Château Bel-Air Marquis d’Aligre Margaux 2005
Region: Margaux, Bordeaux
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot & Others
Château Bel-Air Marquis d’Aligre in Margaux is run by the redoutable Jean-Pierre Boyer who well into his 80s has produced 69 vintages in his life, all of them at the same propriété. What is even more remarkable is that he got rid of oak barrels in the 1950s, as he regarded them as mere marketing gimmicks and instead carrying out a long patient three years élevage in cement cuves, and then selling the wine when it’s at least ten years old. In the vineyard, the youngest vines are more than 50yo while the oldest ones are co-planted and can reach over a century old. Ancient strains and lost varieties are also found among the five traditional Bordeaux varieties with none of them exceeding 35% of all plantings.
These are incredibly long-lived wines (40 years plus!) that show a level of elegance, subtlety and complexity all too rare in Bordeaux nowadays. 2005 is a really refined vintage, bright and fruity on the palate with cherry, cassis and notes of darjeeling tea plus a wet stoney mineral edge. Old leather and fresh tobacco too as the wine opens up. Seriously complex and special.