It’s like my failure to understand why a classic Bordeaux connoisseur like Neal Mollen does not like Sociando. Or why Musar rarely rocks my boat. It just is what it is. I love BAMA, I think y’all know that. I also think MarkG has by far the superior palate, but ultimately, our plates are subjective. We like what we like, and sometimes there is something that on paper we should like, but it just does not hit that right note, or something is off in a pronounced way.
Agreed about this being a great thread! The second page of this thread, in particular, has helped me understand why the folks who like BAMA really like it — an understanding that transcends simply “it’s classic in style.” As Mark has been commenting on throughout about his bottle, I’ve found myself consistently reading along. thinking to myself, “Yup. Yup. Yuuuup, that too.” It’s as if we drank the exact same bottle.
p.s.: Robert, your Musar apathy continually perplexes me.
2008 and 2013. Both built for the long run. I’d love to add 2010 to the list as well, as it is superb when it’s on, but there has been quite a bit of bottle variation and not all bottles have been equally impressive.
If you want bottles that show well now, 2009, 2011 and 2014.
You know how there are some foods you love, yet you can simultaneously recognize that they aren’t going to be for everyone? And I don’t mean in the sense that other people are picky or closed minded, but they just have a particular flavor or texture that you like but you can understand why someone else wouldn’t?
Oysters, for example, both raw and cooked, are something I love, but I don’t have any difficulty seeing why someone with good taste and an open mind might not like them.
On the other hand, good bacon is something that I can’t really comprehend someone flat-out not liking (excluding religious or dietary reasons). I’m sure there is someone out there in the world that just doesn’t like the taste of bacon, but I can’t really feel how that could be.
BAMA and Musar might be in that category. Musar is one of my favorite wines of all (and while I’ve had bretty and VA ones, the vast majority I’ve had are great bottles, so I’ve been lucky and/or maybe am more tolerant of any variation that might exist), and I’ve really enjoyed my now two experiences with BAMA (95 and 04), enough to go back and add more BAMA to my cellar. But when someone says they don’t like those wines, I get that too.
Chinon is another one like that. I love it, but I can understand when others don’t.
You know the soup dumplings in Chinese restaurants. T
It is a specialty of dim sum, and is usually served with a black vinegar. I literally feel like gagging when it is on the table. No problems with other vinegars, just that one.
I can’t stand the vinegar served with soup dumplings either. I also don’t understand drowning the flavor of the dumplings with the vinegar. Different strokes. But I don’t have any issue with a little VA that adds lift. Or Musar normally.
I would just point at Otto and say, “Listen to him.” I had three years of having an embarrassment of Musar riches available to me, and I availed myself of those opportunities at that time. Since then, my experience has been quite limited.
1996 Château Bel Air-Marquis d’Aligre- France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux (7/2/2022)
Graphite, dried leaves, black tea and dark cherry on the nose, color is quite bricked and definitely in the tertiary zone at this point. Palate has a very strong iron component to it, dark cherry, cigar box, coffee, very typical old school Bordeaux characteristics. Fully integrated tannic structure, still strong acidity the delivers a long finish. A ‘proper claret’, in what fans of the style would consider in the correct drinking window, advanced but without fruit being dried up
The 1995 is indeed awesome. I prefer 1998 just a hair more. I am a fan of 2000 for being a bit more fruit-forward - a relative term for this estate - and I’ve not had any bottle variation. Of course, I recommended it to Todd one night, and his bottle was flawed, lol! Gotta put the 96 in this mix as well, maybe in fourth position in this excellent, six year run for BAMA. Almost as consistent in winning as the real BAMA.
Great note on the 96, Todd! I need to pull one out soon.
Popped the ‘96 BAMA tonight. A string of negative reviews on CT had me concerned, but need not have worried. My first encounter with BAMA, and now very much looking forward to standing up a 95 and 00 to compare this against.
Possibly a lot of bottle variation with this, given the poor reviews. My bottle was firing on all cylinders from the get go. Evolved nose and color, showing leaf matter, black cherry, and after a couple hours, a hint of horse stables. Palate is fresher than the nose suggests, with excellent acid, still vibrant if somewhat autumnal stone fruit and black cherry, iodine, dried flowers and Pessac-ish petrichor and scorched earth. Surprisingly rich, even if it lacks an extra gear of complexity, and drinking in a perfect place. 93
I opened a '95 BAMA at a wine dinner the other night. I felt the beauty described by some of the notes above, but not the reported lack of depth. Granted, that might be because it followed a dried out old Barolo and a decrepit Rioja. Decanted immediately before event, it only got an hour or two of air.
It’s a gorgeous, finessed wine. Blackberries, orange peel, black currant; balanced and subtly delicious, fine tannins. It was the red WOTN, and definitely one of the top wines we served.