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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.

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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...

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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.

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2017 Bordeaux : Au cœur de l'affaire

France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, May 2018

Mère nature n'a pas été particulièrement gentille avec Bordeaux en 2017. Un gel printanier dévastateur, du temps inégal pendant l'été et de la pluie juste avant la récolte ne constituent que quelques-uns des défis auxquels les vignerons ont dû faire face. Où est-ce que l’on trouve donc les points lumineux ? Ils ne sont pas tous là où vous vous attendriez...

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2017 Bordeaux: The Heart of the Matter

featured, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, May 2018

Mother Nature was not especially kind to Bordeaux in 2017. A devastating spring frost, uneven weather during the summer and rain just before harvest were some of the challenges winemakers had to deal with. Where are the bright spots? They aren’t all where you would expect…

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The F-Word: Bordeaux Right Bank 2017

France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, May 2018

The F-Word: Bordeaux Right Bank 2017

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The F-Word: Bordeaux Left Bank 2017

France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, May 2018

The F-Word: Bordeaux Left Bank 2017

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The F-Word: Bordeaux 2017

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, May 2018

The 2017 Bordeaux vintage will be remembered for the damaging late spring frost, however it will not be the sole factor that determines potential. Why did some châteaux produce outstanding wines when others were less successful? Why were some reduced to bystanders? Tasting multiple times from barrel, gaining insight into the samples directly from winemakers and scraping away the euphemism and hyperbole that is part and parcel of en primeur, I ask in my 20th campaign whether 2017 ranks amongst the true greats, where buyers might look and where caution is advised.

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Cellar Favorite: 1947 Cos d’Estournel

France: Bordeaux, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2018

I look at the pristine bottle of 1947 Cos d’Estournel set in front of me during my most recent visit to the château and the unthinkable crosses my mind: “What if the bottle is corked, or off?” As much as I love tasting and drinking older wines, when bottles are very rare there is always a moment of suspense when the cork comes out.

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Mother & Child: La Lagune 1962 – 2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Apr 2018

La Lagune is the first famous name that Bordeaux-lovers encounter as they travel north through the Médoc. I recently visited the estate and took the opportunity to conduct a tasting of this Third Growth back to the 1960s with proprietor Caroline Frey. I wanted to discover more about the vineyard, its history and its wines. I wanted to find out about the future that turned out to be running and playing amongst the vines.