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Château Bel-Air Marquis d’Aligre - Margaux 1998 - Bordeaux, France


35% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec

Margaux is one of the most famous areas in one of the most famous winemaking regions in the world. And while it is known for traditionalism, a lot has changed here in the past half-century.

One thing that hasn't changed is Jean-Pierre Boyer, the proprietor of Château Bel-Air Marquis d’Aligre. In his late 80s, Jean-Pierre has seen 70 vintages come and go. He even remembers helping his father picking grapes in 1947, one of Bordeaux's legendary post-war vintages. 

He owns 50ha, of which only 13ha are planted with a range of Bordeaux varieties. He practices "lutte raisonée" which translates to "the reasoned fight". This sits somewhere between organic and conventional agriculture where the grower only resorts to using artificial chemicals in the most serious of circumstances. 

Jean-Pierre never ages his wine in oak barrels. Instead, he allows the wine to mature in cement tanks for three years, to help retain freshness before bottling the wine for further maturation. He refuses to release his wines until they are at least ten years old. 1998 was a very good vintage and this wine is now in its prime. 

Tasting notes: Dried black fruit, leather, tobacco. Despite softening over time, this remains powerful. Consider decanting this before serving. 

Food pairing: This will go very well with a roasted rack of lamb or other red meat. For something a bit more casual, consider a hunk of Westcombe Cheddar or Ossau Iraty.


Château Bel-Air Marquis d’Aligre - Margaux 1998 - Bordeaux, France

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