Domaine Belle Crozes Hermitage Les Terres Blanches (750ml)
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Domaine Belle is a certified-organic estate with a storied history. In the 1600’s, vines were grown around the Chateau de Larnage and all the land and produce belonged to the Lord of Larnage and each villager had to give three days unpaid corvee labour; one for pruning, one for ploughing, and another for the grape harvest. In 1769, at a village assembly called by the new Lord, each family was granted a small parcel of land with vines for their personal use and from these feudal times, the family parcels gradually expanded until in the 1930s it consisted of several neighbouring plots whose grapes were made into wine and sold locally. Louis Belle (Philippe’s grandfather) took over the property and acquired additional parcels of land in the communes of Larnage and Tain l’Hermitage. When Louis handed the land on to his son Albert in the 1970s, their 4 ha of land was spread across two communes (Larnage and Tain).
Now managed by Albert’s son Philippe, the estate is committed to showcasing terroir and today, Domaine Belle covers 25 ha and stretches over six communes and three appleations; Larnage, Crozes-Hermitage, Tain l’Hermitage, Pont de l’Isère, Mercurol and Tournon, and Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, and Saint-Joseph.
On the nose, quince, honeysuckle, and almonds make up the bouquet. On the palast, those aromas come through as well with added crisp acidity and firm minerality. Pair with a variety of richer, lobster and/or scallop dishes- creamy chicken dishes would work, too.
Made from 70% Marsanne and 30% Roussanne, the grapes are grown on limestone, sand, and gravel. 100% hand harvested, low temperature fermentation occurs in oak barrels; 75% new, 25% one year old oak. Aged on the fine lees in the same barrels with malolactic fermentation, aged for 20 months before bottling.
This is a powerhouse white wine that can stand up to the richest of meals. Layered with tangy, tropical fruit and perfectly integrated cedary oak notes, it’s simply decadent. It’s not often I get to use the word unctuous in a sentence but it seems fitting here. Substitute this for a creamy Chardonnay at your next lobster boil… you can thank me later.