What makes Villa Bel-Air special is not so much its Terroir but its ownership. The Cazes family who own Lynch Bages and Les-Ormes-De-Pez, are the custodians. They are well known for getting the best out of a site and doing so at a fair price. The vineyard is 50ha planted to roughly 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The wine spends 12 months in new oak barrels and is bottled in Spring, on the second year following harvest. It is ripe, balanced and drinkable from arrival. In great years it will improve with medium to long term cellaring.
“Aromas of licorice, currant and blackberry follow through to a medium-to-full body, with silky tannins and a medium finish. Well-crafted. Best after 2010.” Score: 88 James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, February 2008
The noble variety of Bordeaux’s left bank. Firm tannins, a streak of acidity and punctuated by flavours of cassis, violets, spice and leather. The best examples can age for the long term. Although Cabernet does often require blending with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Shiraz to fix the hole it has in its middle palate.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus, they are almost not needed.
One of the great vintages of Bordeaux. Ripe and powerful they will live for a long time. Near perfect growing conditions meant almost everyone made a lovely wine.