Chateau Bellegrave 1998 Pomerol Bordeaux France
Winespoint rating: 92+
Chateau Bellegrave belongs to family Bouldy since 1951 when it was acquired by them. For their vineyards more gravel in the soil compared to other areas of Pomerol is typical. It is worthy to mention the gravel since you will face it in your glass. This wine needed time and a decanter, so it got it. And it was worth it. It opens up and pleases you back for your waiting.
Dark color thanks to the present Cabernet franc (up to 25%) makes this experience truly intriguing from the very first moment. The aromas open up after a while and offer much to enjoy. Even more, it is the one thing one cannot really resist. Sniff, sniff and sniff again. Dark berries with cedar wood, light milky nuances and juicy (not jammy) fruitiness is growing in intensity. The first sip shows so much fruit and juiciness. Great balance and very drinkable. I just fancy to chew it. The balance between sourness, very low bitterness and smoothness. I just want to have another glass. It gets even fruitier, approaching almost violets, yet it keeps itself fruity and not too floral. What a great balance. Body-wise, I feel it belongs to a category of medium-full (not a medium) wine. This 1998 is dark, smells strong, and tastes opulent. The aftertaste is smooth as the wine and as strong as some might expect, though if you try this wine with a mild dish or by itself it will last, indeed. It even leaves hints of licorice in your mouth.
Chateau Bellegrave 1998 is definitely a proper fruity Pomerol from a great year. It is a nice surprise for a very reasonable money. I would buy this wine and vintage again and would like to try other vintages. A vertical would be nice to approach.
Next day: the wine has lost its fruitiness and resembles more to much older wines (add 10 years). Recommendation: before drinking give it 1-2 hours to breathe. Do not leave it until the next day as it will loose its vigorous character.