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A Beautiful Stay: Beau-Séjour Bécot 1970-2015

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Apr 2018

This is the story of Beau-Séjour Bécot’s genesis and traumatic loss of status from a human perspective. It is a story of how the estate regained classification as a Premier Grand Cru Classé “A” and how a new chapter is opening.

Cellar favourite 1973 petrus

Cellar Favorite: 1973 Pétrus

France: Bordeaux, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, Apr 2018

Yet the quality of this 1973 was undeniable. I had encountered it once before, a bottle opened for my brother to celebrate his birth-year over a decade ago when such off-vintages, eschewed by all but the reckless, were affordable. But I could not remember it being this fine.


Vinous Table: TentaziOni, Bordeaux, France

France: Bordeaux, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2018

I wouldn’t ordinarily seek out Italian cuisine in France, but I couldn’t resist checking out TentaziOni, as I had heard many positive comments from locals. I was not disappointed. This fabulous dinner was a very nice and welcome break after two weeks of eating Bordelaise food.

Latour tower triplicate

Cellar Favorite: Château Latour: Latest Releases

featured, France: Bordeaux, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, Apr 2018

During my week of château visits to inspect the 2017s in barrel, there was of course one significant, recalcitrant property whose wines will not be released onto the Place de Bordeaux this late spring. Château Latour withdrew after the 2011 vintage, since when they have embarked upon a series of bi-annual mature vintage releases, commencing with stock held in reserve during their respective en primeur campaigns. The latest trio of releases is the 2006 Grand Vin, the 2012 Les Forts de Latour and the 2013 Pauillac.

Bordeaux 2014 southwold corks

Bordeaux 2014: The Southwold Tasting

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

Southwold, in case you are wondering, is a picturesque Suffolk coastal town famed for its pebble beaches, pastel-hued beach-huts, quaint shops and most importantly, the Adnams pubs serving some of the finest ale known to mankind. For many Januaries it was the venue for an annual Bordeaux tasting, to my mind the only one whereby practically all the major châteaux present bottles for blind comparison. I use the past tense, for recently the tasting had to relocate from Southwold, but the name and its ethos continue to thrive. Whilst the en primeur “circus” witnesses legions of journalists descending to dish out scores and basically gift Bordeaux free press for the coming primeur campaign, how many tasters will sit down later and redo the exercise blind and question those original assessments of unfinished samples?


Here We Go Again: Value Bordeaux 2015

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

This report, my first on the 2015 Bordeaux for Vinous, focuses on affordable wines. You could buy some of these with a twenty-dollar bill and still come home with change. I will offer my views on the Grand Cru Classé and First Growths in the coming weeks.

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Long and Winding Road: Ausone 1912–1999

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

Name a Bordeaux château as enchanting as Ausone. It’s eye-candy perched on the fringe of Saint-Émilion, a picture postcard lookout post guarding a medieval village. This extraordinary recent vertical tasting included wines all the way back to 1912. I wish to emphasise that this is a historical examination of Ausone. It focuses upon what has been instead of what is or will be...

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Cellar Favorite: 1990 Troplong Mondot

France: Bordeaux, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2018

Even after all these years, the 1990 Troplong Mondot remains absolutely stunning. Soaring aromatics, spectacularly rich fruit and silky tannins give the 1990 is exotic, alluring personality. Raspberry jam, spice, mocha and espresso nuances are some of the many aromas and flavors that fused together in a wine of extraordinary beauty. Plush and sensual on the palate, with no hard edges, the 1990 is every bit as arrestingly beautiful as it has always been.

Hero image bordeaux 1950s bottles

The Magician’s Fool: 1950s Bordeaux

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Feb 2018

Question: what happens when you mix the golden age of rock ‘n roll, Grease, mini-hamburgers, a magician, a deck of cards and a cluster of Bordeaux bottles that all hail from the 1950s? Answer: one gobsmacked wine writer. Read on...


2015 Bordeaux: Every Bottle Tells a Story...

featured, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2018

Two thousand fifteen has turned out to be a fabulous vintage for Bordeaux. A dry, hot summer followed by late-season rains introduced a degree of variability in some of Bordeaux’s main appellations, but where sites were well positioned to cope with those challenges, the wines are absolutely thrilling.