Louis Chèze started his venture in 1978 with one hectare of vines in the Saint-Joseph appellation, on a hillside on the right bank of the Rhône in the commune of Limony. Since then, the domain has grown to 30 hectares, and owns vineyards in Saint-Joseph, Condrieu and more recently, on the other side of the Rhône on the hillsides of Seyssuel, opposite the Côte-Rôtie. Like François Villard, Yves Cuilleron and Pierre Galliard, Louis Chèze now cultivates vines on the remains of the ancient Roman vineyards there. The domain has a modern winery so the vinification process is as fine-tuned as it can be. Every cuvée is the outcome of a meticulous single parcel selection that allows the terroir and grapes to express themselves fully. As the wines are produced on a granite terrain they are very fresh, stylish and full of character. This Rhône Valley domain is growing in reputation.
About the cuvée
Bellissima is a collection of parcels located in the granitic hillsides of the Côte Brune and the Côte Blonde. The Syrah used in the production of this wine comes from sustainably-farmed vines aged between 30 and 45 years. The grapes are sorted in both the vineyard and the cellar. They are then totally destemmed, crushed, macerated and fermented in low-temperature thermoregulated vats. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels. The wine is then matured for 14 months in barrels used two or three times before, depending on the year. The wine is bottled without filtration. Its garnet colour is limpid and deep. The bouquet is complex and composed of notes of red berries and sweet, subtly woody spices. The palate is delicate and opens out to reveal its tannins. This persistent wine is delicious with a chicken stuffed with chestnuts. This wine can be kept for between 5 and 8 years.
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General : The «bio» designation covers certified wines produced by biodynamic or organic methods, sustainably produced wines, and «environmentally friendly» wines that are not officially certified. These designations apply to recent vintages (the date of certification, if known, is specified in the estate description). See the blog article for more information on this designation.
Biodynamic : The «biodynamic» designation is used for all estates certified as using biodynamic methods, as verified by one of the two official bodies, Demeter or Biodyvin. All wines produced by biodynamic methods are also certified as organic. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Organic : The «organic» designation covers all estates certified as using organic methods, as verified by one of the bodies approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, such as Ecocert. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Sustainable : The «sustainable» designation covers all estates certified as using integrated or High Environmental Value (level 3 Environmental Certification) techniques. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Evironmentally friendly : The «environmentally friendly» designation refers to estates practising environmentally friendly wine-growing techniques, but that have not opted for certification or who are still in the process of converting to organic agriculture or biodynamics. These estates may have adopted biodynamic principles (non-certified) or simply no longer use chemical products. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Natural : Wines which are produced without any added sulfur (or almost any) and with no other inputs. However, given that there is no official body to issue the natural wine label, it is based on winemakers’ statements. This designation applies to recent vintages.