Owner: Château Bellegrave was bought by Jean Bouldy in 1951. Jean’s son, Jean-Marie Bouldy, has been responsible for the property since 1980. Jean-Marie is married to Pascale and their children are Andrée, Aurélie, Jean-Baptiste and Virginie. As well as Château Belgrave à Pomerol, Jean-Marie Bouldy also owns Château des Jacobins, in Pomerol (1.2ha). Jean-Marie Bouldy manages Château Bellisle Mondotte, in St-Émilion (which Jean-Marie Bouldy manages). Jean-Marie Bouldy rents en fermage Château Matignon in St-Émilion. See also Grand Pey Lescours
Staff: Consultant oenologist: Christian Véry (2015).
Vineyards: Château Bellegrave is found in the south-west of Pomerol, west of the RN 89, on a plateau of fine gravel, with 20 per cent clay, typical of the appellation, near the railway line.
Mid-1990s: 5.7ha. 55% Merlot, 30% CF, 10% CS and 5% Malbec. A fine gravel, iron pan subsoil. Light sandy clay. Single guyot. 6,000 vines/ha.
2015 Millésime Bio: Jean-Marie Bouldy told me there were 8.5 hectares (21 acres) of vines of which 6.8ha were estate vines and an adjoining 1.7ha were en fermage. 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc. 45,000 bottles.
Wine style | ‘Bouldy invariably delivers a sound and sometimes excellent wine,” (Stephen Brook: 2007, p.463).
Organic certification: 2012 First vintage with full organic certification.
Winemaking | The grapes are hand picked, sorted and fermented in temperature-controlled cement vats. The wine ages in barrel (one third new) for around 18 months. Bouldy told me he no longer has the wine do its MLF in barrel, feeling as a ‘Pomerol de Graves’, meaning a Pomerol from gravelly soils, it has natural richness of its own.
1999 Tasted at Andrew and Emma Graham-Brown’s in Bristol on Thursday 8 April 2004. Needed 24 hours of breathing to show its plum and earth; initially a bit dumb and meagre; but plenty of fruit and flavour. Sample from Roy Richards. | 2000 Tasted at Andrew Graham-Brown’s parents in Bibury on Easter Friday 9 April 2004, and showed well, with crisp fruit and ripe tannins, not a blockbuster, well made, little evidence of oak. Sample from Roy Richards. | 2004 Well selected grapes as good weight and ripeness with nice touch of oak, drinking well at the Richards Walford organic and biodynamic wine tasting at Vinoteca, London 8 Nov 2010. | 2012 Rich, quite tannic, very good weight, forthright at Millésime Bio Jan 2015. | 2014 Very nice grip, delicious and savoury at M Bio 2016.
Château Bellegrave à Pomerol
F-33330 Pomerol (Gironde), France
Tel+33 (0)18.104.22.168.47 | www.chateaubellegravepomerol.com
Stephen Brook, The Complete Bordeaux (Mitchell Beazley, 2007).