Bellet Wine

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Bellet Wine

Bellet, also known by the snappy sobriquet of the 'urban appellation of Nice', is an ancient vine area, much loved by well-informed oenophiles and the Niçeois cognoscenti but seldom found on export markets or outside the better bistros and brasseries of the Côte d'Azur. Tant pis, as long as the idle rich are only consuming it in situ then prices remain relatively reasonable and we are still able to secure a much-appreciated annual allocation. Although wine has been made here in the foothills of the Alps since Roman times, official AOC status wasn't imbued until 1941 and Bellet remains a necessarily finite and specialist enclave of wine production. With great elevation, plentiful sunshine, adequate rainfall and cooling sea breezes, viticultural conditions are excellent, albeit quite labour intensive. The potential area that could be theoretically planted with vines extends to 650 hectares although the area currently under vine is just 70 hectares which are home to 15 independent wineries as well as some grape growers who sell their crop en vrac for other vignerons to vinify.

Siblings Eric and Carine Dalmasso joined forces with their winemaker father Jacques in 2003 and have now assumed responsibility for all the viticulture and vinification at Domaine de la Source in Saint-Roman de Bellet. Today, their vine holdings extend to 7 hectares which benefit from being naturally irrigated by the spring after which the estate is named. With plantings on free-draining soils of pebbles and fine sand with veins of clay, their entire crop is hand-harvested before being vinified in their own cellars. Their white Bellet is made from pure Rolle that is vinified in thermo-regulated vats prior to being racked, fined and bottled on its youthful fruit. With distinctive pink grapefruit and wildflower scents and a sensuous, citrus-edged palate underscored by bright acidity, it makes for an excellent al fresco aperitif or partner to shellfish. A sibling rosé is pure local rarity Braquet and undergoes a short maceration which imparts a delightful coral pink colour. With a bouquet of red summer berries and raspberry and redcurrant flavours, it makes a terrific pairing with lobster, crab or langoustines. Completing a terrific trio is a redoubtable red made from a blend of 80% Folle Noir and 20% Braquet that is matured for a year in French oak barrels before the final blending and bottling. Redolent of wild garrigue herbs and berries with spicy undertones and a core of dark autumnal fruit over supple tannins, it ages well for 3 to 5+ years and makes a fine partner to roast lamb à la Provençale.

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  1. Bellet: Domaine de la Source Rosé 2020
    Bottle
    £28.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £342.00
  2. Bellet: Domaine de la Source Blanc 2019
    Bottle
    £28.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £342.00
  3. Bellet: Domaine de la Source Rouge 2018
    Bottle
    £29.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £359.40
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