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The gunsmoke character is immediately evident on the nose, as is richly expressed damson and raspberry fruit. This is pared back and held back right now, elegant, showing a seductive edge without trying too hard. The texture is softly-brushed velvet, these tannins are front and centre but so fine and so precise that they don't get in the way of the fruit. Salinity from the limestone is evident on the finish, bringing a moreish juiciness and you can scrape your tongue against the pumice stone texture. Austere in all the right ways, with just the most incredible depth and layers. I love it. Harvest September 15 to 23. 98-100.
It’s full-bodied, showing loads of violets, blackberries and blueberries with salt and white-pepper character. Minerally. It’s very fine-grained with a fascinating finish. Intense and long. 98% merlot and 2% cabernet franc. 97-98
The 2020 Bélair-Monange continues its impressive run of form under the JP Moueix family, having rapidly ascended to the highest rank within the Saint-Émilion appellation. This latest release is another stunning articulation of its propitious terroir, which lies adjacent to Ausone. You could lose yourself in the kaleidoscope of aromas: black cherries, Dorset plum, crushed stone, violet and background pencil box, beautifully defined and growing in intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannins and quite firm (maybe a tad more than I anticipated), displaying fine grip. This is a strict yet utterly compelling Bélair-Monange with wonderful salinity coming through toward the finish. There is a lot of substance to this wine and it is perhaps less immediate than other recent vintages, indicating that it may require long-term cellaring. Outstanding. 2027 - 2050.95-97
The 2020 Belair Monange displays an opaque purple-black color, unfurling slowly to reveal a nose of blueberry preserves, stewed plums and Morello cherries, giving way to a fragrant undercurrent of Chinese five spice, incense and dried rose petals, plus hints of fallen leaves, Sichuan pepper and oolong tea. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers a fantastically plush texture with mouth-coating black and blue fruits and loads of exotic spice sparks, gently lifted by soft acidity, finishing long and fragrant.