Chateau Bel-Air-Ouÿ Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2018 (Right Bank Bordeaux, France)

Chateau Bel-Air-Ouÿ Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2018
(Right Bank Bordeaux, France)


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This estate was purchased by self- and Parker-described mauvais garçon Jean-Luc Thunevin in the late 90’s and he made his first vintage here in 1999. Thunevin is considered one of the “founders” of the so-called garagiste winemaking movement in Bordeaux (mostly centered in St. Emilion). Many people feel this semi-rebellious movement really began with his 1991 creation of the vin de garage Château Valandraud. After this he acquired several more Bordeaux estates, as well as creating his own Bordeaux negociant business representing over 20 additional estates.

Among Thunevin's properties, the Château Bel-Air-Ouÿ is a bit more traditional, as its origins date back to 1672. While describing himself as a modern winemaker, Thunevin believes in traditional farming, using no herbicides or insecticides and using cover crops. Here he uses the estate's mostly Merlot vines planted on soils of clay-limestone with some flint to make his impressive Saint-Émilion Grand Cru.

About this wine:
This comes from clay and limestone soils and is made with 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% each of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon from vines averaging 30 years of age. The grapes are harvested by hand, vinified in temperature controlled stainless steel and then aged for 18 months in new oak. 

The vineyard of Chateau Bel-Air-Ouy is planted to 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec. The terroir is clay and limestone soils, similar to what you would find at many of the better St. Emilion estates.

However, in this portion of Saint Emilion the micro-climate is slightly cooler. And you find more clay in the soils as well. The vines are on average 30 years of age. Most of the vineyard was planted in 1981. So today, the vine age is quite respectable.

Chateau Bel-Air Ouy is vinified in oak vats. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels. The wine is aged for an average of 18 months in 100% new, French oak barrels before bottling.

Production is on average, 2,000 cases per vintage. Murielle Andraud is in charge of the vineyard and the winemaking for Chateau Bel-Air-Ouy as well as for all the ETS. Thunevin wines.


Says Neil Martin of The Wine Advocate: “The Château Bel-Air-Ouÿ 2014, essentially the third wine of Jean-Luc Thunevin's Chateau Valandraud, has a broad, quite voluminous bouquet with vivacious blueberries and blackberries. There is an attractive sense of purity here, quite floral and engaging. The palate is medium-bodied and fleshy on the entry, the acidity pointed and sharp leading to a brisk, punchy finish that should mellow throughout its barrel maturation. Fine wine."