I Love Organic Wine - A Biodynamic Wine From Bordeaux France
This biodynamic wine was produced by a very dynamic Bordeaux winemaker, Olivier Decelle who started out in frozen foods. His first day's revenue was 10 francs (about $2.50) By the time he got into wine he owned 400 frozen food outlets. This particular bottle carries the Appelation Fronsac Controlee, grown in a not very prestigious zone of Bordeaux. The Fronsac area may have hosted the first vineyards in Bordeaux. A long time ago its wines ranked better than those of neighboring Pomerol that are now quite pricey. Fronsac is considered an up-and-coming region. If you're willing to spend more, check out neighboring Cotes-Canon-Fronsac AOC wines. This particular wine is made from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec grapes.
OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.
Wine Reviewed Chateau Bellevue 2005 13.5% alcohol about $19
Let's start by quoting the marketing materials. Description: Chateau Bellevue lies just outside of Saint-Michel de Fronsac in the heart of the Right Bank. Olivier Decelle purchased the estate in 2000 and his commitment to quality is plain to see, investing heavily in the vineyard and winery as well as introducing biodynamic methods of viticulture. Well structured, with ripe tannins, and beautiful ripe, red fruit, this wine is clearly part of the new wave of classically made, affordable Bordeaux coming out of minor appellations. And now for my review.
At the first sips the wine was powerful and mouth filling, well balanced, and very slightly sweet. The first pairing was with barbecued beef ribs, potatoes roasted in chicken
fat, and broccoli and cauliflower in tomato sauce with basil, onion, cumin, and garlic. With the meat, this Bordeaux blend was round and presented a fine balance between its acidity and tannins. It was subtle. It washed the potatoes' grease away. The veggies brought out the wine's black cherries and its darkness.
The following meal consisted of chicken legs, chickpeas, and potatoes in broth with some tomato and onion. This was an old French-style bouillon meal although I'm not sure how much they knew about chickpeas then and there. The Cab was quite long and tasted of dark grapes mixed with tobacco.
My final meal was a boxed Eggplant Parmiagana slathered with grated Parmesan cheese. This wine was long and mouth filling; the dominant tastes were tobacco and menthol.
I finished tasting this bottle with two local cheeses. When paired with an Emmenthaler (Swiss) the wine was mouth filling and dark, but its tannins were of the melt-in-your mouth variety. It had great balance. With an Asiago cheese the wine was weaker than in the previous pairing but it was still fine.
Final verdict. I would buy this wine again. It definitely was worth the price, ever more so if you are looking for a biodynamic wine. I think both the producer and the region are worth watching.
In his younger days Levi Reiss wrote or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but he prefers drinking fine German or other wine with the right foods and the right people. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his global wine website http://www.theworldwidewine.com with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.