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.

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.

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Cellar Favorites: David Abreu – Revisiting the 2008s

featured, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, May 2018

Readers will find much to admire in David Abreu’s 2008s. In most vintages, the Abreu wines are very slow to develop, but the 2008s have largely entered an early plateau of maturity where they are quite expressive.

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Cellar Favorite: 1988 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet

featured, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Burgundy

Antonio Galloni, May 2018

The 1988 Montrachet was a stand out in a recent dinner that spanned 20+ vintages going all the way back to 1973. This is an especially fine example of a wine I have been fortunate to taste and drink many times over the years.

Clos joliette 1978 copy

Cellar Favorite: 1978 Jurançon Moelleux Le Clos Joliette

France, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, May 2018

Le Clos Joliette is a producer with an almost obsessive cult following. Whilst many might have never heard the name, I bet there are one or two readers going wobbly at the knees at the mere mention of this “unicorn” estate. I dislike that term. Yet Clos Joliette is certainly an enigma. There is a dearth of information on the internet and hardly any professional reviews, yet mature bottles are highly coveted and do not come cheap.

Cf 1948 taylors copy

Cellar Favorite: 1948 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port

Portugal, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, May 2018

There is Vintage Port and then there is the 1948 Taylor Fladgate. It remains a monumental Port that towers over the 20th century. Nineteen forty-eight is perhaps one of the lesser-known declarations compared to 1945 and 1963, although nine houses declared that year. Michael Broadbent described that as an “error of judgment” given the quality of the vintage in retrospect. I have been fortunate to taste the 1948 Taylors on several occasions, encountering one or two perfect bottles along the way. “Christopher & Co” bottled my most recent encounter in 1950, British merchants bottling a lion’s share of production in those days.

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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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Cellar Favorite: 2006 Tertre Rôteboeuf

France: Bordeaux, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2018

François Mitjavile’s 2006 Tertre Rôteboeuf is an absolute joy to taste. Generally speaking, I am not a huge fan of the 2006s because so many wines are gamy, rustic and rough around the edges. There are no such issues here. Wonderfully perfumed, with striking inner sweetness and layers of fruit, the 2006 Tertre Rôteboeuf is exceptionally vivid from the very first taste.

Heidseck dry monopole 1966

Cellar Favorite: 1966 Heidsieck & Co. Brut Rosé Dry Monopole

France: Champagne, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, Apr 2018

AG will probably kill me if he reads this, so please don’t tell him, but I once wrote something along the lines: “if you want to drink mature Champagne then you might as well pour a prematurely oxidized Meursault into a Sodastream.”

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.