Southwold homepage cover

Southwold: 2016 Bordeaux Blind

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Aug 2020

The 2016 Bordeaux vintage might have been born with a halo above its cherubic head, but you cannot see a halo if blindfolded. This report sees the 2016s re-examined blind at the annual “Southwold” tasting.

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The Most and Least Important of Things: Petrus 1897–2011

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Jul 2020

What is the place for a retrospective on Petrus in a time of global pandemic and economic hardship? This article has been in suspended animation since January 2019, when London’s Hide restaurant witnessed one of the most unforgettable wine dinners in recent memory. But finally, after 18 months, I decided that these rare and precious wines should be written up. First of all, as the only journalist in attendance, I had a duty to formally record a tasting that might never happen again. Secondly, life goes on; you cannot put everything on hold forever.

Meyney facade

Delivering Where It Counts: Meyney 1971–2017

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Jul 2020

Continuing my focus on Bordeaux wines that offer both quality and value, my final château visit before lockdown was to Meyney in Saint-Estèphe. How has their wine improved so much in recent years?

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Cellar Favorite: 2010 Haut-Bailly

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jun 2020

In my write-up of the 2010 Bordeaux vintage earlier this year, it was unfortunate that one bottle in the blind tasting was so hideously corked that it rendered every participant’s glass unusable. (Hopefully, the injured stemware has recovered by now.) The culprit turned out to be Haut-Bailly, and unfortunately we did not have a backup at hand.

Le pin 2011

Cellar Favorite: 2011 Le Pin

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jun 2020

When I recently conducted a Vinous Live with Jacques Thienpont and his wife Fiona Morrison MW, two days before transmission, the latter suggested that I should be drinking a bottle of Le Pin during the interview. Unfortunately, the Martin cellar does not maintain a reserve of Le Pin for whenever I fancy a cheeky iconic Pomerol.

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2019 Bordeaux: A Long, Strange Trip

featured, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, Jun, 2020

“You must really like your wine,” the FedEx delivery person said as he dropped off yet another stack of boxes shipped from Bordeaux. The global lockdown that began in March ended any hopes of en primeur tastings in the spring. After weeks of indecision, the Bordelais finally moved ahead with a summer en primeur campaign, setting in motion a flurry of shipments across the ocean and a series of equally fast releases. Do the 2019s live up to the early hype?

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Uncertain Smile: Bordeaux 2019

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jun 2020

Born into an uncertain world, how certain are we that the 2019 Bordeaux vintage belongs amongst true greats? Several weeks ago I assumed lockdown would make it impossible to find out. Then 900 samples landed at my door...

Siran bottle line up copy

Château Siran 1918-2008

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Jun 2020

The Margaux appellation is home to several châteaux that are upping their game. This article focuses on one of those, Château Siran, with a vertical tasting that looks back over a century.

1947 cha%cc%82teau trotanoy

Cellar Favorite: 1947 Château Trotanoy

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jun 2020

There is something magical about bottles of postwar Pomerol. I have been fortunate to taste a fair number, given their rarity, and always with a sense of understanding that you might never encounter it again. That is the case with the 1947 Trotanoy.

Canon chaigneau bottles

Hopes and Dreams: Canon Chaigneau 1998-2019

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, May 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is not evenly spread across society, nor across wine estates. Imagine you were on the cusp of buying a small Bordeaux château when suddenly the world is in lockdown. What happens then? This is the story of Canon Chaigneau.