Belair-Monange 2018

RegionBordeaux
SubregionSt Emilion
ColourRed
TypeStill

Chateau Belair is now owned by the Moueix family, and has had a new name since the 2008 vintage. This is one of the best vineyards in Saint Emilion, perched at the top of the slope right next to Ausone, near Canon and above Angelus. Despite the brilliant terroir, the wine-making here had been mediocre for many years until the Moueix purchase. It is clear that Edouard Moueix is going to transform this Chateau into one of the stars of Saint Emilion. The vineyard is planted with 88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and the yield is miniscule as some of the vines are 100 years old and there are many gaps to be filled. Of the 23.5 hectares only 16 are currently in production. A second wine "Annonce" is now produced from the younger vines. The 2018 vintage will produce 4000 cases and Edouard believes that this wine - which is 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc - is the best yet.


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Tasting Notes

Bright purple in the glass with black cherry, toasted spice and a hint of incense on the nose. The palate is silky and polished, with rich black cherry at the core. The tannins have grip but are refined and melt into the dense and redolent fruit. The acidity adds vibrancy, giving lift and floral tones through to the finish. Though rich and ripe, there is a weightless, silky feel to the wine that brings floral, peppery notes to the fore.

Score: 17.5Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, March 2019

The 2018 Bélair-Monange has a plush and generous bouquet: raspberry, redcurrant, warm bricks and light truffle aromas that perhaps cannot compete with the minerality of the Trotanoy tasted alongside. The palate is smooth and velvety on the entry. This Saint-Émilion is endowed with great depth, the tannins saturated and lending its impressive volume. It just requires a tad more tension and detail towards the finish. Nevertheless it will surely mature with style and grace. This is a 2018 barrel sample that showed a lot of melioration in the glass, hence my final score. 2024 - 2050

Score: 94/96Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019

A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Belair Monange comes bounding out of the glass with all the energy and vigor of a pedigree puppy, offering notes of warm plums, wild blueberries, black raspberries and Morello cherries with touches of chocolate box, lilacs, underbrush, menthol and damp soil plus a waft of incense. Full-bodied, rich and decadently layered in the mouth, the densely packed layers are charged with energy, supported by firm, velvety tannins and a racy line of freshness, finishing very long and very spicy.

Score: 97/99Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

This is very linear and structured in a classical way for Bordeaux with a very focused and tight core of beautiful fruit that gives an agile and vivid palate of pretty fruit and bright acidity, not to mention the ultra fine tannins, which deliver a seamless and limitless finish.

Score: 98/99James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (241), April 2019

The 2018 Bélair-Monange is a bold, racy and exuberant wine endowed with tremendous textural richness and overall intensity. Sweet spice and floral notes wrap around a core of super-ripe stone fruit in this decidedly flamboyant, racy Saint-Émilion. In 2018, Bélair-Monange is not exactly subtle, but it is quite delicious and full of allure. Even so, Bélair-Monange will be enjoyed most by readers who like overt wines.

Score: 93/96Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019

Darkest crimson. Black fruit, pencil shavings and a touch of oaky char on the nose. Compact and refined in texture on the palate, very fine tannins. Much the most elegant of the Moueix stable, with impressive persistence and harmony even now, just needs a lot of time to unfurl and for the tannins to release the fruit in all its richness. Finishes fresh and dry and clean in the mouth even if the oak is blocking it a little at the end. Powerful but not overbearing.
Drink 2028-2040

Score: 17.5Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

The 2018 Château Bélair-Monange comes from limestone soils (from the upper plateau as well as the hillside) and is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Its inky purple color is followed by notes of crème de cassis, kirsch, toasted spice, and earth as well as subtle spicy oak. Elegant, seamless, and full-bodied on the palate, with beautiful tannins and a great, great finish, it's a thrilling 2018 that should be approachable with 2-5 years of bottle age and keep for two decades or more. It should match or exceed both the 2015 and 2016.

Score: 95/97+Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019

Ripe and dense in feel, with layers of plum, fig and boysenberry fruit. The structure is decidedly stony, revealing a long echo of tobacco. Among the more backward wines at this early stage, but seriously long and well-built.

Score: 96/99James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019

A gorgeous wine, with concentrated power offset by lift and lyricism. It fully expresses the character and personality of its location on the limestone plateau, showing real juiciness and a focussed minerality, with extremely flavourful crushed raspberry and blackberry fruits, and touches of peony and rose on the nose. This is delicious, graceful, spicy and persistent, with notes that spiral both downwards and upwards. The violet reflections are off the chart.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2042

Score: 97Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019

(90 Merlot, 10 Cabernet Franc) This is a serious wine with a kaleidoscope of fruit notes and a forest of oak propping it up. Like many of the top Right Bank wines in this vintage it is slow to reveal the extent of its skills. It required some urgent swirling to unlock the various elements in this wine and there is a lot of complexity here. Sleek and stealthy, this is a noble wine and it is one of the finds of the vintage. Closed and firm now, but sure to blossom relatively early in its life, this is a wine which will make half a century with ease.

Score: 18.5+Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.