Chablis les clos

Mirror Image: 2016 & 2017 Chablis

featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Aug 2018

Chablis has born the brunt of frost and hail in recent vintages and yet it remains one of Burgundy’s most exciting regions. With the spotlight on 2016 and 2017, how did growers cope with the hurdles that Mother Nature threw in their way and how is Chablis changing as a region?

Cf gevrey rousseau 1985 copy

Cellar Favorite: 1985 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin

France: Burgundy, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Recently, my friend Dan Keeling, co-owner of “Noble Rot” restaurant in London, called to ask whether he should take a punt on a bottle of Rousseau’s 1985 Gevrey-Chambertin that had been perfectly stored since release. He told me the price. No denying it was extortion for a village wine...but not insulting. In the back of mind, I contemplated how well some of those villages performed at Tour d’Argent back in January. Why not give it a go? A few weeks later I met up with Dan and he generously popped open that very bottle. Thankfully it confirmed my view that grower and in particular, provenance, can transcend vineyard site and thereby save you a lot of wallet heartache. It was so divine that we both agreed that it cast doubt on the benefits of trading up to a Premier or Grand Cru.

Hero image grandes jours

Burgundy Under the Radar

featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Aware that some Burgundy lovers might point out that they have known some of the growers included in this report since they produced their first vintage back in 1903, nevertheless, Burgundy remains a vast ocean of growers beyond the most famous names. Nothing gives me more pleasure than foraging for winemakers unknown to myself, or those that I have never visited. There are innumerable “under-the-radar” growers in Burgundy, and I use that term knowing that some oenophile’s radars are better than others. There is always one more grower that you have to visit around the corner. When it comes to Burgundy there is no full stop.

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Plundering Burgundy Past

featured, France: Burgundy, France

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Question: What do you get if you cross the best wine list in the world, mature Burgundy of perfect provenance, a party of Burgundy-obsessed hedonistic wine-lovers from the Far East, one patient sommelier, one Vinous scribe and four days in Paris? Answer: A journey through Burgundy at its finest and a reminder that humble bottles can turn out to be the most memorable.

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.

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Mugneret-Gibourg: Ruchottes-Chambertin 1945 – 2014

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Jun 2018

This magnificent vertical tasting of Mugneret/Mugneret-Gibourg’s Ruchottes-Chambertin - a remarkable and virtually unrepeatable retrospective - not only spanned almost the entirety of Mugneret/Mugneret-Gibourg’s tenure of the Grand Cru, but ventured further back to the Thomas-Bassot era.

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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.

Drc 1999 bottle line up

Life Is Funny Like That: 1999 & 2015 DRC

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Apr 2018

The first article that I ever published on the subject of wine was not some breathless puff on a 100-point Chilean Merlot discovered two-for-one down at my local Tesco. Embarrassingly, my first vinous words (not Vinous words) regaled a morning in the company of the recently bottled 1999s from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti at Corney & Barrow. In my mind, there was never any chance of a rerun through those 1999s. So I make do with the memories and remain grateful that I have tasted every release since the 1995 vintage. The latest, the 2015s, is one of the domaine’s best.

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Cellar Favorite: Jadot’s 2015 Beaune 1er Cru Celebration

featured, France: Burgundy, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2018

I remember the first time I tasted Jadot’s 2009 Beaune 1er Cru 150th Anniversary several years ago. An assemblage of numerous Beaune climats, the 150th Anniversary was incredibly expressive and flat-out delicious from the very beginning.

D auvenay bonnes mares bottles

The Magic of d’Auvenay: 1989 – 2011

featured, France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

It was like a thunderbolt hitting my senses: the tension, the complexity and intensity sent shivers down my spine. It was difficult to put down in words, yet this wine became instantly and indelibly etched onto my brain. Now I understood why oenophiles genuflected at the altar of white Burgundy.