Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Bellet, historic, distinctive, but minute appellation in the far south east of provence whose total vineyard area had by 2011 fallen to 50 ha/125 acres in the hills above Nice. It takes determination to find a bottle outside the Côte d’Azur, and even greater determination to find the vineyards themselves perched about 300 m/980 ft above the Mediterranean up the Var valley in the city’s hinterland. Almost equal quantities of all three colours are produced. The scented, full-bodied whites made from the local Rolle (Vermentino) grapes with some Chardonnay and occasionally Bourboulenc are the appellation’s most distinctive wines, and reflect well the mesoclimate of these hillside vineyards, which is slightly cooler than in much of the rest of Provence. Rosés may be made from braquet (while the intriguing Folle Noire (Fuella) is traditional for red wines, although it is often supplemented by Cinsaut and occasionally Grenache.