The 'Urban Appellation of Nice' aka 'Bellet' is one of France's oldest, smallest, most idiosyncratic and underrated enclaves of viticulture. Its wines are actually well-known and revered by the local 'BCBG' - who enjoy them in situ on the Côte d'Azur - but even keen oenophiles will find them fiendishly difficult to source elsewhere. With around 70 hectares under vine under the control of 10 independent estates, Bellet's wines are inevitably scarce but they are well worth seeking out as they are incredibly characterful and evoke a strong sense of their magnificent terroir in the hills above the Baie des Anges.
At Domaine de la Source in the hill village of Saint-Romain-de-Bellet, siblings Eric and Carine Dalmasso tend 7 hectares of vines that they farm organically. Their Bellet blanc is made from pure Rolle and has a wonderful pink grapefruit and wild flower bouquet preceding a smoothly-textured palate of yellow stone fruit underscored by fresh acidity. It makes a fantastic foil for the local seafood - bouillabaisse or some filets de rouget à la palancha would be ideal. Their rosé is made entirely from the local grape 'Braquet' and has a pretty coral-pink robe, delicate red fruit scents and flavours preceding a long, elegant finish. Completing the range is a fine red Bellet made from a blend of 80% Folle Noir and 20% Grenache Noir that are matured in used French oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months before bottling. It has a wealth of wild herb and berry aromas and a rich palate of stewed dark fruit with spicy undertones and supple tannins that will support (at least) 5 years bottle age.