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2017 Domaine Belle "Cuvée Louis Belle" Crozes-Hermitage

SKU #1467497 93 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark The 2017 Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Louis Belle is a winner. Lots of black raspberries, toasted spice, new leather, and savory peppery notes emerge from the glass, and it's ripe, rounded, and sexy on the palate, with light tannins and plenty of upfront accessibility. It should keep for at least 7-8 years. I always love tasting through the releases from Domaine Belle, and they always show classic yet clean, pure profiles that are a joy to drink. While the domaine is located in Crozes Hermitage, they have small holdings in Hermitage and have produced a blockbuster in 2017. Inner quote mark (12/2019)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark With its overlay of toasty oak, the full-bodied 2017 Crozes Hermitage Cuvee Louis Belle stands out in a lineup of other Crozes. Cedar and vanilla frame notes of plum and mocha in this full-bodied and velvety but structured wine that finishes just a bit coarse when compared to the superlative 2018. (JC) Inner quote mark (1/2020)

91 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Opaque ruby. Expansive, oak-tinged black and blue fruit aromas show very good clarity and pick up floral and spice notes with air. Shows very good depth as well as energy to the sweet black raspberry, boysenberry, vanilla and violet pastille flavors, which pick up a smoky aspect on the back half. The floral note drives a long, juicy finish that's framed by smooth, even tannins. (JR) Inner quote mark (4/2020)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Hints of crisp black currant and cassis are lifted by a whiff of balsamic on the nose of this Syrah. It's medium-bodied but intensely concentrated, with rich, ripe flavors of roasted plum offset by fresh acidity and a firm, mineral undertone. At peak now but should drink well through 2024. (AI) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

K&L Notes

The roots of the Belle family run deep in Hermitage and extend back to the 18th century when the family began acquiring vines in the region. When descendant Louis Belle assumed control of the property, he preferred tending vines over making wine. In 1933, he became one of the founding members of the Cave de Tain, the local cooperative. It was not until 2003 when grandson Philippe began making wines for the domaine. The property has 25 hectares of vines planted across Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St-Joseph, along with apricot orchards and a vine nursery tended by Philippe's brother, Jean-Claude. The vineyards were certified organic in 2014. The Cuvée Louis Belle is from Syrah vines ranging from 20 to 100 years of age. About 50% destemming occurs and all grapes are fermented with native yeasts. The wine is aged between 16-18 months in a mix of new (about 25%) and used barrels. This signature cuvée epitomizes the quality of their Crozes fruit, and Rhone expert John Livingstone-Learmonth calls the Belle "a serious, structured wine that keeps and evolves well." We agree and are happy to have added them to our portfolio of direct imports in 2020.

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Price: $29.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/27/2021 | Send Email
This opens with enticing aromas of baked blackberries, oak, beef blood and whiffs of creosote and lavender. The middle is filled with sweet ripe berries, dark plums and chewy fig with hints of iron tinged mineral on the finish. This is approachable and delicious now but based on the 2005 bottling I just pulled from my cellar it will age nicely over the short term.

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/1/2021 | Send Email
There's always a wine in any producer's line-up that sums up who they are and what they do and for me it was when I first tasted the Cuvee Louis Belle. The namesake wine for the patriarch who founded the estate, this is complete and complex Crozes. A saturated palate of blue and black fruit is accompanied by a gorgeous nose of spices, sassafras and lavender. It is reflective of its terroir and the winemaker who shepherded it into the bottle. Any producer can pour all their efforts into their tete de cuvee and make a mind-blowing wine but the real signature of a winery is the workhorse that gets the job done. And this wine gets it done. An absolutely beautiful drink now and will age gracefully for years to come. A great new addition to our direct portfolio.

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