From: Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux
Blend: 90% Merlot 10% Cabernet Franc
Taste & Critical Acclaim:
Tasting Notes: A defined, velvety nose reveals notes of blackberry, dark cherry and currant mingled with touches of nutmeg, sweet spices and sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, well-structured, and chiseled, this is a fantastic representation of 2011; a fine tannin weave and linear nature wrapped in all those dark fruit and secondary flavors a hallmark of the cooler vintage. A long lingering finish indicates further aging potential, though the wine is fantastic now as well.
WS 93 Wine Spectator, March 2017. Tightly focused, with a fresh core of dark cherry and currant notes, driven by a strong chalk accent before slightly austere tannins take over on the back end. Light blood orange and tobacco details are starting to emerge as well.--Non-blind Bélair-Monange vertical (December 2016). Best from 2021 through 2030. 1,400 cases made. –JM
DC 92 Decanter, March 2019. This was the last vintage that Belair Monange and Magdelaine were separate properties, and ironically this wine was made in the Magdelaine cellars because work was ongoing at Belair. This is a gorgeous wine with clear minerality and energy - a lyricism that shows the benefits of limestone in a dry year like 2011. The tannins are a little more angular than the 2010 but there's so much to enjoy in the softer raspberry and redcurrant flavours and peony edging. It's certainly beginning to open up for drinking, particularly if given a few hours in a carafe.
Pairing: You will want your dishes to be richer, more flavorful and more heavily sauced. This is to keep up with the riper tannins and higher levels of alcohol and greater concentration that has become the norm in the merlot dominated blends of the Right. Bank. Stews of lamb or game, especially those with slightly more middle-eastern influences, such as tagines. Chili con carne (or ‘sin’ carne, as your diet dictates), or other Tex Mex dishes like beef burritos. Macaroni cheese- a surprise pairing, maybe, but a good one! Saint-Nectaire cheese, which can be found on any cheese plate in Saint-Emilion despite its roots in the Auvergne, or any other earthy, nutty semi-hard cheese. This hearty Classic Chili Con Carne recipe from Robb Walsh is an amazing
About: Château Bélair-Monange traces its origins back to Roman times. Situated at the highest point of Saint-Émilion’s famed limestone plateau, it has long been considered one of the region’s very best crus. By 1850 it was ranked by Cocks & Feret as the leading wine of Saint-Émilion, a position it held well into the twentieth century. Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix purchased the iconic Château in 2008 and immediately undertook extensive renovations of the vineyard, winery, underground quarries, and château in order to restore the cru to its rightful historic status. In 2012, Château Magdelaine, a contiguous Premier Grand Cru Classé acquired by Jean-Pierre Moueix in 1952, was merged into Château Bélair-Monange. The name ‘Monange,’ in addition to its literal translation, ‘my angel,’ was the maiden name of Jean-Pierre Moueix’s mother, Anne-Adèle, the first Moueix woman to call Saint-Émilion her home. Château Bélair-Monange combines the terroirs of the most privileged sites of Saint-Émilion.
Plantings are 90 percent Merlot and 10 percent Cabernet Franc. The last few vines of Malbec and Petit Verdot were removed by the current owners, Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix.
Vines are on average around 40 years old, with some planted in the 1930s and a few plants dating back as far as the 1900s. In the sections of vineyard on the plateau and top terrace, soils are limestone. Vines at the peak of the plateau (88m/288ft) are considered to enjoy the best terroir. The parcels on the lower slopes have a combination of clay and limestone.
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