Nice is France's fifth most populous city and enjoys a sunny Mediterranean climate combined with cooling sea breezes (the tourist board wouldn't want us to dwell on the traffic congestion and graffiti). It was the English aristocracy that first developed it as a winter holiday resort in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; a legacy that can be seen in the Promenade des Anglais, the 6 kilometre seaside walkway that follows the coastline of the Baie des Anges. There is little on record but as the promenading Rosbifs were predominantly hotel dwellers, there is every chance that they acquainted themselves with the local wines of Bellet because then, as now, the vast majority of the meagre output was consumed sur place.
With just 70 hectares under vine (out of a theoretical 650) Bellet is necessarily scarce. With vine-holdings that now extend over 5 hectares at their organically-farmed Domaine de la Source, this makes brother and sister Eric and Carine Dalmasso significant players in a niche market. Their Bellet blanc, made from pure Rolle, has alluring stone fruit scents and a smoothly-textured palate of peaches and apricots with subtle herb and pine undertones. Its raison d'être is to accompany the plentiful local seafood. A rosé, made from the unsung grape Braquet, has limpid wild salmon hue, a delicate Summer berry bouquet and a palate of fresh red berries offset by tidy acidity. Completing the range is a rich earthy red made from a blend of 40% each of Folle Noir and Braquet and 20% Grenache. Packed with dark garrigue fruit flavours and supported by rugged tannins and cracked pepper notes, it makes a fine foil for Provençal cuisine.