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Diane de Belgrave

Second vin du Château Belgrave - AOC Haut-Médoc

Diane de Belgrave-SM

Diane de Belgrave is the second wine of the estate. The name is a reminder of the links between the estate and the hunting: during the reign of Louis XV, the estate was a highly reputed hunting pavilion.

Benefiting from exactly the same care and attention as  the first wine, with soft and fruity character, it is ready for immediate drinking.

Vinification & Ageing

Pre-fermentation cold maceration depending on the characteristics of each plot. Alcoholic fermentation with 1 to 3 pumping-overs and/or 1 pigeage per day, depending on the batches. Malolactic fermentation partially in barrels.

The partially underground barrel cellar hall has been completely renovated, to highly modern standards, with the latest high-performance equipment controlling relative humidity and temperature. Part of the wine matured in barrel on lees to preserve the aromas. In oak barrels for 12 to 14 months.

~~ Find out more about the property ~~
2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

The vintage

After a promising start to the year, a dull, gloomy summer meant ripening got off to a slow start. Any worries were lifted towards the end of August with the arrival of exceptional, lasting weather conditions. While the quality of the vintage owes a great deal to the excellent late-season, a vintage of this quality would not be possible without considerable work in the vineyards earlier in the season to ensure pristine quality in the vines and stunning fruit. The grapes ripened steadily throughout September and October against the backdrop of a superb Indian summer. Harvesting stretched calmly over three weeks, allowing the grapes to reach optimum ripeness. Gentle vinifications enabled the grapes to express their full potential, while controlled extractions ensured the perfect harmony of body, fruit and structure in the different parcels, and highly expressive.

Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting notes

Lovely ruby-red in appearance. Complexity defines the bouquet, where fruit aromas combine with leather and spice. On the palate the wine shows the typical, remarkably fleshy character of perfectly ripe Merlot, and is structured by silky, distinguished tannins from the fine Cabernets in the vineyards. Full-bodied, charming and fresh.

Blend

79% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon

The vintage

The cold and wet weather up until June and high summer temperatures, triggered pronounced inconsistencies between the grape varieties and regular, constant growth in the vegetation, keeping teams constantly active from May through to September : rigorous leaf plucking and targeted secondary shoot removal promoted air circulation around the bunches and optimised ripening, while constant vigilance was essential to keep the vineyard healthy and remove any uneven bunches.

Central to our success is a hands-on approach around the clock, coupled with severe harvest selection, both on the vine and in the winery - assisted by a new pendulum action destemmer, which preserves stalks whole and removes increased quantities of plant matter, for more efficient elimination of plant matter at the final manual sorting. 

Tasting notes

“Highly concentrated in appearance tinged with crimson. Charming bouquet develops complex aromas of fruit and spice with touches of mint and abundant freshness. Initially supple on the palate, developing full-bodied and rounded character, with a silky mouthfeel and tannic structure. A well-balanced wine culminating in a lovely, long finish. A second wine retaining all the elegance of a Fine Wine. (May 2015)

F. Bonnaffous – Vignobles Dourthe Director

Blend

3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 65% Merlot

The vintage

After several years of significant water shortage, 2012 began with exceptional precipitation levels, which fortunately were fully absorbed by Belgrave’s deep layers of well-drained gravel.  Led by experience and patience, we remained on guard, balancing the work in the vineyard to combat disease pressure caused by unsettled weather conditions.

The return of ideal weather conditions at the end of July was our just reward, allowing the ripening to conclude in perfect conditions, with sunshine and good day/night temperature variation, and as often is the case in Bordeaux, Indian summer conditions in September made all the difference to the quality of the must – the skins were ripe and the grapes had developed good aromatic complexity.

 

 

Tasting notes

Concentrated appearance tinged with garnet. Red fruit aromas together with spicy notes define the bouquet. The palate, offering remarkable richness lent by ripe Merlot dominating the blend, is structured with fine, distinguished tannins from the magnificent Cabernets. Full-bodied, full-flavoured and fresh.

Frédéric Bonnaffous, Dourthe Estates Director

Blend

60% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot

The vintage

In record drought conditions, constantly adapting vine management techniques, including canopy management, ploughing the soils and temporary crop planting, successfully avoided any growth stoppages in the vine on the more exposed gravel-sand parcels. With meticulous monitoring of disease pressure in the vines during the humid summer, and rigorous sorting of the grapes on the vine, the grapes were healthy with entirely satisfactory levels of ripeness, particularly in the case of the later-ripening varietals. With a combination of gentle vinification, average vatting time and controlled extractions, the wines are elegant and expressive.

Tasting notes

Garnet in colour, with subtle glints. The bouquet reveals dark berry fruits, lifted by fresh, minty notes. The wine is clean and savoury on the palate, with a distinct tannic thread that never overpowers, developing into an attractive, aromatic finish.

Blend

70% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Natalie Maclean.com
- 93/100

This is the second wine of Chateau Belgrave, and it's spectacular! Luscious and rich with juicy layers of fleshy ripe black plum. Long tannins mean that this wine is extra supple, with a velvet mouth-texture. It's accessible and ready to drink now, though you could also cellar it for 5-7 years. It's produced in the St. Julien district of the Haut Medoc in Bordeaux. Pair with prime rib.

The vintage

Given the significant water shortage this vintage, we adopted different approach working the soil and the canopy. We are also fortunate to have very mature vines, which react well to lack of rainfall. Thankfully, the summer was very hot, without being a heatwave, with pronounced day and night temperature variations, which is extremely favourable to slow ripening. The vineyard did not suffer any adverse effects and the very fine weather in September lulled the grapes outstanding quality standards! Extremely favourable weather October allowed a very selective harvesting on a micro-parcel spread out over a 4-week period. Our work in the winery focused intensity and elegance of this vintage, which we already deem exceptional.

Tasting notes

Very concentrated wine tinged with ruby. The wine is intense on the bouquet, exuding fruit laden notes of raspberry and blackberry, liquorice and mint. Clean on the attack, it evolves into a full-bodied wine, with a pronounced tannic backbone and reveals well-integrated oak. Stunning, lingering finish releasing floral, violet-tinged notes, intermingling with lovely hints of vanilla.oak.

Blend

46% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Decanter
- 90/100

Highly Recommended - This is a youthful red with clear integrity of fruit. The tannins are firm with good depth of flavour, showing touches of blackcurrant and black chocolate. This should age very well. Drink 2017-2015

The Daily Mail

The prestigious Château Belgrave is making fabulous wines again after a period in the doldrums, and this 2010 is a stunner... 

Gault&Millau

Beaucoup de fraîcheur et de tension qui nous emportent sur une branche végétale, fruitée. Les tanins sont serrés sur une finale légèrement fraîche, présage d'une longévité certaine. A proposer pour un repas sur un veau aux épices.

La Revue du Vin de France
- 15/20

Ce second fait honneur à son grand frère dont nous louons les progrès réalisés sur les derniers millésimes. Concentré, dense et serré, Diane de Belgrave possède un superbe corps, avec beaucoup d'équilibre et de raffinement. L'ensemble est très fondu et possède de jolis tanins. Un très beau second vin qu'on peut laisser vieillir cinq ans.

The vintage

It has been an auspicious year at Belgrave: good budburst, consistent flowering at the beginning of June, and beautiful, warm, sunny days until the harvest. The exceptional water shortage has slowed phenolic ripeness in certain vineyard plots.
Rainfall in mid-September came like manna from heaven and allowed the vines to get back on track. The vintage finally took place amidst continued Indian summer conditions, with the first Cabernet grapes only picked at the beginning of October. The temperature-controlled fermentations promoted a gentle extraction of the perfectly ripe tannins.

Tasting notes

Attractive deep red in colour. Generously ripe fruit notes on the nose are accompanied by subtle, well-integrated hints of mature character. The wine is well balanced on the palate, showing attractive depth and elegance, rounded character that evolves to reveal youthful tannins on the finish that will soften with bottle age. A very attractive second wine.

Blend

55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Decanter
- 91/100

This is a youthful red with clear integrity of fruit. The tannins are firm with good depth of flavour, showing touches of blackcurrant and black chocolate. This should age very well.

 

Decanter
- 17.5/20

A well-reputed second wine, named as a homage to the estate's past as a hunting lodge. The 59ha Château Belgrave estate lies adjacent to Château Lagrange, which is in St-Julien. Generous, fruity style with black fruit and spice. Classic style and elegance with firm tannins and depth on the finish. (91/100)

Vinum
- 15/20

Gefällig, geschmeidig, reif, doch mit Frische.

Guide Bettane et Desseauve

Mûr, charnu, intense, savoureux, c'est un vin élégant aux tanins ronds, classique du Haut-Médoc.

Gault&Millau
- 15/20

Médoc croquant, au fruité vif, finement acidulé qui vient bousculer les papilles dans le but de les réveiller. Mûre sauvage, groseilles et feuille de cassis se donnent la réplique au coeur d'une bouche accomplie. 

Wine Enthusiast
- 88/100

Already deliciously fruity, this is a big, ripe, black-fruit-dominated wine. To balance the black currant flavor, there is a fine sense of structure, which offers a dry edge along with final acidity.

Guide Hachette

Vin réussi (cité).



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