93-95/100 Robert Parker Jr. This tiny estate was in the qualitative doldrums for decades, but it has been resurrected by Christian Moueix and his son, Edmond, over the last few years and the 2010 ranks alongside the brilliant 2009. Two-thirds of this vineyard is planted on the pure limestone hillsides and the rest is on the Plateau of St.-Emilion. One parcel, over 100 years of age, produces a minuscule 5-10 hectoliters per hectare. The 2010, primarily Merlot, boasts a dense purple color as well as raspberry fruit notes intermixed with a liqueur of powdered rocks. With abundant fruit, minerality, size, substance, personality and extraordinary individuality, this stunningly concentrated St.-Emilion is a tour de force in great winemaking. It will need 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25-30 years.
Chateau Belair-MonangePreviously known as Chateau Belair, the name was changed to Belair-Monange upon its full purchase by the Moueix family in 2008. The 12 ha vineyard is planted predominately to Merlot with some Cabernet Franc growing on limestone and clay soils. A blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, the wine is fermented in stainless steel and lined concrete tanks prior to undergoing maturation in a mix of new and seasoned barriques for 18 months. A philosophy encompassing reduced yields, later harvesting and meticulous fruit selection have resulted in a richer more generous, concentrated style since 2008.