Peter Maude Fine Wines

2016, Château Belair-Monange, SAINT-ÉMILION, 1er Grand Cru Classé


Bordeaux Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Franc.

A blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, the medium to deep garnet-purple coloured 2016 Belair Monange comes strutting out of the glass like a total rock star with gregarious red cherries, blackberries and warm plums scents plus hints of lavender, rose hip tea, powdered cinnamon, cigar box and camphor. Medium-bodied, it completely fills the palate with vibrant red and black fruit layers, framed by a firm backbone of grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long and perfumed. 97+ Lisa Perrotti-Brown (2018).

The 2016 Belair-Monangé displays almost clinical precision on a nose of mineral-rich black cherry and raspberry fruit, plus hints of wilted violets and iris. The medium-bodied palate delivers firm grip on the entry. This is a clean, precise, correct Saint-Émilion with plenty of tension and poise toward the persistent finish. Very classy and noble. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. 96 Neal Martin, Vinous (2020).

The 2016 Bélair-Monange is exotically ripe and flashy. Bright red and purplish fruit is pushed forward in a primary, intense wine with plenty of immediacy. As good as the 2016 is, what I don't see are the layers of depth and structure that have made the finest recent vintages so compelling. Even so, the 2016 is a very pretty and compelling wine, it just falls a bit short relative to some of the other wines that have been made here. 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (2018).

JP Moueix bought this 26ha estate next to Château Ausone in 2008. The château was previously known as Bélair, and Christian Moueix added Monange – his grandmother’s maiden name – to pay tribute to the family’s roots in St-Emilion. In 2016 the blend was 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, aged in 50% new oak. Georgie Hindle: Expressive nose of dark chocolate and coffee beans. Vibrancy, dark fruit – serious and sultry, but has excellent acidity that gives a thrilling edge to the fruit. Vincenzo Arnese: Elegant nose, perfume, power and depth. Figs and ripe blackcurrant, dark cherry, great intensity and richness. Integrated tannins are so smooth. Divine. Arthur Coggill: Plum tomato leaf aromas, clove spice and delicate cedar, understated. Soft and silky, oaky with rich, plentiful black cherry and woody mocha. 97 Georgina Hindle, Vincenzo Arnese, Arthur Coggill, Decanter (2023).

Drinking Window: 2025 - 2055

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