95 pts (Vinous) - The 2012 Bélair-Monange brings together power and finesse in what is a very complete expression of Saint-Emilion. Beams of supporting tannins give the 2012 much of its energy. Red stone fruit, chalk, mint, spice and expressive floral notes are all nicely delineated. I expect the Bélair-Monange will drink better earlier than the other top wines in the Moueix stable. This is the first vintage that incorporates the Magdelaine vineyards, which were annexed in 2012. Bélair-Monange is now under the direction of Edouard Moueix, who lives on the property and seems determined to take the estate to the top of the hierarchy in Saint-Emilion. The 2012 is certainly a strong move in that direction.
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. The limestone from the central plateau parcels offers freshness, minerality, and delicate, lingering aromatics, while the dense, blue clay of the slopes provides intensity, length, and a unique elegance to the wine.