Learn everything about Chateau Belair-Monange St. Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classe B with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all the best vintages, a history of the property and information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Belair-Monange History, Overview
Chateau Belair-Monange has a long history in the region. It was originally cultivated by the Ancient Romans. Skipping ahead about two millennium, what eventually became known as Chateau Belair and later Chateau Belair-Monange was created by Robert de Knollys during the mid to late 1300’s. If you are lucky enough to visit the property, there is an ancient, stone staircase remaining from the 11th century.
Like many Bordeaux properties, the vineyards were confiscated during the French Revolution. The Canolle family were able to reclaim their estate in 1802. To celebrate this achievement, they bottled and sold their wine, becoming perhaps the first winery in Saint Emilion to bottle their own wine. They maintained ownership of Chateau Belair until 1916.
Edouard Dubois Challon, the head of the family that owned the neighboring estate, Chateau Ausone purchased the vineyard. Due to the attack of by phylloxera and continuous neglect, Chateau Belair eventually lapsed into a dilapidated condition at the time of their purchase.
The Challon family renovated the estate from the ground up, including the vineyards, cellars and wine making facilities, of Chateau Belair.
As you have now read, Belair-Monange spent the first chapter of its life under the name of Chateau Belair. Before the estate was purchased by its current owners, Ets. Moueix, it was managed by Pascal Delbeck. Pascal Delbeck, who began in his official capacity at Chateau Belair in 1975 was at the same in charge of Chateau Ausone.
During the Delbeck era, many tasters felt the wines of Chateau Belair as well as those being produced at Chateau Ausone were not up the level that they should have been for their terroir.
In 2003, following the death of Helyett Dubois-Challon, Pascal Delbeck sold 30% of his shares of Chateau Belair to Ets. Moueix. In 2008, the remaining portion of Chateau Belair was sold to Ets. Moueix. Following the sale, Chateau Belair ceased to exist as the name was quickly changed to Belair-Monange.
Belair-Monange was chosen by Christian Moueix in the memory of Anne-Adele Monange. Anne-Adele Monange is the mother of Jean-Pierre Moueix and the grandmother of Christian Moueix and of course the great grandmother of Edouard Moueix. Anne-Adele Monange was the first woman from the Moueix family to settle in the village of Saint Emilion. This took place in 1931.
2008 was the first vintage where the Moueix family were completely in charge of the vineyards, winemaking and marketing. It was also the vintage for the debut of their new label, displaying the newly christened Belair-Monange name and logo on the label. More importantly, it was also the first strong wine produced at the property in decades.
Chateau Belair Monange increased the size of their vineyards following the 2012 Classification of Saint Emilion. At that time, Chateau Magdelaine was officially merged into Belair-Monange, creating an even larger estate.
Following the merging of both vineyards, Chateau Belair-Monange embarked on extensive work in their underground limestone caves and quarries. The work demanded creating and installing a new series of pillars and belts that were required to continue to provide support for the limestone caves. The construction was completed in 2016.
Belair-Monange made a major leap in progress when the team from Ets. Moueix began producing the wine in 2008 after taking control of the property from Patrick Delbeck. Today, Edouard Moueix is in charge of Belair-Monange. Under the direction of Edouard Moueix and Christian Moueix, the wines have displayed a marked improvement.
There are multiple reasons for this starting with conducting more stringent selection in the vineyard and reducing yields and perhaps more importantly, they also began picking later.
This allowed for harvesting riper fruit. Another change took place in 2009 when they began using optical sorting. Tasting the wines from Chateau Belair-Monange shows that dividends are already paying off.
Belair-Monange is now much fleshier, richer and more concentrated than it was under the previous owners. A slow plan to replant the vineyards was also recently put in place. The goal is for this to take place over the next two decades.
Chateau Belair-Monange Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The 23.5 hectare vineyard of Belair-Monange, located just outside the village of St. Emilion is planted to 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. This shows a large increase in the size of the vineyard and you also find more Merlot and less Cabernet Franc planted here.
The terroir is a blend of limestone on the plateau and top terrace, with clay and limestone on the slopes in their soils. Their best terroir, is perfectly situated on the peak of the limestone plateau which rises to 88 meters in elevation. They also have parcels slightly lower from the plateau on the slopes.
The vines are on average, 40 years of age. However they have old vines. Some of their oldest vines are close to 70 years of age as they were planted in the early 1950’s and 1930’s. They even have a small selection in some parcels with some of the oldest vines in the Right Bank, as they own vines that were planted in 1900!
The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 6,600 vines per hectare, though new plantings of Cabernet are at 7,400 vines per hectare.
For the production of the wine at Chateau Belair-Monange, two laser sorting tables have been in use since 2009. They also utilize optical sorting. For the vinification, the winery uses thermoregulated concrete vats. In 2004, they added stainless tanks to the vinification cellars.
They do not do bleedings of the vats to increase concentration. Malolactic fermentation is done in vat. The press wine obtained from the vertical basket presses is added or not during the elevage, and before the final blending.
The wine is aged in an average of 50% new, French oak barrels for up to 18 months, prior to bottling. There is a second wine, Annonce de Belair-Monange which was created starting with the 2014 vintage. There is a third wine, Haut Roc Blanquant. Chateau Belair-Monange produces on average, close to 1,500 cases of wine per year.
The Best Vintages of Chateau Belair-Monange are: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010 and 2009. Older vintages, sold under the name of Chateau Belair are very, firm, old, classic, leaner styles of wine.
When to Drink Chateau Belair-Monange, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Belair-Monange is much better with at least 10-15 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for 2-3 hours, or more.
This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Belair-Monange offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 10-35 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Chateau Belair-Monange with Wine, Food and Pairing Tips
Chateau Belair-Monange is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.
Chateau Belair Monange is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Belair-Monange is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.
Château Belair-Monange Wine Tasting Notes
13 Vintages 104,108 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2019||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Floral in nature, you also find smoke, incense, red fruits, spice box, rocks, stones and oceanic notes in the perfume. The wine is rich, concentrated, fresh, vibrant and silky. The fruits glide across your palate leaving a trail of sweet cherries, salt and plums that hang with you. 96-98 pts
2,919 Views Tasted Jun 16, 2020
|2018||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Inky in color, the purple flecked ruby hue is impossible to see through but upon taste and reflection there is more than what meets the eye. The wine is built around a solid core of perfectly ripe black cherry, plums, crushed rock, spice and espresso sensations. Full-bodied, deep, rich, long and opulent, this is stunning! The finish hangs with you for over 50 seconds, which is a good thing as you don't want to lose sight of all this hedonistic pleasure. With the 2018 Belair-Monange has made an announcement -- they are moving to the next level. This should age for 2-3 decades or more with little effort. Give it time before popping a cork. 98-100 Pts
4,117 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2017||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Roses and rocks and perfectly mature plums and cherries create harmony on the palate. The tannins are salty due to the intense minerality. The textures are flowing with silk and the fruit is doing a salsa dance. Give this up to a decade in the cellar for the wine to start showing at its best.
3,061 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2016||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Full-bodied, concentrated, soft, silky and with a beautiful purity to its layers of fruits, you also find, smoke, licorice wet earth, cigar wrapper and spice. Fresh, energetic and fruity, with soft, polished tannins this is going to be a knockout with at least a decade of aging.
2,931 Views Tasted Sep 21, 2019
Fresh, dark red fruits, kirsch liqueur and black raspberry open the wine. Silky, soft and mineral driven, both bright red and dark red berries create the wine’s core. There is freshness, length, purity of fruit and a stone-filled finish.
2,595 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2015||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
This just keeps inching up the scale. Texturally, this is incredible. Silky, opulent, and perhaps decadent, the fruit is perfectly ripe, sweet fresh and long, with a finish that seems endless. This is so good now. And my bet is, in the future, it is only going to get better and better.
4,366 Views Tasted Nov 8, 2019
The wine keeps getting better and better. Flowers and stone, with cherry pipe tobacco, licorice and cocoa easily fills the perfume. Full boded, concentrated, rich and deep, the wine is silky, long and loaded with sweet fruits. As the wine lingers on your palate, the flavors expand, leaving you with dark chocolate, plum and stone that stays with you for close to 45 seconds. This should age for 2-3 decades with little effort. Give it time before popping a cork.
5,264 Views Tasted May 21, 2018
This powerhouse is sophisticated, elegant, refined and mineral-driven with stony, red, pit fruit, violets and earth. There is a great concentration of flavor, supple, silky textures and purity of fruit and dark chocolate in the finish.
7,324 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2016
|2014||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion)|
Fresh black and red plum, olive and crushed stone aromatics bring forth a wine that displays richness. The lush tannins and a fresh, black cherry, satin-textured finish secures an lasting impression. 93-95 Pts
3,813 Views Tasted Apr 27, 2015
|2013||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion)|
Spice, earth and red fruits lead to supple tannins and a soft, spicy black raspberry finish. Forward in style, this will be fun to taste young. 91-93 Pts
2,232 Views Tasted Apr 28, 2014
|2012||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion)|
Already showing truffles along with the thyme, floral and plummy aromatics. Silky, sweet and fresh, with a purity to the fruit that keeps you coming back for another sniff, swirl and sip. This really developed well in barrel. It's showing much better today and has the possibility for even more improvement in the bottle.
5,999 Views Tasted May 15, 2015
Floral, earth, licorice and stone scents create the perfume. The palate is plush, polished and perky with minerality, supple and refined textured and ripe dark berries in the finish. 92-94 Pts
3,228 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2013
|2011||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion)|
Minerality, earth, spice and red berry with floral notes open to a soft-textured, refined, spicy, cherry-filled wine of finesse. 91-93 Pts
5,344 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2012
|2010||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion)|
The nose has really opened here. The ripe, rich, supple, plummy fruits, crushed rock, violets and earth, add even more to the full, bodied, concentrated wine. Even though it is still young, it is impossible not to enjoy how this stunner is developing.
4,629 Views Tasted Nov 14, 2017
The mineral driven nose was complicated by earth, truffle and sweet black and red fruits. On the palate, the wine is polished, long and fresh, finishing with sweet black raspberries and a hint of cocoa that is supple in texture and builds in the mouth. In 5-8 years, this could be a better wine as it matures and fleshes out.
7,313 Views Tasted Aug 9, 2013
Belair-Monange With aromas of charcoal, stone, licorice and red with black fruits, the wine offers silky, supple textures and a deep, licorice infused, long, mineral, ripe plum and cassis finish. 94-95 Pts
6,905 Views Tasted Apr 22, 2011
|2009||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
The past few years of aging has added a lot to this wine. Now, you find a round, lush, rich, mineral-driven expression with licorice, smoke, flowers, plums and black cherries. The wine is plushy, juicy and rich on the palate and in the lengthy finish.
1,495 Views Tasted Sep 17, 2020
Full bodied, concentrated with juicy ripe fruits, crushed rock, silky tannins and freshness, this beauty can be enjoyed young, if you prefer primary notes. But I'd wait another 5-8 years and grab all the secondary characteristics that are going to blossom.
6,385 Views Tasted Jul 3, 2015
Showing some lightness in color for its age, the aromatics of smoke, earth, cherry blossoms, black raspberries, mocha and spice open to a silky, plush, medium bodied, fresh, sweet mouthful of ripe, pure, cherries, wild strawberry and spice.
6,897 Views Tasted Aug 12, 2013
2009 Belair-Monange has a perfume of chocolate covered black raspberries, licorice, flowers, and minerals. Medium/full bodied with supple textures, the wine finishes with black cherry and licorice notes. 92-95 Pts
4,911 Views Tasted Jun 28, 2010
|2008||Château Belair-Monange (St. Émilion)|
08 Château Belair Monange sports a new name that announces a change in style and quality. The wine is black ruby with purple tints. Flowers, licorice, blackberry, and minerals fill the nose. Silky tannins, along with a plush mouth feel, make the wine fun to taste. The wine has an opulent character, and it finishes with long, ripe, pure flavors. The château, located on great terroir, shows what a difference picking ripe fruit and exercising selection can do. 93-96 Pts
3,889 Views Tasted Aug 1, 2009
|2005||Château Belair (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Medium bodied, sharp, crisp, bright red fruits, earth and spice on the nose are the best part of the wine. Considering the vintage and the terroir, this should be much better. Although, fans of this older style will probably like it more than I did. Tasting this wine shows how much the estate has improved under the direction of Ets. Moueix.
8,491 Views Tasted Jan 7, 2015