2009 Chateau Belles-Graves Lalande de Pomerol
This lush and velvety Right Bank offering is 88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc from 40 year old vines planted to clay and gravel soils flecked with mica, quartz, and flint in vineyards just across the river from some of Pomerol's most famous estates. A long maceration allows for maximum extraction of flavor, with additional complexity and richness promoted by twelve to fifteen months ageing in in 25% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfiltered, this delicious red shows classic Merlot aromas and flavors of berries and plum, sweet tobacco and cocoa, with fine tannins and earthy minerals dusting the finish. "Relatively secluded, surrounded by its vines, in a place far from the worries of the outside world, Château Belles-Graves is a small glimpse of what one person's paradise might be like," describes importer Kermit Lynch. "...the property is rich with history: the vineyards here date to at least the 16th century, when they first appeared on a map of the region, and the building's edifice as we know it today dates back to the 18th century, before the French Revolution. Though the ownership has changed several times, the old Domaine du Drouilleau, as it was once known, finally settled in the hands of Jean and Hermine Theallet in 1938... It is the Theallets' grandson, Xavier Piton,who runs the seventeen-hectare estate today and receives guests at the château's highly-recommended chambres d'hôtes."