Château Belair Monange, 1er Grand Cru Classé, St Emilion, 2011

  Château Belair Monange

This fabulous terroir on the limestone terrace and the clay on limestone slopes of the Cote is planted with 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. This is the perfect antidote to thick, modern, over-extracted St Emilion - this is all about the high-toned flavours only great limestone terroir can produce. Notes of cherry liqueur, chocolate box, fine herbs and cigar tobacco leap from the glass. There is wonderful intensity of fruit, svelte, bright berry flavours and a real depth here that is most alluring. All this fruit is securely wrapped in a fine tannic structure and a sensational, mouth-watering acidity, which brings real harmony and balance to this wine. Outstanding.

Contains Sulphites.

Appellation: St Emilion

St-Émilion is a very different region to those of the Médoc, dominated by small-holding farmers and estates rather than grand Châteaux. Merlot is widely planted as is Cabernet Franc in some parts. The wines are enormously variable in style depending on the terroir, the grape variety make-up and winemaking style. Loosely the region is divided between the limestone Côtes, Graves or gravelly limestone plateau or the sandy alluvial soils nearer the Dordogne. Traditionally Médoc wines were trade from Bordeaux and St Emilions from Libourne so they have their own classification system separate to that of 1855. The classification is revised every ten years and falls into four categories, St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé
Most of the district's best properties are either on the steep, clay-limestone hillsides immediately below the town or on a gravelly section of the plateau west of St Emilion itself abutting Pomerol. There are several high profile estates in the region, including Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Figeac, Le Dôme, Valandraud and Pavie.