Graham's 90 year old

Port Is For Life: Symington Vintage & Tawny Ports

featured, Portugal, Fortified Wines & Spirits, Fortified Wines & Spirits, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Dec 2018

“Port is for life, not just for Christmas.” True, though I am sure sales figures would confirm that more bottles of port, in all its multifarious forms - Vintage, Ruby, Tawny, Single Quinta, Colheita, White or Crusted - are ceremoniously passed to the left over the festive period than at any other time of the year. So it would be remiss of me not to offer Vinous readers an early Christmas present in the shape of a port-themed article.

1945

Cellar Favorites: 1945, 1966 & 1982 Gruaud Larose

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Dec 2018

I recently participated in two tastings connected with one of the most famous dynasties in Bordeaux: the Cordier family. Désiré Cordier embarked on a shopping spree for Bordeaux estates in that era, when real estate prices were depressed by a run of poor vintages and World War I. Amongst Cordier’s acquisitions, the other famous property purchased is Gruaud Larose, which came into their hands in 1917 and 1935, since back then, the estate was divided.

Kingprincess cover

Beyond Wine Album Review of Make My Bed EP - King Princess

Beyond Wine

Neal Martin, Dec 2018

Ladies and gentlemen and all those in between, I present a bona fide classic song: “1950” by King Princess. Its centerpiece is an effortlessly simple melody that you cannot believe has not been written before, one that immediately lodges itself in your brain.

Fieuzal 1970 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1970 Château de Fieuzal Rouge

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Dec 2018

Old bottles of Graves have been regrettably few and far between. When I do encounter mature Graves from the 1940s and the 1970s, they always remind me how well they age, how their qualities are overlooked vis-à-vis other Bordeaux appellations.

Fixedcv

New Zealand: Just For Starters

featured, New Zealand

Neal Martin, Nov 2018

Upon joining Vinous, New Zealand came back into my purview for the first time since 2010. Its location on the opposite side of the world meant that finding time to visit this year was not quite as easy as nipping down to Bordeaux or Burgundy on the daily easyJet. This interim report covers more than 400 new releases from a wide range of estates.

Arbor full bottle lineup

Vinous Table: Arbor, Hong Kong

Vinous Table

Neal Martin, Oct 2018

Over the years, I have got to know Hong Kong well and made many friends within its thriving wine scene. And it’s a wine scene like no other. Weekly mouthwatering dinners, verticals and winemaker-tutored retrospectives create an almost frenzied atmosphere on libation, only possible here where there is such a concentration of collectors within a 15-minute drive of each other.

Hero image burgfest 2018

Blind Vision: 2015 Burgundy Red & White

featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Nov 2018

Bordeaux is a dog. A dog will always fetch the stick or come to heel. Dogs are predictable. But a cat? You never know what a cat might be up to at any given moment—licking its paws or catching mice. Cats are as unpredictable as opening a bottle of Burgundy. You never know what to expect until you pull the cork. Burgundy is a cat….

Richebourg 1942 vv label

Cellar Favorite: 1942 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg “Vigne Originelle Française”

cellar favorite, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Nov 2018

The magical properties of the time-buckling 1942 Richebourg Vigne Originelle Française Non Reconstitutée defy the laws of mature Pinot Noir. Over the course of 90 minutes, the wine gains substance from the ether.

Lafleur bottle line up

Enigma Variations: Lafleur 1955-2015

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Nov 2018

Lafleur is a property that I have researched and written about extensively over the years. And yet something enigmatic remains about this Pomerol château. This article lifts the lid on its history, the vineyard, its winemaker, and the Robin and Guinaudeau families, charting the progress of its wines over several decades courtesy of two extraordinary verticals and some spellbinding wines.

Image (10)

Cellar Favorite: 1956 Château Léoville Barton

cellar favorite, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Oct 2018

I have a soft spot for off-vintage Claret – the more “off,” the better. There must be a masochistic side to my personality that draws me inexorably toward vintages that should come with a government health warning. They don’t come riskier than the annus horribilis 1956, when Bordeaux infamously turned into the Arctic for a prolonged spell in February and vast swaths of vines perished in a mass execution by frost.