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Belair-Monange 2010

Tasting Notes

An absolutely magnificent wine from Christian Moueix and his son Edouard, this wine is right up there with their 2009 and may eclipse it in terms of its potential longevity. Dense purple, with a near-liqueur of crushed rocks and chalk intermixed with blueberry, black raspberry and cassis, this wine is very full-bodied for a Belair, with ethereal complexity and impressive texture and length. I believe this is the first vintage of the wine to be released in an engraved bottle, which seems to be the direction of all the top estates in the Jean-Pierre Moueix stable. More evidence of concerned Bordelais attempting to stop criminals intent on producing fraudulent bottles of these limited production wines. Forget this baby for 7-8 years and then look for it to evolve over three decades-plus.

Obviously, the Moueix family has been investing considerable money and effort into this famous vineyard, which was one of Bordeaux's most notable underachievers for many decades. It is certainly back now, with yields cut drastically, and the fruit harvested at a much riper stage, producing a wine that truly exploits this great terroir adjacent to Ausone.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (205), March 2013

The 2010 Belair-Monange has a ripe and candied bouquet with touches of boiled sweets and liquorice infusing the opulent red fruit. The palate is full-bodied and sinewy with ample red and black fruit, white pepper and Chinese 5-spice notes. Just when I think it is going to kick on towards the finish, it just loses a bit of momentum and seems to run out of ideas. Enjoyable, but not really the archetypal Right Bank. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, April 2020

Aromas of berries, chili and a hint of toasted oak. Full body, with velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Juicy and beautiful. Really builds on the palate. One of the best wines ever from here. Super quality. Try in 2018.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2013

Deep garnet colored, the 2010 Belair Monange gives up cedar chest and vanilla pod notes over a core of baked plums, kirsch, blueberry pie and mocha plus wafts of tobacco and stewed tea. Full-bodied, the palate is still quite oaky with a good amount of black fruit preserves to back it up and a firm structure, finishing just a tad woody. Still very youthful, I imagine this oak will fall into line with another five years in bottle. 2025 - 2040

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2020), March 2020

Arresting new red and white label. Mid crimson. Very rich, plump, sumptuous nose. This really is quite dramatic! Then firm on the palate - a very strong statement of intent to age. Relatively rich for a Moueix St-Émilion though much more restrained and classical than most of its peers elsewhere. Dry finish with good balance though clearly quite a lot of alcohol. The tannins are definitely present. This is much less dense than the more caricature style of this appellation.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2011

Chateau Belair is now owned by the Moueix family of Petrus fame, and has a new name. This is one of the greatest vineyards in Saint Emilion, perched at the top of the slope right next to Ausone. 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 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and the yield is miniscule as many of these vines are 100 years old. Production is now around 1000 cases per annum. Delicate yet intense with beautiful red cherry fruit. Warm and generous on the palate with a velvety texture. Sweet but not overworked, the acidity leaves a clean fresh finish. A genuine St Emilion of class and finesse. Harmonious and long.

Farr Vintners, April 2011

The nose has some attractive quite concentrated fruit but the palate lacks a bit of depth. There is some complexity towards the back but the tannins cut in closing down and shortening the finish.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2011

Fresh and elegant in style but with an impressive density of fruit. Balanced and well defined. Follows in the footsteps of the excellent '09. As good, perhaps better. Drink 2018-2040.

James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2011
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This tiny estate was in the qualitative doldrums for decades, but it has been resurrected by Christian Moueix and his son, Edmond, over the last few years and the 2010 ranks alongside the brilliant 2009. Two-thirds of this vineyard is planted on the pure limestone hillsides and the rest is on the Plateau of St.-Emilion. One parcel, over 100 years of age, produces a minuscule 5-10 hectoliters per hectare. The 2010, primarily Merlot, boasts a dense purple color as well as raspberry fruit notes intermixed with a liqueur of powdered rocks. With abundant fruit, minerality, size, substance, personality and extraordinary individuality, this stunningly concentrated St.-Emilion is a tour de force in great winemaking. It will need 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25-30 years.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011

The 2010 Bélair-Monange is beginning to fulfill its potential. The bouquet is well defined with copious black and red fruit laced with graphite and undergrowth. The palate is medium-bodied and like many 2010s its firm structure is in place, as well as ample freshness thanks to its natural acidity. There is just a touch of sappiness towards the finish where I would just like to see more mineralité develop and I suspect it will. One to watch, so give it another three or four years in bottle. Served by Christian Moueix following a tasting a J-P Moueix. 2022 - 2035

Neal Martin, vinous.com, July 2018

Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux 2010 tasting. Twelve months ago I speculated whether this Saint Emilion cru would "calm down with bottle age" and it seems to be doing just that. It has a nicely focused bouquet with spicy red berry fruit, dried herbs and undergrowth, tightly coiled at first but unfurling nicely with sage and beetroot notes underneath. The palate is becoming more classic in style with a saline entry and well judged tannins; truffle tinged black fruit and a more composed finish that last year. At last, this is showing more how it performed in barrel back in 2011. Tasted January 2014.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2014

The Belair-Monange (ex-Belair) has a very natural, well defined nose that does not go and grab you, but it relatively understated at first. Leaving my glass aside for 3-4 minutes, it really blossoms with scents of boysenberry, wild hedgerow, briary and a faint honey-ish tang. The palate is medium-bodied with a citric-thread of acidity that is has in common with Magdelaine. Very tight on the entry, fanning out towards the very elegant finish (one of the most refined in Saint Emilion.) This has great potential. Tasted April 2011.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2011
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