- Domaine Bel Air
- St Emilion
- Merlot / Cabernet Franc
- 2028 - 2050
- Case size
- En Primeur
Neal Martin, April 2022,
The 2021 Bélair-Monange was picked September 28 to October 2. It has an atypically ostentatious bouquet for the vintage – kirsch, blue fruit, a touch of violet petals – that needs to muster a little more delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chewy tannins, fine acidity and good substance, yet it clamps down toward the strict, linear finish. This does not have the persistence of the 2019 or 2020, and tasting the bottle twice (returning later on in the day for a different take), I cannot help but feel this top-ranking Saint-Émilion is struggling to nail down its identity this season. It’s definitely one I wish to revisit in the future to see whether I caught it at an inopportune moment. Drink 2029 - 2052
Wine Advocate, April 2022,
Offering up aromas of sweet cherries, cassis, pipe tobacco, loamy soil and spices, the 2021 Belair Monange is medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, with powdery tannins and a bright spine of acidity, concluding with a long, intensely saline finish. As young vines replanted on the plateau start to dominate the blend, the identity of this cru is becoming more and more marked, delivering wines of precision and sapidity.
Antonio Galloni, April 2022,
The 2021 Bélair-Monange is a very beautiful wine. Fruit forward and punchy, the 2021 makes quite a first impression. Ripeness is naturally less pushed here than in recent vintages - that is the year - but it is a style that works so well, as this site offers plenty of richness on its own. A rush of inky red/purplish fruit fills out the layers nicely. There's not a ton of nuance or detail yet, but that will likely come in time. This is very nicely done. Drink 2031-2061
Goedhuis, April 2022,
With just 1% Cabernet Franc this is effectively a total Merlot cuvee from this fine 23-hectare vineyard on the plateau of St Emilion. It exudes rich, unctuous fruit with smoky, sweet dark berry notes and fresh coffee bean. Wonderfully appealing, this is full of class, balancing striking richness with a layered minerality. The fullness of fruit sits perfectly with a rewarding salinity at the end providing complexity and length.
Wine Cellar Insider, April 2022,
Deep ruby in color, the wine is filled with black raspberries, flowers, mint, and spices. On the palate, the wine is plush, soft, polished, fresh, vibrant, and long, finishing with crushed rocks, stones, chalk and bright, fresh, red fruits, with just a touch of spearmint on the backend. The wine blends 99% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc, Drink from 2023-2049.
Jane Anson, April 2022,
Lush raspberry and red cherry fruits, stone-strewn limestone salinity on the finish, complex and enjoyable. This has grilled oak smoke and is accomplished and finessed, lovely limestone character, tapers off slowly but surely on the finish. A clear success in the vintage, from an estate that is really flexing its muscles right now, up there with the very best in St Emilion. Harvest September 28 and October 2.
Matthew Jukes, April 2022,
Superbly classy and ever so long, this wine is a lesson in not throwing all of the flavours to the front of the palate. Rather it leaves the best to the overture at the end. The nose is textbook B-M, and the palate slips into medium-weight-plus mode seamlessly. After that you find yourself thumbing through chapters of fruit, spice, earth and oak notes as if you are reading a fascinating novel. The momentum is maintained, and the finish is sublime, senescing gracefully rather than running out of puff and collapsing in a heap. Outstanding and every inch a genuine contender for wine of the commune in 2021.
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.