December Imported Wine: 2010 Chateau Bellevue Gazin Cotes de Bordeaux Red, Bordeaux, FRANCE

Owner/Commune: Alain and Anne-Sophoe Lancereau / Plassac

Background: The estate is situated at the top of the hill overlooking Plassac, a very privileged area of the Cotes de Blaye wine region on the borderline between the Pays d’Oc and the Pays d’Oeil offering a superb view over the Gironde Estuary. Alain and Anne-Sophie Lancereau bought this wine estate with the aim of making it part of a larger cultural and tourist project. Their passion for wine, and for this chateau in particular, stems from the profession of Anne-Sophie’s grandfather, a wine merchant. By investing in the vineyard in 2003, they aimed to recreate a once great wine. They have carried out extensive restructuring in the vineyard and modernized and extended the winery.

Surface or Vineyard Size: 15 ha

Average Age of Vines: 40 years

Grape Varieties: The vineyard boasts a rich mix of grape varieties: Merlot dominates, together with a large proportion of Malbec (also known as Cot), which is quite atypical. Cabernet and Petit Verdot complete the blend.

Terroir: Calcareous clay and clayey gravel

Winemaking/Ageing: A wine that certainly merits the title of “Grand Vin”. Best cellared for two years; will be ready for drinking from 2012 and onward.

Varietal(s): 70% Merlot, 15% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot

Alcohol: 14.0% by volume

Food Pairings: Pair this great bottle with anything! Try with a great piece of meat, BBQ and great cheeses!

Tasting Notes: Outstandingly situated at the highest point of the Blaye region facing the Medoc with a view of the whole Gironde Estuary, this small growth has yielded a beautiful, deep red wine with deep purple tints. The product of the excellent 2010 vintage, its generous bouquet is redolent of red fruit, blackberry and blackcurrant with toasty notes denoting ageing in high-quality oak. Rich, chewy palate with an evident but not excessive tannic presence and a persistent, balanced finish.

Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “Rich, supple and elegant. Loaded with spicy and red aromatics. Great with lamb, veal or steak! Awesome this time this year!”-JL