Château Belles Graves
Situated gracefully on a sunny hillside, far from the noise and bustle of the outside world, Belles Graves possesses a serene, bucolic charm that is all its own. It has a chateau surrounded by long rows of vines stretching out into the distance, at the end of a long path in the calm shade of hundreds of years old lime trees. The vineyard spreads over 17 hectares (about 42 acres). It has been planted with two different varieties : Merlot, the most important part with over 85% of the acreage, and Cabernet Franc (also called “bouchet” in the area) for the remaining 15%. The fields located on the eastern, southern and western slopes around the château have a mixed clay and gravels soil, with huge quantity of iron oxyd in the subsoil, which gives a typical orange rusty color. Between the château and the road, there is a flat part, very gravely, with mostly flint and quartz, very similar to the Pomerol famous terroir, just across the river Barbanne.
Then forward to the North, we find a sand and silt soil, colder, but still with rich iron oxyd subdoli. Underground, we find alternately thick drainy layers of stone and sand mixed with red clay, and thin but dense slices of pure blue clay which keep rain water, where the vine will deep its roots during drought perioda. The vineyards (15ha) are planted to 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, the blend of the wine following this same proportion. The parcels are situated on the eastern, southern and western sides of the estate and are of clay and gravel, with an iron oxide rich subdoli. Yields are kept low, the maceration is long, aged in barrel (10% new) up to 12 months and the wines are never filtered and rarely fined. Sustainably farmed, the property is a jewel of a chateau that sits atop a knoll immediately across the Barbanne valley, a few hundred yards from the clearly visible vineyards of Ch Petrus.