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Domaine Belle, France

One of the stars of northern Rhône.

Domaine Belle is one of a handful of producers achieving the exciting potential of this area and justifying its reputation as one of the classic regions of France. Philippe Belle oak matures a quarter of the blend of Crozes-Hermitage enhancing the full, ripe flavours and attractive, complex aromas of the wine.

Viticulture

The domaine extends to 25 hectares in 6 communes and three appellations, Saint Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage. Low yields in the vineyards (30-35 hl/ha) and of course the wonderful climate help produce grapes of exceptional quality. This soil is composed of white limestone clay also known as Kaolin, Granite and Galet stone.

Winemaking

White wines: After pressing and settling, low temperature fermentation (around 15-16°C) for one month in new oak barrels, one-year-old oak barrels or stainless steel vats, according to the appellation. The wine is left on the lees until the completion of malolactic fermentation, at ten to twelve months according to the appellation, before it is racked and bottled. Red wines: Complete or partial de-stemming according to the cuvee, cold maceration, fermentation on the skins for three to five weeks with punching down and precise temperature control. All the red wines are then transferred to oak barrels, the proportion of new barrels depending on the cuvee, for an elevage of between twelve and twenty-six months before bottling without filtration.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Routine pursuit of low yields (20 to 40hl per hectare) leads them to practice close pruning and the very moderate application of organic manure.
  • Wines of full, ripe flavours and attractive, complex aromas.