The 2019 Bélair-Monange, currently undergoing extensive renovation, was picked from 19 September to 3 October and matured in 50% new oak. It certainly leans upon red fruit on the nose with vivacious wild strawberry, cranberry and Morello scents, wonderful mineralité emerging with aeration. This really repays patience. Monitoring it over an hour it uncovers more black fruit - keeps you on your toes. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannins and a sensual silky texture that belies the sheer depth of this Saint-Émilion. It fans out with abandon on the finish - just an outstanding wine that will offer drinkers many years of pleasure.
Score: 96-98 / 100Neal MartinDrinking Window: 2024-2055
Austerity is high as the limestone shines through, with controlled black and blue berry fruits rippling through the palate. There are extremely delicate redcurrant and violet floral edges that come through and cling on, just opening up after a good five minutes in the glass. A little less generous than the 2018, as is often the case in the 2019 vintage, but one with concentration and precision, and that will give pleasure for decades. Takes time to open and will take time to fully express its potential in the bottle. 50% new oak.
Score: 97 / 100DecanterDrinking Window: 2027-2044
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Belair Monange comes sashaying out of the glass with a graceful hair-toss of fragrant red roses, cinnamon stick, cardamom and cumin seed notes over a core of Morello cherries, dark chocolate, wild blueberries and blackberry pie plus a touch of pencil shavings. The medium to full-bodied palate is just scrumptious, offering layers of perfumed black fruits and bright floral sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe, satiny tannins and an invigorating line of freshness, finishing on a lingering aniseed note.
Score: 96-98 / 100Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate
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.
Score: 96-98 / 100Jeff Leve
The 2019 Bélair-Monange is classy, polished and elegant. In recent years Bélair-Monange has come across as a bit pushed in terms of ripeness, but the 2019 impresses with its sublime balance. Silky, racy and inviting, Bélair-Monange has so much to offer. It is wine that makes its case with finesse more than power. Christian Moueix chuckles that thirty years ago he was criticized for picking too early, but today it is the exact opposite.
Score: 95-97 / 100Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Reticent but lifted nose. Very much a dark-fruit aspect. Delicately fine tannins. Refined in temperament and style. Long and linear. Poised and refreshing. Clean, palate-cleansing finish. (JL)
Score: 17.5 / 20Jancis Robinson MWDrinking Window: 2027-2040