"Incredibly perfumed aromas of roses and violets, as well as blue fruit and lavender. Full-bodied and powerful, yet so full of finesse and vibrance. The height of elegance! Such depth of chalk and dark berries. It goes on for minutes. Drink after 2025."
99 Points, JamesSuckling.com
"IThe 2016 Bélair-Monange is exotically ripe and flashy. Bright red and purplish fruit is pushed forward in a primary, intense wine with plenty of immediacy. As good as the 2016 is, what I don't see are the layers of depth and structure that have made the finest recent vintages so compelling. Even so, the 2016 is a very pretty and compelling wine, it just falls a bit short relative to some of the other wines that have been made here. 2024-2046"
94 Points, Antonio Galloni
"The 2016 Bélair-Monange is easily the most closed of all of J-P Moueix’s wines when I taste them together. It is stubbornly tight in the glass and then coquettishly unfurls mineral-rich red berry fruit mixed with rose petals; the perfume is captivating. The palate is well balanced, with velvety tannin and perfectly judged acidity, and very, very harmonious. More and more black fruit seems to join the chorus line toward the finish, which fans out gloriously, demonstrating superlative persistence. The best Bélair-Monange to date, and an accomplished, riveting Saint-Émilion. 2025-2055"
97 Points, Vinous
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.
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.