A Tremendously Nuanced, Perfectly Balanced Saint-Emilion
The winemaking history of Chateau Belair-Monange
can be traced back to well before the French Revolution. In 2008, the estate was acquired by the Moueix family
, who carried out tremendous improvements in quality by drastically reducing the yield of the vineyards and making major investments to modernize the winery. The property enjoys the classification of Premier Grand Cru Classe of Saint-Emilion
, and includes 23.5 hectares (58 acres) planted with vines (around 14 hectares under production). Out of these, roughly 90% is planted to Merlot
and 10% to Cabernet Franc
. Reflected in each glass of Chateau Belair-Monange are two distinct but complementary terroirs: a limestone plateau and blue clay soils on limestone slopes. This combination translates to greater complexity in the finished wines. After a manual harvest, which includes a primary manual sorting in the vineyard and a secondary optical sorting at the winery, the grapes are vinified in thermoregulated stainless steel and concrete vats, with the maceration and extraction carried out in the gentlest manner possible. The wine is matured in French oak barrels (around 50% new) for a period of 16 to 18 months.
The Chateau Belair-Monange 2016
blends 92% Merlot with 8% Cabernet Franc, showing off a medium to deep garnet purple color in the glass. On the nose, an initially tightly wound bouquet gradually unfurls bright red and black fruit flavors (red cherries, blackberries and plum), along with hints of lavender, cinnamon, cedar and tobacco. On the palate, this Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe
is medium-bodied with grippy tannins framing tons of vibrant red and black fruit flavors, which linger long into the finish. A gorgeous Saint-Emilion with a great future ahead of it, to drink 2025-2055.