An estate that dates back to the 1400's Chateau Bel Air has most recently been in the very capable hands of Henri Martin and his team, famous of course for Chateau Saint- Pierre, Chateau Gloria and other superior Bordeaux properties. They lavish the same exact focus and care on Bel Air as on their Classed Growth and St. Julien estates. Located in Cussac, on the outskirts of Saint-Julien Beychevelle and on the banks of the Gironde, the vineyard at Bel Air covers 80 acres with an average vine age of 30 years. The soil is made up of fine gravelly ridges. The grapes for this 2011 are 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. The wine is aged 12 months in Oak barrels, 25% new. 2011 is an unheralded vintage in Bordeaux where the quality far exceeds the reputation. This wine received a Gold Medal in the Concours De Bordeaux. Wine Enthusiast Magazine made this an Editors' Choice and scored it 92 points saying "In this rich, full wine, impressive fruits and structure work together. It feels weighty, concentrated and tannic while also having layers of juicy ripe black currant fruits. Give this solid wine several years and don't drink before 2018."
I love it. I had had the 2010 and really was trying to get more of that year, but it wasn't available. The man I spoke with from Wine Express convinced that this year was also very good. He was right. It's every bit as good as the 2010. I would definitely buy it again.