Chateau Belair 2004, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe B
Excellent Merlot ripeness, still with freshness and fruitiness. All backed up with firm tannins and smoky flavours and rich fruit on the palate. The wine lives up to the expectation of a quality St Emilion Cru Classe B. Awarding it 92, Wine Enthusiast rightly put, "Rich dark fruits on the nose with a touch of oak spice. The palate is well balanced with just a hint of more developed characters along with the juicy blackberry flavours. Soft and long - impressive".
Belair has prestigious neighbours next door. It is situated east of Ausone, West of Magdelaine, North of La Gaffelaire. Soil resembles Ausone. And on stylistics, it is as concentrated, though it may mature slight earlier than Ausone. Composition is 60% Merlot 40% Cabernet Franc.
Dubbed 'The Lafite among the hillside of St Emilion' by my reference writer Bernard Ginestet, Chateau Bel Air is a Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe B. It is a very historic estate,. It has now slid into obscurity - but with its recent purchase by Moueix (and rename to Belair-Monange) this is sure to change. Hence we still get such ridiculous prices for such a bottle of wine, on which we never heard a bad tasting.