"Tight and minerally with tar, currant, and wet-earth aromas and flavors. Medium-to full-bodied. Some salt and white pepper to the black fruit. Black olives, too."
96-97 Points, JamesSuckling.com
"In 2016 the majority of the grapes were coming from the eastern side of the plateau of Bélair, near to Ausone, although from 2017 things balance out to more accurately reflect the entirety of the vineyard. There's no question that Bélair-Monange is signalling its intent to take on the very best wines of St-Emilion. The smoky oak notes dominate at first, more than in the 2015, but this was only bottled one year ago and it settles in the glass after five minutes. It has wonderful grip and impact, sizzling from the first moment with pulses of electricity and a vertical ride from the clearly evident minerality, both in taste and texture, joined by rich, precise blackberry and blueberry fruits. The whole thing levitated further upwards after 24 hours in bottle, as we tried it again the following night, this time with food.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2046"
97 Points, Decanter
"Deep colour. Intense liquorice, black cherry, black plum aromas with savoury notes. Black cherry, black plum graphite flavours, plentiful firm gravelly al-dente textures and integrated acidity. Very tightly focussed wine with. Excellent vinosity."
94-95 Points, Langton's
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.