Bought a bottle each from Chambers after a few positive notices. I have never had the wine before, and I gather it is a bit of an outlier. So for those who know the wine, what should I expect, and also how long before tasting, should I decant?
Honestly Mark, I’d love to see you just take a flyer on these wines and post your impressions. You have one of the finest, classic Bordeaux palates on this site. Curious as to your thoughts. I think you know mine. The 1995 is a level above the 1996. The 1998 and 2000 even better. There can be some variability to these bottles, so keep an open mind. These wines demand air, start with 2 hours.
Lots of issues with corks for BAMA 1996 (and to my understanding, just specifically this vintage) so best of luck on that one. If it’s lackluster, don’t judge BAMA by this vintage I’d say.
Mr Boyer recommends to decant the wines and let them breath for at least 3-4 hours.
WTF is BAMA?
A cracking good bottle of plonk.
Where hath you been!?
Hiding the the Antipodes.
Here ya go, my friend!
Us small group fans here have a smattering of notes all over this site. It’s one of my favorite Bordeaux. And as of today, my largest holding next to Magdelaine and Sociando. These three wines are throw-backs to a more glorious era of Bordeaux.
I used to have a denim jacket just like Jean-Pierre Boyer’s.
Pair it with chaps!
Hey, William Kelley is a fan of these wines, and I swear he did a write-up similar to what Neal did, but for the life of me, I cannot find it now.
Perhaps he will chime in here . . …
I’ve had both within the past few months. I loved the '95, did not like the '96. No clear fault, just unbalanced and barely drinkable. I’ve heard since that the '96 has had issues with variability.
You can expect both vintages to be sold out very soon
Quite agree - these wines are a throwback to the late 70s, pre-Parker, so Mark I would expect you to like them. As others have said, the 96 is variable, like older BAMA vintages. I have found it a lot more reliable from 98 onwards, but this is the archetypal artisan wine, light years from the streamlined production elsewhere.
Neal’s article is indeed excellent - I believe William wrote a piece in Naked Rot sometime before. (Edit - I meant Noble Rot - Naked Rot sounds really unpleasant!)
In view of M.Boyer’s age and the likelihood that the wine will no longer be made when the inevitable happens, it’s a wine to stock up on while it’s still around. They really don’t make them like that anymore. I look once a week to check if any new vintages have appeared - the last was 2012.
Around??? Looking at Wine Searcher, the most recent vintage of this available at retail in the US is 2009?
Otto Forsberg wrote extensive notes on a BAMA vertical at TN: Château Bel Air-Marquis d'Aligre (Margaux) vertical 2010-1985 - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers.
Yes but the note of 1996 is not representative imo I had numerous excellent bottles. None flawed like this
I wrote about BAMA in Noble Rot. I also opened Neal’s first bottle for him (1970). But Neal’s article is by far the most extensive thing out there in English, and really nicely done. The old vines are amazing (just a pity about the herbicides).
I continue to be surprised by some of the comments about 1996. I have a few cases, and have drunk four or five bottles, which have all been impeccable (and better than the 1995, no question). All the variation people report makes me wonder about shipping conditions, or maybe different bottlings.
I think all our bottles in our tasting (referenced above) were recent winery releases, all sourced at the same time from Vins Etonnants, an online shop which has been one of key BAMA retailers for some time.
I’ll pop another 1996 in the next week!
I think due to demand the availability varies a lot - I know others have found the 2010, 11 and 12.
The other downside to all the geeky chats over the last few years is the rise of the prices - some vintages have gone up by 30%!
Based on what I know about your tastes from the board, I will be very surprised if you didn’t really enjoy the 1995. It’s like a time capsule to Bordeaux from an earlier time, and yet not so weird or underfruited that a regular Bordeaux drinker wouldn’t enjoy it. It’s interesting to try a Bordeaux (or any red wine) with almost zero oak - it works out better than one might expect.
As far as decanting, if you are alone or in a small group that has an evening to spend with the bottle, I’d pour it into a decanter and just follow along from the beginning. If you’re trying to time it for a larger group or a particular moment, maybe an hour or two in the decanter first.
I have had the 2004 and the 1995 in recent months, both were great experiences, but I haven’t had the 1996.
Enjoy and report back.