Chateau La Rose Belair is part of the Bonfils collection of fine Bordeaux properties that are strewn all over the vast Bordeaux appellation. The saga begins with a young teacher, Joseph Bonfils, fleeing France in 1870 because of his opposition to the government; he settled in Algiers.
The plateau he settled on was only good for planting vines, so that's what he did. His success was slow, but steady, eventually building a thriving wine business that supported his offspring.
Politics struck again in 1962, when Algeria declared its independence from France and nationalized everything, including all the Bonfils properties. So the Bonfils family came back to France and started again with nothing. Obviously, this is a very resilient family.
Today Bonfils owns more than a dozen properties in Bordeaux and are involved in many more estates in other wine appellations of France. The quality and value of their wines is astonishing. Just think of what it would cost to build that operation today - easily astronomical.
Fortunately, we have featured wines from their properties in the past and have almost been flattered when they present us with a new one. This selection from Chateau La Rose Belair is one of the best we've tried.
Like most Bordeaux, the main grape here is Merlot, with touches of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It exhibits the classic currant and earth swatches, bathed in spice and cherry.