The 2010 Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue makes a persuasive case for the lofty accolades that have been heaped upon it by consumers and critics alike. Deep in color, rich in flavor, this exceptional offering exhibits all of the attributes of the very best St. Émilion Grand Cru. In short, the compelling 2010 Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue walks the fine line between opulence and power. For starters, rich red fruit and woodland scents soar from the glass. Happily, these delectable aromas well back up again in the mouth from a dense core of ripe fruits that come elegantly wrapped in finely crafted tannins. Furthermore, cassis, dark chocolate, and subtle spice tones from a 15-month hiatus in mostly new Sequin-Moreau barrels make this young wine simply hard to resist. Sensual, and at the same time structured, the 2010 Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue offers fine near term drinking and exceptional potential for ageing gracefully for up to a decade or more. For optimal enjoyment we suggest decanting the 2010 Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue at least an hour before serving at cool room temperature (60°-65° F).
Opulent, hedonistic styled wines such as the 2010 Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue St. Émilion Grand Cru provide superb accompaniments to simple, well prepared dishes as well as complex cuisine. For this reason, good St. Émilion Grand Cru makes an ideal choice to serve at a dinner party. Plump roasted chickens or game hens served with wild rice or an onion and sage stuffing provide tasty accompaniments to the 2010 Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue. A bone-in veal chop prepared with a tasty brown sauce offers another delicious accompaniment. Roast beef, especially Prime Rib, affords yet another opportunity to showcase Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue’s wonderful St. Émilion Grand Cru. When served with mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, and braised pearl onions, the Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue and Prime Rib form a bond that lasts until the bottle lies empty. For those disciplined souls who may at the end of a meal still have a bit of this tasty St. Émilion Grand Cru in glass, we suggest they drain those glasses in the company of a selection of French cheeses that include Cantal and Port Salut. A votre santé!
Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue is one of the bright rising stars of the fabled St. Émilion appellation. Since 1990 Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue has been carefully guided by the De Labarre family who purchased this diminutive property from the owners of Château Cheval Blanc, St. Émilion’s most illustrious wine estate. The De Labarre family wisely retained Cheval Blanc’s winemaker, Bernard Gaudin-Lecourt and solicited the assistance of consulting enologist Dany Rolland in order to optimize the estate’s potential.
Only one wine bears the name Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue, the estate’s St. Émilion Grand Cru. Arnaud De Labarre presently controls both viticulture and vinification at Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue. Under Arnaud’s tenure, Château Laplagnotte-Bellevue’s St. Émilion Grand Cru has truly achieved world class status.
St. Émilion is Bordeaux’s most important wine town and the region’s hottest attraction. This walled, medieval village, perched atop a series of hills and surrounded by vines, is unquestionably the most beautiful wine village in all Bordeaux. Indeed, it is arguably the most beautiful wine village in all France. Nearly everything about St. Émilion is centered on wine; even the church in St. Émilion is a cellar. And lest you think that St. Émilion has just recently succumbed to contemporary commercialism or sold itself to the modern mania for all that is Bacchanalian, rest assured that very little has changed in principle in this village since antiquity: St. Émilion was founded by the Romans, who used it as a viticultural bastion in the then burgeoning area known as Burdigala.
Interestingly, there are two distinct districts of St. Émilion, each possessing a special terroir. Both districts produce compelling red wines, but of a different sort. Typically, the côtes or hills upon the escarpment yield the fullest, slowest to mature wines of St. Émilion. Here the soil is nearly all limestone and the resulting wine is more apt to act like a great Cabernet based wine of the Médoc. The other distinct district of St. Émilion lies on the plateau adjoining Pomerol, where the soil is comprised of sand and gravel. Here the wines tend to be fleshier and quicker to mature. Each style is authentic St. Émilion, which allows the savvy consumer double the pleasure.
Merlot is the predominant grape of St. Émilion. Here Cabernet Franc and to a lesser extent Cabernet Sauvignon play important supporting roles. However, St. Émilion can be produced from Merlot alone or from any combination or percentage of traditional red Bordeaux grape varieties. No commercial white wine is made in St. Émilion or is permitted to be sold as St. Émilion.
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