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Chateau Belair 2007 St Emilion Grand Cru Classe

The Chateau Belair 2007 St Emilion Grand Cru Classe is a wine with a distinct character. It has a deep, ruby colour with a medium rim. Initially, it had a subtle aroma of red fruit, but after about an hour, it revealed a captivating blend of dark berries, black cherries, dry violets, and mint aromas. Surprisingly, these fruity and floral notes harmonized well with complex tones of salt, lead pencil, truffle, spice, and mushrooms. The palate reflects the nose, showing tannins and a slightly lifted acidity in the finish, likely due to the cooler and rainy 2007 vintage. It has a reasonably good fruit length on the palate, typical of a St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe. The bouquet took some time to develop fully in the decanter. It is rated DD91.

In the Dubois-Challon, where this 2007 Chateau Belair bottle came from, with in-to-neck level, is a testament to its exceptional quality and longevity. This wine has aged gracefully, maintaining its unique characteristics and offering an excellent wine experience. The limestone from the central plateau parcels contributes to this 2007 Belair's freshness, minerality, and delicate, lingering aromatics. Simultaneously, the dense, blue clay of the slopes provides intensity, length, and a unique elegance to the wine. The composition is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, contributing to its remarkable nose and taste profile.

There is a scarcity of information about this wine, making it a true hidden gem. I recall stumbling upon a passage in an old-fashioned book on Bordeaux Chateaux by Robert Parker that this Belair is crafted in the traditional old style. The fruit from Belair of his period is always shy in red fruit. Still, the palate profile, mainly tertiary, constantly forms from a unique blend of dry tobacco, leather, tar, tea, mushroom, and minerality, a style reminiscent of a wine from a dirty, damp cellar.

Tracing its origins back to ancient Roman times, the vineyard of Château Bélair is not just a wine producer but a living testament to history. Isymbolizeses endurance and excellence, situated at the highest point of Saint-Émilion's famed limestone plateau. In 1952, Belair's acquisition of the contiguous cru, Château Magdelaine, renowned for the remarkable elegance of its wines, eventually formed Château Bélair-Monange. Château Bélair-Monange expresses the unique style of the most outstanding parcels of these two complementary terroirs, carrying forward a legacy that spans centuries.

Of course, this Belair 2007 will be entirely different in style from the later Belair Monange started by JP Meuix. Belair's distinctive, almost historical profile sets this wine apart and makes it a must-try for any wine enthusiast. Our perspective differs from many others, such as Robert Parke, as we appreciate this wine's unique characteristics and the story it tells through its taste and aroma.


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