Château de Bel-Air Lalande de Pomerol 2006
Percentage Grape: Merlot 80% Cabernet Sauvignon 20%<br/><br/>Soil: Clayey-calcaerous hillsides, gravely-silty<br/><br/>Type of Harvest: Harvest : manual<br/><br/>Vinification Method: Traditional vinification methods in vats, temperature controlled fermentation, one year maturation.<br/><br/>Alcohol Percentage: null %
(THIS) Chateau Bel-Air, owned by M. Jean Pierre Musset (currently being run by his son Dominique) is located in the very Southeast portion of Lalande-de-Pomerol, just across the river Barbanne, from the most renowned merlot-growing bastion of clay soils in the world, of Pomerol. Check out the map to see what I mean... http://www.snooth.com/winery/m-jean-pierre-musset/?t=map Prep: I decanted this wine for about 15 minutes, knowing I had a good five hours to allow it to open into its fullest potential, and that I was pouring into thimbles, the size of your thumb. We do what we can. Once the alcohol blew off the nose that rose from that decanter was as rich and soil-driven as they come. Intense with a mash of black fruits, hints of anise- all kinds of goodness. Back into the bottle it went. After pouring (and sampling to follow its evolution), I found the wine to truly open into its fullest expression after about two hours. While tight before that, at least it was loose enough to be enjoyed- so I agree again with Mr. Coates (which, frankly concerning my position in the world, is not the wrong thing to do) that even for the vintage being 2006 (a "90T" by Parker for Pomerol- just across the river)- the 2006 Chateau Bel-Air from Lalande-de-Pomerol while young, is more accessible than I had previously feared. While in its wheelhouse: The nose is alive and aggressive-yet-plush. It's loaded with minerality (the soils being described as more of a sandy/clay mixture than those of Pomerol) and again- even though young was very approachable. The approach itself on the palate had developed into a mouth-coating, chewy experience that hung upon the mid-palate bearing dark cherry, cassis, and a velvety texture more typcial for a wine that's had more time to mature in the bottle. All of it led to an incredibly well-rounded finish that left a trail of stones, violets and other flowers behind, leading me right back to the nose. For a wine that is so ready to drink (after some prep of course)- this $25 drinks like a $35, easy, and by the end of the tasting we ran our entire supply all the way down to a single bottle- saying something for the price, the thickness of the wine, and the kind of hot, humid day that it was. 4/5, or to put a Parkery # on it: 90. If you enjoy merlot but don't want to pay Pomerol prices, do not own your own helicopter, or see this puppy for under $25 anywhere- snatch it up.
Smooth, easy to drink, slight body.
External Reviews for Château de Bel-Air Lalande de Pomerol
Well-known for producing consistently high quality wine. Well structured, finely balanced, with an easy, accessible quality.
Black, superripe flavors of fig fill this smooth merlot (blended with small amounts of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and malbec). It's full, almost fat, delivering a lot of wine without feeling too pushed. There's supple fruit and black, mineral tannin in the finish that will add flavor depth to beef tenderloin, seared red.