Cover copy

Six Decades of Pavie-Macquin: 1928-2018

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Antonio Galloni, May 2020

Pavie-Macquin is one of the great success stories of Saint-Émilion. This retrospective going all the way back to 1928 provided a remarkable opportunity to witness the evolution of the property from underachiever to superstar, with all of the highs and lows that invariably accompany an extensive vertical that spans epic, average and challenging vintages. For the occasion, estate manager Nicolas Thienpont and consulting oenologist Stéphane Derenoncourt gathered every wine they have made at Pavie-Macquin, with a few surprises thrown into the mix.

Bordeaux 1945 line up

Remember, Remember: 1945 Bordeaux

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, May 2020

Today is the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. Plans for mass celebrations have been cancelled as the world faces its biggest challenge since World War II, denying us the opportunity to publicly honor and thank the veterans who fought for our freedom. None of this diminishes the importance of the day. This article was written to coincide with V-E Day and the momentous year of 1945. It is more than a list of wines and scores. It endeavors to present an objective analysis of the vintage and its wines, explaining why it turned out more successful than others. Most importantly, it provides historical context, not only as a region under the control of the occupying German army, but also from the viewpoint of individual châteaux.

Clos saint martin bottles

No Relation: Clos Saint-Martin 1964-2017

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Apr 2020

If small is beautiful, then Clos Saint-Martin is the fairest of them all. Twenty years after first visiting this ideally located estate on the Saint-Émilion, I return to visit proprietor Sophie Fourcade and re-taste recent vintages.

Bordeaux 2010 full line up cover

Squares & Circles: Bordeaux ‘10 At Ten

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Apr 2020

Each February I taste the relevant Bordeaux vintage at 10 years of age, both sighted and blind. This year it is the turn of 2010, a fascinating and highly revered vintage, albeit one not beyond criticism. How have the wines evolved? How does 2010 compare to 2009? Where is its place in these tumultuous times?

Latour tower triplicate

Cellar Favorite: 2012 Château Latour

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Apr 2020

What makes this bottle different is that it is cleaved from a private vertical tasting of the last 20 vintages and was one that I managed to identify correctly. Indeed, the challenge of identifying recent vintages blind is testament to Latour’s consistency.

Yquem 1931

Cellar Favorite: 1931 d’Yquem

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Mar 2020

Defying all the odds, this Sauternes provided much pleasure to a group of wine lovers, a fitting finale to a memorable Burgundy dinner. Not a success? I beg to differ.

Cover branaire ducru chateau

In Good Taste: Branaire-Ducru 1928-2013

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Mar 2020

Continuing my series of profiles in Saint-Julien, it’s time to take a look at Branaire-Ducru, including history, winemaking practices, tasting notes and its connection with one of Roald Dahl’s most famous short stories.

Stemilionpanorama copy

2017 Bordeaux – Mirror, Mirror on The Wall…

featured, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2020

The bottled 2017 Bordeaux capture all ups and downs that were characteristic of a growing season marked by dramatic frost and uneven weather throughout the rest of the year. Although 2017 is not a great vintage across the board, it is a vintage with many great wines, as readers will discover in these paragraphs and reviews.

Figeac 1949 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1949 Château Figeac

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Feb 2020

My admiration for recent vintages of Château Figeac is clear for everyone to read. Winemaker Frédéric Faye has done a fantastic job in recent years.

Michel rolland lineup

Vintage Seeks Home: Bordeaux 2017 In Bottle

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jan 2020

A surprise late spring frost was not the greatest start to the Bordeaux 2017 vintage, and unexpected import tariffs meant that the wines hit the shelves in an uncertain market. Despite all this, the vintage contains pleasant surprises. They just need to find homes.