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Against all Odds: Vie di Romans Sauvignon Blanc Vieris

Italy: North, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Eric Guido, Oct 2021

When we think of wines that will improve with age, challenging our palates and our intellects over decades of cellaring, it’s usually not a white that comes to mind, especially not a Sauvignon Blanc from Isonzo, Friuli. However, Gianfranco Gallo of Vie di Romans set out over forty years ago to prove us all wrong. Has he? With a fourteen-vintage vertical of the Sauvignon Blanc Vieris direct from the cellar, we’re about to find out.

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Mission Complete: La Mission Haut-Brion 1928–2011

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Sep 2021

One of the most revered château in Bordeaux, this article on La Mission Haut-Brion presents both a historical and contemporary insight courtesy of a Q&A with winemaker Jean-Philippe Delmas, plus tasting notes back to the 1920s.

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Left Bank on the Right: Jean Faure 2007–2018

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Sep 2021

Jean Faure is a bit of an anomaly in Saint-Émilion, an estate built around Cabernet Franc instead of Merlot. This was the first time that I conducted a vertical of recent vintages, and it led to a better understanding of the wines.

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So Chic, So Listrac: Fourcas Hosten

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Jul 2021

The Bordelais have always been the epitome of chic – in the way they carry themselves, in their deportment, in how they dress irrespective of age. They cannot countenance shabbiness. Perhaps at home they slob around in tatty jogging bottoms and flip-flops, but the boulevards of Bordeaux are a veritable crisscross of catwalks and luxury boutiques. Perhaps then, it is unsurprising that fashion houses have been lured to Bordeaux and acquired some its most famous châteaux.

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Seven Australian Cabernets from 2015

Australia, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Jun 2021

Maybe, like me, you have forgotten the joy a bottle of top-notch Australian Cabernet can bring. In a brief diversion away from tasting Bordeaux primeur, I sampled several wines that jogged my memory.

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His Father’s Son: Grand Mayne 1955-2011

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, May 2021

Jean-Antoine Nony was one of the first winemakers I ever interviewed for Wine-Journal in 2003. Almost two decades later, I finally return to Grand Mayne to conduct a comprehensive vertical and discover more about this ascendant Saint-Émilion estate.

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Marking Milestones with Moulin Touchais

France: Loire, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Rebecca Gibb MW, Apr 2021

In search of something to drink to mark a milestone birthday, those of us with a less-than-legendary birth year are resigned to the fact that our first breath did not coincide with the perfect growing season in Bordeaux. Revealing your date of birth to châteaux owners keen to open a special bottle often leads to a pitying shrug of the shoulders and a gallic ‘Bof’ when you disclose your parents poorly timed your entry to the world. But there’s hope for us yet: an underground cellar in a small Loire Valley town could be the answer to that elusive anniversary bottle that doesn’t require you to remortgage your house simply to mark a special date in the diary.

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2005 Bordeaux: Here and Now

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2021

It all started innocently enough with a few bottles of 2005 Bordeaux during lockdown. Then a few more, and then some more after that. Before I knew it I had tasted through a good number of the reference points. The wines were absolutely thrilling, just as I remembered from my last large tasting of the 2005s, about five years ago. One of my close friends suggested a comprehensive look back at the vintage, so here it is.

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In the Sweet Spot: 2001 Brunello di Montalcino

Italy: Tuscany, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Eric Guido, Mar 2021

Montalcino has come so far in a relatively short amount of time. Generational transitions, a focus on terroir and the willingness to showcase Sangiovese’s inherent character above winemaking wizardry have come together, resulting in many wines that have never been better than they are today. In this article I look back at the 2001s, wines from another era that, in a sense, helped pave the way to the region's success. So where do the 2001 Brunellos stand today, twenty years later?

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1971 x 50

Beyond Wine, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Feb 2021

Since time immemorial, I have argued, mostly in vain, that the 1971 is one of the great postwar vintages. To mark my 50th birthday, I gathered 50 tasting notes composed over the years to argue my case and celebrate the half-centuries of the wine and wine writer.