“Within the upper echelons of the world’s greatest restaurants, the wines have an intense, nearly obsessive following. Recent vintages are absolute must haves on Michelin starred lists in Monaco, Switzerland and Tokyo.”
Today sees the release of one of Pomerol’s little gems: Chateau Belle-Brise 2019. A unique rendition of Pomerol that remains one of our most popular releases of the year.
The style is simply sublime. The unique terroir and micro-vinification methods result in wines that deliver a sense of finesse more akin to the great Grand Crus of Burgundy, whilst retaining the controlled power synonymous with Pomerol.
Following on from the sensational 2018 vintage at the property, 2019 had a tough act to follow but for owner Henri-Bruno de Coincy, the 2019 has similar concentration to the 2018 but with more precision and freshness. For him the key to success in the 2019 vintage was “patience”, those that picked after the rains of 21-22 September benefited from revitalised vines, enabling the grapes to reach full phenolic maturity.
One thing is for sure, after tasting vintages from the property covering the last decade and beyond, the 2019 is easily one of the finest Belle-Brise wines ever made. An assessment shared by Henri now in his 28th vintage at the property.
With just a two-hectare walled garden vineyard, production is minuscule, making this one of the rarest wines on the marketplace. The vast majority never reaches private clients, with most being snapped up by some of the finest 3 Michelin starred restaurants across France. In fact, 80% of the three star Michelin restaurants in France (and 25 other countries) list the wine, including Georges Blanc, Alain Ducasse Le Louis XV and many more.
With such low production levels and a legion of loyal followers, not to mention its uniquely seductive almost Burgundian style, often described as “the Musigny of Pomerol”, this wine is a unique example not to be missed from the 2019 vintage.
This wine is sold on its texture with concentrated yet silky, elegant tannins that even in youth are beautifully integrated. This plush silkiness certainly equates to the “Musigny of Pomerol” phrase that is often associated with this wine, it is surprisingly delicate for Pomerol, medium bodied but not without some intensity. The aromas are at this stage fairly brooding – ripe black cherry, dry spice, peppered meat, a touch of iron. Compared to it neighbouring vineyard (Chateau Corlacy) the depth of flavour is significant – there is all the fruit but better integrated with darker spices, earthy savoury tones as well as lifted floral perfumes, there is more power too. The tannins are beautifully ripe, delicately layered and bring a lovely sense of freshness to the finish. This is no blockbuster but if you like a more elegant approach to Pomerol, this comes highly recommended.
FINE+RARE Tasting Note (May 2001)
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“This enigmatic Pomerol cru has a small cult following... [its] 800-odd cases [are sold] directly to restaurants all over the world... Locating bottles of Château Belle Brise is difficult not only because of the small production, but because everything is sold directly to [these] clients... recent vintages are very well crafted, often demonstrating a Burgundy-like allure (indeed, Monsieur de Coincy apparently aspires a cross between Le Pin and Chambolle-Musigny... [the] wines are well worth seeking, so keep your eyes peeled... [as this is] Pomerol’s most mysterious cru.”