Some of the most remarkable vinous excitement and promise - 2013 Belluard Le Feu

Posted by Joe Salamone

"Some of the most remarkable
vinous excitement and promise"
2013 Belluard Le Feu

Le Feu is Belluard's top site and the pinnacle of his winemaking.

It's from the intensely steep, perfectly exposed Le Feu vineyard that Belluard's entire idiom comes to its shocking conclusion. Compared to his other bottlings, Le Feu manages to be simultaneously concentrated and complex yet more focused, transparent, elegant and vividly mineral.

Belluard has had a huge reputation in France for some time, and the same thing has happened in The States over the past few years. People take notice when someone like David Schildknecht writes in the Wine Advocate that Belluard's wines are:"Some of the most remarkable vinous excitement and promise I have witnessed." But it goes well beyond this, it seems that everyone who tastes Belluard's wines is moved by them.

This year's allocation found Belluard's fan club having grown by huge amounts and a vintage where Belluard's yields were down 45%. We've been offering Belluard since they've been available on the east coast and have enjoyed generous allocations, but things got ugly for the 2013 vintage. There’s just much less Le Feu available in 2013 than in previous years.

Dominique Belluard has dedicated the majority of his energy to the Gringet grape, an obscure grape that's native to his corner of eastern Savoie. There are 22ha of Gringet planted and he owns half of it. For the most part, Gringet is used for indifferent sparkling wines simply crafted for local consumption. But in Belluard's hands, Gringet becomes something truly noteworthy.

The old Gringet vines in the iron stained soils of Le Feu give a beautifully multi-layered complexity with a bright, firm core of mountain nervosity. There's a ridiculous spectrum of flavors from spring flowers, to smokey minerals, to gentle vegetable notes and many places in between. As I mentioned earlier, this is Belluard's magnum opus.

Belluard's Le Feu remains a wine that surprises me each time I open it. It's a testament to just how skillful he is as a winemaker. There are few wines that I'm as excited to offer every year.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits