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. — 12 days ago
YES please! Got the zest of French top shelf whites but lacks the unnecessary “because-we-can” premium you’d have to pay for a Burgundy counterpart. 3/11-2023 — a month 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. — 17 days ago
Love these “Blue Boys.” Mollydooker (Aussie for left-hander) Wines was established in 2005 by Sarah and Sparky Marquis. Dark Ruby with dark berry fruit aromas adding sweet spice and cedar. On the palate this wine has complex flavors of blackberry and blueberry with licorice, cacao, oak and vanilla. Fine dusty tannins, peasant mouthfeel (16% Alcohol), full-bodied, long ending with a nice spicy finish. Aging well, good now, has room to run over short term. — 20 days ago
Drinks like a Pinot, but goes nicely with cassoulet and steak frites. Hazel approved! — 3 days ago
Brilliant. This wine has been reluctant to show the prowess of a 1982 Bordeaux but has evolved recently to show itself worthy of a great vintage and appears now ready for the long haul . Such a delight right out of the gate to enjoy. For those who follow the distinct palate of William Kelley, you will know the place this wine has today — a month ago