The dominant, densely concentrated Merlot fruit (88%) is cut through with some cool Cabernet Franc (12%). The tannins are fulsome: abundant and mouth-coating at this early stage, they will need time to resolve. The wine has undeniable power, with a muscular texture.
This perhaps somewhat controversial marriage between the estates of Chateau Belair and Chateau Magdelaine—both Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint-Emilion estates—to form Chateau Bélair Monange hits pay-dirt with this spectacular 2015 release. Composed of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Belair Monange has the most singular nose of grilled meats, smoked game, iron ore and fallen leaves over a slowly unfurling ripe fruit core of crushed black plums, blackberry preserves and cassis with fragrant touches of star anise and potpourri. Full-bodied, rich and opulent in the mouth, the palate reveals an arresting backbone of exquisitely ripe, very firm tannins and sparks of background acidity lifting and defining the rich, densely packed layers, culminating in an epically long and multifaceted finish. Possessing its own compellingly beautiful signature, this is a remarkably riveting wine that should not be missed. Lisa Perrotti Brown Score 98+/100 Drink dates 2022-2053
Jean-Pierre Moueix's new baby. 23.5 ha (58 acres) of limestone on the plateau, and clay on limestone on the slopes. 88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. Extremely dark. Very heady, very dramatic. So unlike the Bélair and Magdelaine of old! Small berries (tastes as though) and very concentrated. Thick and ambitious. Quite a play! Halfway between the J-P Moueix restraint and the more alcoholic style that has been modern St-Émilion. Drink 2037-2042
Incredible depth of fruit to this wine with ultra-powerful tannins that remain agile and soft. So much intensity. It’s layered with ripe fruit and caressing mouth feel. Neoclassical in style. Mostly merlot with a touch of cabernet franc.
The 2015 Bélair-Monange is super-impressive. A striking bouquet endowed with the essence of graphite, smoke, licorice and tobacco is pure allure. Vertical on the palate, with soaring tannins and tons of structure, the 2015 possesses remarkable intensity to match its explosive, energetic personality. Even with all of its size, the 2015 remains incredibly nuanced and finessed throughout. Today, it is one of the most exciting wines of the year. The blend is 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc.
Only 12ha of the 23.5ha estate in production at present. Has come on leaps and bounds. Appealing berry fruit nose. Generous fruit on the palate but freshness and precision as well. Plentiful but ripe tannins. Limestone terroir shows its presence. Super harmony and balance.
(88 Merlot, 12 Cabernet Franc) As every year passes Bélair-Monange gathers more intensity and gravitas and in 2015 it is showing some of the grandeur which this property long promised. The nose is full, complex and sophisticated with both red and black hues and succulent oak. The palate is sturdy and muscular and the finish is dry and structured. Youthful and closed this wine will blossom ahead of both Trotanoy and Hosanna and around the same time as Château La Fleur-Pétrus and show the grand terroir here off to a tee.
Rich, tannic and dominated by oak at this stage, but this ambitious wine will settle into itself over the next year or two. Firm and dense, with layered tannins, inky, slightly fruitcakey notes, this finishes with a frisson of limestone freshness. Drink: 2022-35
South of Pomerol lies the medieval, perched village of St Emilion. Surrounding St Emilion are vines that produce round, rich and often hedonistic wines. Despite a myriad of soil types, two main ones dominate - the gravelly, limestone slopes that delve down to the valley from the plateau and the valley itself which is comprised of limestone, gravel, clay and sand. Despite St Emilion's popularity today, it was not until the 1980s to early 1990s that attention was brought to this region. Robert Parker, the famous wine critic, began reviewing their Merlot-dominated wines and giving them hefty scores. The rest is history as they say. Similar to the Médoc, there is a classification system in place which dates from 1955 and outlines several levels of quality. These include its regional appellation of St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, which is further divided into "A" (Ausone and Cheval Blanc) and "B" (including Angélus, Canon, Figeac and a handful of others). To ensure better accuracy, the classification is redone every 10 years enabling certain châteaux to be upgraded or downgraded depending on on the quality of their more recent vintages.