushrooms along with sauteed carrots and butter lettuce salad.