Mentioned in the Cocks & Feret guides as one of the best wines of the appellation as early as 1922, Château de Bel-Air is situated on a sunny plateau that gently slopes southward. The historical quality of its wines and its privileged position, which guarantees the vineyard ideal sun exposure year-round, have continuously contributed to the acclaim of these high-quality wines. The beautiful and elegant domain spreads over 15 hectares of land, which was acquired by Michel de Laet Derache in 2011.
The vines, averaging 40 years of age, are planted on a terroir of gravel brought from the volcanic Massif Central by rivers during the quaternary era, with layers of iron-rich clay. In order to best express the nuances of the site, the vineyard is managed and vinified plot by plot, with a respect for the different ages of the vines, varietals, and rootstocks.
Internationally renowned, Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix has become a hallmark for the top wines of Bordeaux. The company is the largest wine merchant on the Right Bank, distributing fine wines from Bordeaux and California worldwide. Family run since 1937, Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix is also the owner and producer of several prestigious crus, including Château La Fleur-Pétrus, Château Trotanoy, and Château Hosanna in Pomerol; Château Bélair-Monange Premier Grand Cru Classé in Saint-Émilion; and, in Napa Valley, California, Dominus Estate and Ulysses.
Aging: 12-18 months in 45% new French Oak Barrels.
Tasting Notes: 73% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. On the nose, notes of red fruit and floral aromas infiltrate the senses. On the palate, a harmonious balance between flesh and tannins means it can be enjoyed after just a few years of cellaring. A delicate wine that is a perfect partner for refined dishes.
Rich and solidly tannic, this is a dramatic statement for this lesser appellation, and the wine has the concentration to carry the treatment. In fact, it finishes rather elegant and classical. You could drink this with a steak tonight, but those who have the patience to cellar it until at least 2020 will get so much more pleasure! ~93 James Suckling
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