What to expect from 1995 and 1996 BAMA

We sell BAMA and source directly. Boyer has told us, his wines taste best on the fourth or fifth day after opening, I feel even on the second day there is a marked improvement.

Boyer told us to drink the 2011, which is incredibly fresh and open.

In terms of drinking the 1985 is very approachable. 1995 and 1996 are no where near their pinnacle.

1970 also very nice at the moment.

1 Like

I guess without a decant (or double decanted)?

We never decant, Boyer is pretty adamant on them needing 4 or 5 days and I think he is right, I have followed them over a week and one feels the improvement day to day. The only one that I would drink on the same day is the 2011, the BAMA aromatics and style are evident just much more fruit forward and not as structured…

Thanks Donald, makes sense and there are some wines that I feel benefit/requires time.
I decanted a 1995 some years ago and considered to let the next bottle unfold over time - will definitely do that for coming bottles.

Thanks for this insight. No doubt these wines need air, would not have thought that much.

I opened a 1995 tonight. Count me as a fan. Like many mentioned here, the wine was pretty muted upon opening, but was really nice after an hour in the decanter and kept getting better. Half a bottle in the fridge for tomorrow. Here is my CT tasting note:

Give this wine some air- it needs it. Quite muted upon opening, but it improved substantially after an hour in the decanter and then got even better through 2 hours.

Clear garnet with bricking on the rim. Aromas are a sweet fruit core of cherry, blood oranges, and blackberries, complimented by a bit of dried lavender, graphite, and sandalwood. In the mouth, acidity and body are medium, tannins are very fine and mostly resolved. Where the nose led with fruit, the palate leads with leather, turned earth, and graphite with cherries and blackberries in the background. The finish is of a decent length and emphasize cherry flavors.

The overall impression is one of restraint and elegance. The flavors are subtle, you have to pay attention to this wine, but there really is a lot there. It’s very pretty for a Bordeaux, which I suppose is what you look for in Margaux. This producer has a reputation for being staunchly Old-School, and after tasting this wine, I believe it. 12.5% ABV, gentle extract, earth driven palate, high acidity; this wine was made for drinkers, not critics.


Tonight was supposed to be a too rare date night with my wife. We had the baby-sitter sisters lined up (twins, we like going 2 against 2 with our boys, the odds are better), the restaurant in Gex reserved (10 euro corkage!) and the wines stood up for a week. We were looking forward to this.

Backtrack to yesterday evening: I was at a Scotch tasting at my buddy’s shop. Every year, he buys a cask from Master Blender Antony McCallum and bottles it under a customized label. This year was a beautiful but assertive Caol Ila. The cask gave 60 bottles and I have bottle 56. So, yesterday evening was the unveiling and tasting of other goodies. I stayed late to help my buddy prep for the next morning as he’s doing a Scotch event throughout the weekend. I get home around 10:30PM, get on the laptop and phone to close my EST obligations, have a final Scotch night cap and call it a night.

1:00AM wake-up call from the youngest. Puke everywhere: gastro time! 6 puke episodes throughout the night, probably 1 hour of sleep overall for my wife and I. But so goes parenthood, you show up for duty every day. This morning at 8:00AM, I was the lucky candidate to bring my oldest to his soccer game, the last of the season. So there I stood, standing still in 3oC weather, for two hours, cheering him on. Show up for duty.

Clearly, the date night was canceled but my oldest and I figured we had to cheer everyone up! So off to the supermarket we go and we get what we need to prepare one of my wife’s top three meal (and the French population’s Top 1 as confirmed by an actual survey): Poulet grillé (with like half a pound of butter squeezed under the skin) with crispy potatoes and green salad. My oldest also reminds me to pick up two frozen chocolate lava cakes for him and my wife (I don’t do dessert).

Fast forward to tonight where obviously I still open the wines we had planned to bring to the restaurant.

1996 Jean Boillot Volnay 1er Cru Les Chevrets
Bottle 3 of 8 purchased at a nearby restaurant’s cellar sale; bottles 1 and 2 were DOA, oxidized 1996 Jaboulet La Chapelle. Bottle 3 was the above. Corked. So corked that my wife, that was about 3 feet away called it when I was pouring my glass. This is a string of bad luck. And I really felt like Burgundy.

Move on to bottle 2.

1996 Bel Air - Marquis d’Aligre
Not corked, not DOA, but not impressive initially. I still had TCA on the nose and palate from the Volnay and thought something wasn’t right on PnP. But that was just paranoia. Initially, not very giving and harsh tannins. Against all recommendations, i decanted and let it sit for an hour. It improved. After 2 hours, it came into its own. Very little fine sediment in this bottle. The nose is red-fruited with understated florals and then the dirty bunch appears: leather, little tobacco and a hit of pyrazines/funk. But every thing is a little muted. Palate is decent after those 2 hours: easy front palate, the mid-palate is a little hollow and the finish still shows a little tannic grip. Good and the food got the best out of this but not as good as the one I had in September which was singing. This still improved our day.

Note to self: wife likes BAMA a little bit more every time she has one. Drink more BAMA with wife.


Another 1996 BAMA reference point: