Chateau Bel Air - Marquis d'Aligre, Margaux. Sorry, no tasting room...

The Return of Château Bel Air - Marquis D'Aligre!


We're delighted to again offer the wines of Jean-Pierre Boyer at Chateau Bel Air-Marquis d'Aligre in Margaux!  These superb and unusual wines are truly from another era and offer the Bordeaux lover a fascinating glipse into the past... (Wines arrive 11/13)

On our first visit to the estate in January, 2013, we were astonished and delighted to find someone who was so totally "apart" from the techniques and styles of modern Bordeaux. As we have noted in past articles, the wines will not appeal to everyone, and a lengthy decant  - or opening the night before - are required to really appreciate the wine's quality. We think, however, that the wines are well-worth trying and in fact are quite beautiful and extraordinarily complex, if given enough time to awaken.

The estate's principal retailer (the excellent  "Vins Etonnants") calls the wine "untypical and rare, vinified as in the 19th century." Indeed, we were transfixed by the delicacy and complexity of the wines, which bear no resemblance to the dark, oaky, fruit-bombs of today. More a "claret" in style, the wine undergoes a long, slow natural fermentation, with no extraction, then stays in cuve until spring. After a six-month passage in old barrels, the wine spends two to three years in cement vats before bottling and release. The estate has about thirteen hectares, with a few parcels of very old vines, the main parcel being approximately 50 years-old, planted at 10,000 vines per hectare, with part of the vineyard next to that of Chateau Margaux. M. Boyer currently farms only about 3 hectares with the remainder rented to his famous neighbors. While not certified organic, there are no modern treatments and only a bit of organic compost as fertilizer. The blend is approximately 35% Merlot, 30% Cabernet, 20% Cabernet Franc with Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere.

(For those who read French, google the excellent article on Bel air - Marquis d'Aligre by Jacques Perrin "Le Rayas de Margaux.")

We'll present a tasting of all five vintages, along with a small pour of 1970, up the street at Racines NY, date and price TBD...