- Domaine Bel Air
- St Emilion
- Merlot / Cabernet Franc
- 2027 - 2050
- Case size
- En Primeur
Neal Martin, May 2021,
The 2020 Bélair-Monange continues its impressive run of form under the JP Moueix family, having rapidly ascended to the highest rank within the Saint-Émilion appellation. This latest release is another stunning articulation of its propitious terroir, which lies adjacent to Ausone. You could lose yourself in the kaleidoscope of aromas: black cherries, Dorset plum, crushed stone, violet and background pencil box, beautifully defined and growing in intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannins and quite firm (maybe a tad more than I anticipated), displaying fine grip. This is a strict yet utterly compelling Bélair-Monange with wonderful salinity coming through toward the finish. There is a lot of substance to this wine and it is perhaps less immediate than other recent vintages, indicating that it may require long-term cellaring. Outstanding. Drink 2027 - 2050
Wine Advocate, May 2021,
The 2020 Belair Monange displays an opaque purple-black color, unfurling slowly to reveal a nose of blueberry preserves, stewed plums and Morello cherries, giving way to a fragrant undercurrent of Chinese five spice, incense and dried rose petals, plus hints of fallen leaves, Sichuan pepper and oolong tea. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers a fantastically plush texture with mouth-coating black and blue fruits and loads of exotic spice sparks, gently lifted by soft acidity, finishing long and fragrant. Drink 2027-2052
Decanter, May 2021,
The gunsmoke character is immediately evident on the nose, as is richly expressed damson and raspberry fruit. This is pared back and held back right now, elegant, showing a seductive edge without trying too hard. The texture is pure, softly-brushed velvet, these tannins are front and centre but so fine and so precise that they don't get in the way of the fruit. Salinity from the limestone is evident on the finish, bringing a moreish juiciness and you can scrape your tongue against the pumice stone texture. Austere in all the right ways, with just the most incredible depth and layers. Love it. Harvest September 15 to 23. Could go up after tasting in bottle. (JA)
Antonio Galloni, June 2021,
The 2020 Bélair-Monange is exceptional. A bold, dramatic wine, the 2020 hits all the senses with layers of intense dark fruit, chocolate, cake, spice, leather and espresso. In some vintages, I have felt Bélair-Monange to be perhaps just a bit pushed in terms of ripeness. The 2020 has plenty of richness, but also more than enough energy to provide balance. Clean, mineral underpinnings extend the persistent finish beautifully. I expect the 2020 will reward readers with several decades of thrilling drinking. Drink 2035 - 2060
Goedhuis, April 2021,
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. A sensational wine from this famed estate owned by the Moueix family sitting on the highest point in the appellation and clearly benefitting from its blue clay and limestone soils in 2020. Intoxicatingly scented, with hints of violet, rosemary, and joyous fresh summer fruits. On the palate it has endless flowing flavours of mocha, nutmeg, and bright fruits. With huge volume and richness, it is also graceful, and the wonderfully silky tannins give length and total class
James Suckling, April 2021,
It’s full-bodied, showing loads of violets, blackberries and blueberries with salt and white-pepper character. Minerally. It’s very fine-grained with a fascinating finish. Intense and long. 98% merlot and 2% cabernet franc.
Wine Cellar Insider, May 2021,
Full-bodied, concentrated, rich and velvety, the wine promptly provides layer after layer of flawlessly ripe, black and dark red pit fruits, crushed rocks, licorice, espresso, smoke and flowers. Long, deep, rich, concentrated and focused, the wine finishes with a majestic combination of minerals, black plums, black cherries, dark cocoa, velvet-laced tannins and spice. The stony finish sticks with you for close to 60 seconds. Give this at least a decade before pulling a cork and enjoy it over the next 3 decades with little effort. 98-100
Jancis Robinson, April 2021,
Wisp of fruit and soil on the nose with a red-berry and chalky nuance. Beautifully textured, the plentiful tannins smooth and filigree fine. Poised, fresh and juicy as well, the finish long and palate-cleansing. Precisely executed, the terroir showing through. (JL) Drink 2028 – 2045
Jeb Dunnuck, May 2021,
A quintessential Saint-Emilion, the 2020 Château Belair-Monange reveals a dense purple/plum color as well as classic Saint-Emilion minerality that covers lots of ripe black fruits, graphite, tobacco, and violet aromas and flavors. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and concentrated, you could almost eat it with a fork and yet it still stays light on its feet, has building, polished tannins, and a great finish. It's a brilliant wine in the making.
Matthew Jukes, April 2021,
Heroic scale and ripeness are matched with epic freshness and spice on the finish and this makes it a sensational experience in 2020. The perfume is beguiling and multi-layered with rose petal and violet as well as luxurious black fruit and hedonistic dark chocolate notes. The freshness on the finish is lip-smacking and the tannins are so controlled and refined that I can conceivably see this wine drinking extremely young in its life as well as having the skill to live for a long spell, too. A lesson in balance and also exoticism, this is one of the most pleasing and succulent wines of the vintage.
Domaine Bel Air
Domaine de Bel Air is a 13-hectare Domaine on the slopes of Pouilly run by oenologue Katia Mauroy-Gauliez, whose modern winery is a model of its genre. The vines grow on limestone and flint soils, imparting the appellation's signature gunflint and smoke characters to the wine. These vines are looked after by Katia's father and brother so it truly is a family domaine. The cellar is smallbut modern, and the winemaking modern, intelligent and non-interventionist. Katia's aim is to let the grapes express the character of the vineyard, and this she does admirably.
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.