Coutet 1937 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1937 Château Coutet

Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, Jun 2018

There are few elixirs that equal mature Sauternes or Barsac. The 1937 Château Coutet made a huge impression when it completed a bibulous dinner in Bordeaux.

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Vintage Port – The 2016 Declaration

featured, Portugal

Neal Martin, Jun 2018

One of the highlights of any year is the rare instance in which the major Port houses come together in unison around St. George’s Day to declare. Unlike Bordeaux, where you have barely recovered from the last primeur when the next one arrives, general Port declarations tend to arise approximately three times per decade, thereby avoiding fatigue. So, whilst the dazzling 2011 Vintage Ports remain fresh in my mind, the 2016s arrive at a time when I am ready for more.

Romane conti 1961 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1961 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grand Cru

Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Jun 2018

I rarely encounter mature bottles of the most deified Burgundy on the planet. It took 15 years as a professional before I could claim to have imbibed Romanée-Conti that was not either prenatal in barrel or just bottled.

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Mugneret-Gibourg: Ruchottes-Chambertin 1945 – 2014

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Jun 2018

This magnificent vertical tasting of Mugneret/Mugneret-Gibourg’s Ruchottes-Chambertin - a remarkable and virtually unrepeatable retrospective - not only spanned almost the entirety of Mugneret/Mugneret-Gibourg’s tenure of the Grand Cru, but ventured further back to the Thomas-Bassot era.

Latour a pomerol 1961 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1961 Latour-à-Pomerol

Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, Jun 2018

When I published my Pomerol book back at the end of 2012 there remained numerous historic wines that I had to still cross off on my “To do” list. My palate still awaited these wines to cross its threshold. It’s not easy. Ancient Pomerol is more difficult to find than much of Bordeaux since quantities have always been much smaller than those on the Left Bank. In bygone times, wines were not seen as worthy of long-term cellaring and consequently many were consumed in their infancy. Châteaux kept little library stock, in fact, I cannot think of any that have bins full of mature vintages in their cellar. One wine that eluded me for many years was the 1961 Latour-à-Pomerol, this despite undertaking two fairly comprehensive verticals in recent years.

Hero image marquis aligre jp fist

Last Man Standing: Bel-Air Marquis d’Aligre

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, France

Neal Martin, May 2018

If you read only one of my Bordeaux articles this year, make it this one. In twenty years of visiting the region I have never come across a property like this Margaux, never seen vines as ancient as these and never met a winemaker like Jean-Pierre Boyer, one of the last of his kind. Bel-Air Marquis d’Aligre illustrates what Bordeaux has gained with modernity and money, and what it has lost.

Hero image century of bordeaux copy

A Century of Bordeaux: The Eights

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, May 2018

One of Bordeaux’s greatest virtues is its ability to transcend time. Since its earliest days, Bordeaux’s natural inclination towards longevity coupled with crowd-pleasing volume has enabled devotees to build cellars and plunder mature vintages with almost wanton abandon. Enjoyment is derived not only from the quality of the wine, but also a sense of visceral experience of history and marvelling at the passage of time between insertion and extraction of cork...

Dirty computer2

Beyond Wine: Album Review of Dirty Computer – Janelle Monáe

Beyond Wine

Neal Martin, May 2018

Back in 2010 I saw Janelle Monáe at an intimate gig in Camden, London. The Archandroid, her debut album, had just been released to ecstatic reviews. To this day I regard it as a classic, a dizzying smorgasbord of musical genres crammed into an epic concept album. I was convinced that Monáe was up there with the greats, not least alongside her obvious muse, Prince.

Stem asparagus

Vinous Table: Stem, London, UK

United Kingdom, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, May 2018

There are parts of London that I know like the back of my hand. Hanover Square in salubrious Mayfair is one. I know every paving stone. I’m on first name terms with every grand oak that lines its garden. You see, I worked here for over a decade when I was a wine buyer. Wine-Journal was essentially born here. Perhaps I should use the past tense, because this Regency square is unrecognizable since we parted ways in 2006, entire buildings demolished or disemboweled to make way for the new Crossrail line. The only features extant since my days here are the trees and the waifs going in and out of the Vogue office. My old office in Mimosa House is now an art gallery and what was a branch of “Thai Square” has recently emerged as “Stem”. Stem is the third restaurant opening for Mark Jarvis following the much-lauded “Anglo” in Clerkenwell and “Neo Bistro” (also in Mayfair). On this showing, just days after its soft launch, “Stem” might well be the best.

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Purple Reign: La Conseillante 1966-2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, May 2018

Over the last twenty years La Conseillante has emerged as one of the finest properties in Pomerol. In this latest in-depth château profile, I recount La Conseillante’s history from the 18th century to the present day, the vineyard and current viticultural techniques practiced by winemaker Marielle Cazaux, reviews of the last 20 vintages, plus additional mature bottles back to the 1960s and also ask whether La Conseillante’s purple design is their tribute to the late pop star, Prince.