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Chateau Belair-Monange 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • JS90
14% ABV
  • RP96
  • WE95
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • WE94
  • JS94
  • WS92
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This estate spent more of its life under the name of Chateau Belair. The Bordeaux wine property was renamed in memory of Anne-Adèle Monange. She was the mother of Jean-Pierre Moueix. Monange was the first woman from the family to settle in St. Emilion. This took place in 1931. 2008 was the first vintage displaying the new name on the labels. This Bordeaux wine property made a major leap in progress when the team from Ets Moueix began producing their wine in 2008.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The first substantial and reassuringly great Belair-Monange in many decades, the 2008 represents the epitome of elegance and minerality. Its deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by sweet red and black fruits intermixed with notes of spring flowers and crushed rocks, a layered mouthfeel, superb nobility and remarkable intensity offered in a finesse-filled format. Kudos to Edmond and Christian Moueix for their resurrection of this iconic 6.2 acre vineyard.
Rating: 93+
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Big and structured wine, with ripe jammy fruit. Rich spice, soft tannins and dense texture all come together to give a rounded feel. Acidity at the end makes a final, tight contrast.
Cellar Selection
JS 90
James Suckling
What a gorgeous nose of plums and berries that follow through to a medium to full body, with round and velvety tannins and a delicate finish. Lovely softness here. Best after 2012.
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Chateau Belair-Monange

Chateau Belair-Monange

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Chateau Belair-Monange, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Bélair-Monange is a Bordeaux wine from the appellation Saint-Émilion, ranked Premier Grand Cru classé B in the Classification of Saint-Émilion wine. The winery is located in the Right Bank of France's Bordeaux wine region in the commune of Saint-Émilion, in the department Gironde. The estate was considered the leading winery of Saint-Émilion for most of the 19th century.

St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vienyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

DAC08BELAIR_2008 Item# 105533