Chateau darche 1906

Cellar Favorite: 1906 Château d’Arche Crème de Tête

Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Aug 2018

It seems difficult to believe now given the current state of the market, but Sauternes was the most sought-after and most expensive Bordeaux at the turn of the 20th century. This Cellar Favorite hails from that era, testament to the greatness and unerring longevity of Sauternes...and it does not have to begin with the 25th letter of the alphabet.

Haut condissas jean guyon nmwantsthisascover

Aiming High: Haut-Condissas 1997–2015

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Aug 2018

I rarely travel to the far northern reaches of the Médoc. Beyond Calon-Ségur, the Médoc is a mystery...like Narnia...or north Essex. However, when Jean Guyon invited me for a complete vertical of Haut-Condissas back to 1997, I was intrigued to discover whether or not it fulfills its lofty ambitions.

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The Marital Margaux: d’Issan 1945-2015

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Château d’Issan is one of the most ancient estates in Bordeaux, and traces its history all the way back to the 12th century. D’Issan, at the time known as La Mothe-Cantenac, hosted the nuptials of the future King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152. Amazingly, some 866 years later, visitors can still tour the château and imbibe the wine that Henry and Eleanor purportedly drank on their wedding day. This article focuses on a comprehensive vertical that I undertook with co-owner Emmanuel Cruse that spanned the entire postwar period.

Deuxieme vin margaux 1900

Cellar Favorite: 1900 Château Margaux Deuxième Vin

France: Bordeaux, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

The wine was astonishing in so many ways, not least, in prosaic terms, how damn delicious it remains. Tasting it blind, nobody had any inkling of its age until the bottle was revealed with its slightly torn Pillet-Will label, owners at the time. My mind began imagining what the Grand Vin must taste like. One day, I hope, one day...

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Cellar Journal – Bordeaux to Start…

featured, France: Bordeaux, Cellar Journal

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

The Japanese have a custom called “fukubukuro”. It literally translates as “lucky grab bags”. Every New Year, department stores sell these bags giving no indication what they might contain. Such is the popularity of fukubukuro that people queue for hours in order to purchase a bag, take it home and see what is inside. In a sense, we see “Cellar Journal” as a vinous “fukubukuro”. Think of it as your lucky bag. Of course, there will be a theme, more often than not, Bordeaux or Burgundy, but the exact bottles contained within each article will be a surprise....

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Looking Back To Go Forward: Lafite-Rothschild 1868 – 2015

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

The de Rothschild family celebrates 150 years since Baron James de Rothschild’s acquisition of Lafite-Rothschild in 1868 with three intimate dinners. Each soirée is bejeweled with unique combinations of vintages: young and old, renowned and derided, famous and forgotten, as well as varied groups of guests. The notes in this article originate not only from the tasting at the property, but also a dinner in Hong Kong that I attended a few weeks earlier, and several other recent tastings. Together they offer a time-arching overview of Lafite-Rothschild and the wines as the château enters a new era under the stewardship of Chairman Saskia de Rothschild and CEO Jean-Guillaume Prats.

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In Excelsis: Château Latour 1887 – 2010

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Having toured through the five First Growths in my “Bordeaux In Excelsis” article, I now turn the spotlight onto Château Latour. Though the “first” in “First Growth” denotes Latour’s official status as per the 1855 Classification, personally speaking, the word has alternative meanings.

Laville haut brion

Cellar Favorites: Laville Haut-Brion

Verticals & Retrospectives, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Most wine-lovers suffer a sense of loss and enter a period of mourning, whenever a producer such as Gentaz-Dervieux ceases to exist. Even a change in name can bring out the black armbands and black veils. Perhaps the most well known are Château La Tour Haut-Brion and its white counterpart, Laville Haut-Brion. Prompted by a recent thread on Your Say, the Vinous subscriber forum, this Cellar Favorite takes a brief look at a dozen or so mature vintages of Laville Haut-Brion, mostly from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

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Bordeaux In Excelsis

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jun 2018

WARNING: The article you are about to read contains more perfect wines and perfect scores than any published throughout my entire professional career. Readers with nervous dispositions or phobias towards rare, legendary and priceless wines are advised to stop reading immediately. Do not go any further. Press “Back” on your browser and read about delicious Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or Provençal Rosés. Forget this report exists. The evening described never happened. That’s right. It’s just a work of fiction. Just an infantile wine writer fantasising about his ultimate Bordeaux tasting like everyone in idle moments. But you see, the event I am about to describe did occur...

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Cellar Favorite: 1955 Château Latour

Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, Jun 2018

From the moment it is opened and served, the 1955 Latour is simply regal. Floral and remarkably bright for a wine of its age, the 1955 offers a level of pure seduction that is hard to capture with words.