Caroline Bellavoine 2018 Bourgogne tasting note

Looks like something to just try a single bottle of and if you like it come back for more quite rapidly!


One small point the bottling/lot mark on the label is LB18-0720. I inferred that is vintage 2018 bottled July 2020.
Not sure if there will be any different batches bottled in different months?

surely that would be a very late bottling for a bourgogne rouge?

I’ve not tried the wine but one thing to note is what the WSET deem ‘Acceptable’
Mateus Rose, JC, Blossom Hill White Zin, Yellow Tail etc etc.
So I think Acceptable may be a tad harsh.
But like I said, not tried it so I couldn’t say.
Just noting other wines that get marked Acceptable.


Out of Stock now!

The problem I had was the bitter astringent finish that developed quite quickly after opening. It tended to throw the wine out of balance. Also the finish was not very long at all. Hence my “acceptable” assessment.
As for bottling date: the 2018 harvest for reds was around early mid Sept. I have no details of her vinification but pre soak of say 7 days vinification say 10-14 with possibly another 7 day post ferment soak is not unreasonable to assume. MLF usually occurs following year early spring.
Length in old barrels varies according to grower. Barthod can be 16-20 months, Hudelot-Noellat 16 months. They may be longer than usual. There may be a period in stainless steel for blending just before bottling.
So I agree July 2020 allows for long barrel élevage. But I may have read the bottling mark wrongly!


or taken offline for QC?

That sounds like a bad bottle. Possibly corked but below the threshold of perception, so it doesn’t smell corked but has made the wine taste bitter. I bought it because it was wonderfully succulent. I have not tasted it since I sampled it in October. I will taste another bottle. Did you buy just one bottle? Tom reports a note more consistent with mine. However all palates are different and equally valid. I have asked for Diam corks in future bottlings.


Starting with the upcoming 2019 vintage?

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I am not sure. I hope so. The 2019 is being bottled soon so I shall soon know.


Increasing bitterness is a classic symptom of corked wines which get worse as exposure to air increases. I hope I have a bottle coming to me as it has now sold out.


It has sold out. It has not been withdrawn for quality reasons. I have asked for a bottle to be delivered to me at home. I think I got a bottle ordered before the wine sold out. I will report back.


I bought 4 bottles. I will try a second one today and see what the results are.
Thank you for the explanation about tca/cork taint.
If you cannot get another bottle I will send you one of mine gratis. Just message me if that will be needed with an address.


Thanks for agreeing to taste again. Its possible the wine has closed up since I tasted in October but 2018 had firmish but not dry tannins. I chose this wine because I thought it was generous and succulent for a wine of this price and so different to your experience. Thanks for the offer of a bottle. I was about to offer to send you another bottle until I found it had sold out!


Well I liked it !


That is an excellent explanation for the disparity in views, Andrew hope you have better luck with the remaining bottles.

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Just reporting back with an update on last night’s two bottles. The first tasted of stewed prunes, had the bitterness that @Andrew1990 described and an odd oaky undertone (cork taint?). I only managed half a glass, over a couple of hours, just to see if it improved, which unfortunately, it did not. I think that it was a tainted bottle and does not reflect how it should really be, based upon others’ descriptions.

The second bottle was definitely corked, being flat, bitter and tasting like cardboard. Neither bottle showed much of a nose but both corks looked to be in good order.

I think that I was just unlucky and am pleased to hear that it has now sold out. At least my experience won’t stop anybody from buying it and I am pleased to see that my experience appears to be the exception, rather than the rule.

I am now off to console myself by purchasing something from the 2018 Burgundy remainder list, before it disappears.


Please see new tasting note below!

As promised I have opened a second bottle (at about 3.00pm today) and retasted it at 6.45pm. It is now clear to me that my bottle last night was indeed tainted with TCA.
So here we go!

Pale Ruby

Medium + intensity of ripe fresh raspberry, strawberry, redcurrant, fresh cherries, spice and violets. Slight note of vanilla.

The wine is dry, high acidity, medium alcohol, medium body, medium fine ripe tannins, quite grippy, but very ripe and fine. Medium+ intensity of flavour of ripe, fresh raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants, red cherry and note of vanilla, no tertiary flavours.
Medium+ finish

Quality assessment:
the wine has rich quite concentrated fruit flavours that are beautifully balanced with a lovely invigorating fresh acidity. The glycerol gives the wine a silky rich round mouthfeel, that lends the wine an intense elegance matched by a complex finish that is medium+ The tannins are very high quality and are very fine indeed and perfectly ripe. The glycerol also adds a delicate touch of sweetness that complements the richness. The wine is, in light of these characteristics, very good.

Suitability for further bottle ageing:
although showing no tertiary flavours the intensity and concentration of fresh ripe fruit, the tannins and acidity balance mean that this wine will continue to improve and develop over the next two years.

It is outstanding value for a Bourgogne rouge.

So, apologies to TWS for the harshness of my previous note, and thank you to Toby (on a Saturday!) for taking the time and trouble to draw to my attention the TCA note.
As an aside, the bottle last night was clearly defective. My wife (who worked in the wine trade for 25 years also shared my views of last nights wine… )
I am very sorry if I put anyone off this very good and very well priced wine! I hope this reassessment encourages previous doubters to go for the 2019!
A very good evening to all of you.


Thanks for retasting Andrew.
No need to apologise. Your tasting was a very accurate one based on the wine you had which was corked
Looks like there are a few corky bottles. I am sorry about this.
Have asked them to use Diam in future.