Jean-Paul and Hervé Tijou, Château de Bellevue (1995)  
Recently retired Jean-Paul Tijou has passed the reigns to son Hervé. This 19th century mansion came into the ownership of the Tijou family in 1894 and has been the home to five generations. In total, they farm 32 hectares of vines, including 8 hectares in Chaume. They have rented land in ‘La Croix Picot’ since 1993.

Wine Overview:  
The first vintage here was in 1995. The wines are all fermented in barriques of between four and eight years old using indigenous yeasts. A weekly batonnage increases richness and complexity and the wines can be expected to be aged in wood for between nine and twelve months. Malolactic fermentation takes place in some years, but is not systematic. Production of La Croix Picot ranges from between 6,000 and 10,000 bottles.

The Wines:  
There is no doubting that the land that the Tijou’s rent would instantly qualify as Grand Cru should ever a system be ratified. With such a site comes the responsibility to ensure that the wines at least equal their potential. Whilst the wines are good, they don’t yet warrant Grand Cru status. These are workable wines, slightly uneven and a tad rustic. They need to be a little more consistent going forward.  

2007 'La Croix Picot'
Open nose, although a little shallow and simple. Steely on the palate and not very expressive. A little grubby also. One dimensional and lacks any real interest. Dilute and a bit short on the finish. The juicy acidity carries the wine. Ordinary. (02/10)

2005 ‘La Croix Picot’  
Polished. Mid-depth. Youthful green hints. Still quite primary with aromas of pear. No real evidence of wood. Attractive, green fruits to the nose. The palate is delicate showing white fruits of peach and pear. This has yet to evolve, but shows good balance and is persistent to the finish. Very good potential, but needs time. (02/08)

2003 ‘La Croix Picot’  
Bright. Very pale green/straw hints. Very light and delicate nose. Very fresh for the vintage, with a faintly meaty (Pinot Gris) like nose. Quite light, dry and austere. Builds well and eventually shows the character of the vintage with something of a hot finish. Lacks acidity. Drink now as unlikely to improve. (02/08)

2002 ‘La Croix Picot’  
Mid-pale. Yellow/straw. Ripe nose. Delicate, but quite powerful behind. Shows richness. Silky and well textured. Quince and greengage. Delicate and complex. Lovely focus and palate weight. Rich but elegant. Very fresh with good texture and a persistent mineral finish. The acidity carries the wine a little, but this is still youthful and could be expected to age further. (02/08)

2000 ‘La Croix Picot’  
Bright. Mid-depth. Yellow/green. Open and floral nose. Broad and not very expressive. Very good weight and structure to the palate. Stony and mineral – more mineral than fruit – but good structure. Still youthful. This is drinking well now and could be expected to age a little further. (02/08)

1999 ‘La Croix Picot’  
Bright. Mid-depth with some green hints. Attractive nose. Some maturity and faint reduction. Delicate and complex on entry with some lactic elements (only about 30% went through malolactic this vintage). More evidence of reduction on the palate, but good structure and length. Good acidity to finish and an attractive mineral edge. Drinking now. (02/08)

1998 ‘La Croix Picot’  
Bright. Light and youthful yellow/straw appearance. Mid-depth nose. Some petrol. Gentle, but quite closed. Camomile flavours. Broad, but not very intense. Some reduction and as a result the wine hasn’t really evolved . Chalky textured. A little phenolic. The wine is quite backward, although still fresh. Drink now or hold, although I can’t see this coming out of its shell. (02/08)

1997 ‘La Croix Picot’  
Polished. Yellow/green with some gold. Ripe on the nose with evidence of botrytis (although I am told this was a passillerage year). Ripe and complex on the palate with very good texture. Fat and powerful, with a hint of coconut. Well textured and broad to the finish. Just lacks a little acidity. Needs drinking, but very good. (02/08)

1996 ‘La Croix Picot’  
Polished. Deep appearance. Retains some green hints. Broad and floral nose with faint marzipan. Greengage. More herbal. Rounded and evolved, but not tired. Well focused with good structure and length. Very good acidity. Linear and mineral. This is drinking well now and should hold a few years, but unlikely to improve. (02/08)

1995 ‘La Croix Picot’  
Polished. Mid-depth. Pale yellow/green. Clean, delicate, broad nose with camomile and white flowers. Linear on entry. Very fresh with good minerality. Still very youthful. Good length with structured acidity. Long on the finish. Some white flowers and faint terpine suggesting some evolution, but still in good condition. Mature, but should hold well (although this was the last bottle from the Tijou cellar). (02/08)

Hervé Tijou  
Chateau de Bellevue  
St Aubin-de-Luigne  
T: +33 2 41 78 33 11  

F: +33 2 41 78 67 84


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