First things first, the wines of Bel Air Marquis d’Aligre or “BAMA”, as they are affectionately known, are not for everyone. They are essentially relics of a bygone era, made by a man who has largely resisted change over the last 74 years. Yes, that’s right, Jean-Pierre has been making the wine at BAMA since 1950. While nearly everyone around him has adopted whatever technology or technique that is trending, Jean-Pierre has held fast to his tradition. Before I get into the tasting notes, it’s worth sharing that opening a bottle of BAMA is a wild trip. A spirit walk of sorts. There are periods when you think the wine is fading and then minutes later, it’s a whirling dervish. It transformed every 20 minutes so be ready for the ride of your life.
Popped and poured; consumed over two days. Remarkable throughout. In the glass, the wine is a deep garnet color moving towards a rust color rim; slightly hazy with a near opaque, translucent core. Medium viscosity with light staining of the tears and some signs of fine sediment. On the nose, the wine is vinous showing notes of desiccated cherries, currants, rhubarb, prunes, pomegranate, tobacco, cedar box, a well-conditioned horse saddle, an old library, espresso, roasted Brussels sprouts and damp earth. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium(+?) tannins and medium+ acid. Confirming the notes from the nose. The finish is seriously 5 minutes long; it’s got the elegance of Margaux with an unctuous texture. Truly remarkable. A veritable abyss of complexity. Drink now with patience but honestly, I’m not even sure a wine like this ever dies so I wouldn’t be concerned about holding these for another couple decades. Special thanks to @Lyle Fass for the assist. — 7 days ago
2018 vintage. According to the notes, it’s been 1.5 years since last tasting. I call bs. That roughly 5% Petit Verdot phenomenally prepares the frontal assault. THE Bordeaux (along with Cos) when looking to initiate a BDX virgin. Enough stuffing for the most jaded BDX drinker and soft enuff for those without the tattoos and scars of the BDX wars. Will go 10-12 years easily…past that…??? Plushy and giving. When the lights go on and the curtain goes up, this performs-and how. 11.12.23. — 18 days ago
We are trying this 2012 and currently in the end of 2023. I was a bit worried about the wine but after decanting it it is amazing well balanced dark color black berries truly amazing !! — 5 days ago
Very nice Margaux from a year I haven’t had before. Wonderful nose. Decanted 6h which I recommend at this point - or check back in after 3-5 years. Tannins and oak are there, relatively classically Bordeaux. Needs food - as a pairing with lamb tagine, very nice. — 12 days ago
1949 vintage (!!!). Very special half bottle, but more than half the volume lost to evaporation. Opened this gem at Totoraku yesterday to go with two full bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 1996 and 1952 (!!). This Temple of Beef demands special occasion wines. Cork fell apart in the bottle so we poured it all in a decanter but did not wait to sip. Pale strawberry-orange color, surprising tart fruit nose, supremely delicate taste with just a bit of fruit and life left. Not the best bottle on the table but certainly not the undrinkable. Interesting experience. Would gladly do it again in the name of science. Oldest Red Bordeaux I have ever tasted. — 14 days ago