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February 28, 2018

Chateau Belair-Monange 2015

Belair.Monange (1)

Following on from the Wine Advocate’s in-bottle scores, we are delighted to release today one of the biggest mark-up beneficiaries and therefore exciting rescores! Belair-Monange 2015 was originally scored 95-97 points by the Wine Advocate and 98-99 from James Suckling. With such promise it looked a superb buy from barrel, but with less than 1,500 cases produced, rare and hard to source. It’s in-bottle scores are spectacular, it has received 98+ points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown who calls it a ‘remarkably riveting wine that should not be missed’. James Suckling has rescored it a perfect 100 points, saying the finish ‘goes on for minutes.’ Priced today at £975 per six bottle case it offers incredible value for money for a leading Right Bank wine with a perfect score from Suckling and near perfect score from The Wine Advocate.

Belair-Monange 2015 displays a very good price when compared to other similar scoring vintages. Belair-Monange 2016 was awarded 94-96 points and trades at £1,320, the 96 point scoring 2010 trades at £1,050. As such, 98+ points from the Wine Advocate means this is undervalued compared to equivalent vintages and is the finest ever from this Estate. As we posited with Canon three years ago and Figeac in 2014, this is a rising star and the 2015 vintage is set to benefit from the repricing of the vintage and the long-term re-pricing of the Chateau’s vintages in general, currently the offering is not to be missed.

It is the closest wine to Ausone geographically in St.Emilion. In 2015 Ausone was awarded 99 points from the Wine Advocate and trades at £4,500 a case of six, while Belair-Monange costs £975 today, the quality price arbitrage is huge here. The table below highlights the incredible value today, comparing Belair-Monange to the other similar scoring Right Bank wines. Of these wines Belair-Monange has the lowest Price Over Points Ratio, with 105.

Chateau WA 6×75 POP
Belair Monange 98+ £975 105
Canon 96 £900 113
Figeac 97+ £1,000 114
Angelus 97 £1,500 176
Pavie 98 £1,600 178
La Violette 96+ £2,000 242
Cheval Blanc 100 £3,200 320
Ausone 99 £4,400 463
Petrus 100 £15,000 1500
Le Pin 99 £17,500 1842

Chateau Belair-Monange has such pedigree that its score in 2015 should come as no surprise. It can trace its origins back to the Roman Empire. It is sited on the highest point of the famous Saint-Emilion limestone plateau. It is the next-door neighbour of Chateau Ausone and it is believed it formed part of the Estate of Poet Decimus Magnus Ausonius, after which Ausone is eponymously named and once owned. Its journey has been inexplicably linked with Ausone since, having the same owners and sharing similar great terroir which, all in, explains why Chateau Belair-Monange is considered to have one of Bordeaux’s finest terroirs. It also explains why Jean-Pierre Moueix, former winemaker of Petrus and owner of Trotanoy, La Fleur Petrus and Dominus, bought the Estate in 2008. They immediately began extensive renovations in the vineyard and underground quarries, quickly returning it to its historical prestige and top-flight status.

In 2012, the Chateau underwent another change; the adjoining Chateau Magdelaine, which had been purchased by Jean-Pierre Moueix in 1952, was merged into Belair-Monange. Serendipitously, the name ‘Monange’ along with translating as ‘my Angel’ was the maiden name of Jean-Pierre Moueixs mum, thus the contagious vineyards become Belair-Monange. In 2015, it is a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. The Estate has the pedigree, winemaking and funding to enter the slip stream of St Emilion’s elite estates. It is the progeny of two Premier Grand Cru Classe estates, and sited next to the leading Grand Cru Classe A Ausone, this Estate will be making a strong case to be reclassified as such.

Chateau Belair-Monange, 98+ Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown
This perhaps somewhat controversial marriage between the estates of Chateau Belair and Chateau Magdelaine—both Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint-Emilion estates—to form Chateau Bélair Monange hits pay-dirt with this spectacular 2015 release. Composed of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Belair Monange has the most singular nose of grilled meats, smoked game, iron ore and fallen leaves over a slowly unfurling ripe fruit core of crushed black plums, blackberry preserves and cassis with fragrant touches of star anise and potpourri. Full-bodied, rich and opulent in the mouth, the palate reveals an arresting backbone of exquisitely ripe, very firm tannins and sparks of background acidity lifting and defining the rich, densely packed layers, culminating in an epically long and multifaceted finish. Possessing its own compellingly beautiful signature, this is a remarkably riveting wine that should not be missed. 

Chateau Belair-Monange 2015, 6×75 – £975 IB

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