Nm cover 4

1971 x 50

Verticals & Retrospectives, Beyond Wine

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.

Monfortino vertical cover final feb22021

Conterno Monfortino Magnum Vertical: 1970-2014

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2021

With this year’s Festa del Piemonte in full swing I thought it would be fun to revisit one of the highlights from the 2020 edition, our Rare Wine Dinner featuring a stunning vertical of Giacomo Conterno’s Barolo Riserva Monfortino spanning vintages 1970 through 2014. It was truly a night to remember.

Serilhan bottles

Choose Wisely: Château Sérilhan 2008–2017

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jan 2021

Bordeaux is often criticized for charging a king’s ransom for its top wines. In reality, it is a vast cradle of quality that can offer unbeatable value, depending on how far you are willing to venture beyond the famous names. Some of the price tags dangling from ordinary Burgundy Villages reinforce the argument that wine lovers get much more bang for their buck in Bordeaux than in the Côte d’Or. However, the plethora of châteaux means that consumers can easily become overwhelmed, which is why it is important to shine the spotlight on top performers from lesser-known names, away from the Grand Cru Classés.

Lagrange 2009 and 2010 bottles

Lagrange 1959-2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Dec 2020

Suntory’s acquisition of Château Lagrange in 1983 saw an under-performer blossom into one of the most consistent and widely-appreciated wines of Saint-Julien. This article details its history, terroir and winemaking, plus a complete vertical from 1983 to 2015.

Pierre marie clape in his element  presenting a rare%e2%80%a6family's cellar.jpg copy

Domaine A. Clape Cornas: 2012–1987

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Dec 2020

One of the world’s iconic estates, Domaine Auguste Clape has long set the standard for the Cornas appellation and has featured on any Rhône aficionado’s short list of the region’s very best properties. With a mere eight hectares of vines spread across Cornas, Saint-Péray and Côtes-du-Rhône, the Clapes produce two different examples of Cornas, a Saint-Péray, a red Côtes-du-Rhône and a red Vin de France. All of the reds are made with whole clusters and fermented in concrete vats before being moved into ancient, traditional oval foudres for aging. Because of small production (roughly 2,500 cases per vintage, total) and longtime worldwide demand, especially for the flagship Cornas, the wines are not always easy to find. Unfortunately, the world has caught on, and prices have risen sharply as well. These are structured, long-lived wines that are definitely built for the patient consumer. As this retrospective shows, patience is consistently rewarded, even in tough vintages.

Burgundy line up 1959

The Year of Jazz & Wine: 1959

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France, Germany, Spain

Neal Martin, Nov 2020

Two extraordinary 1959-themed dinners at the end of last year presented a mouthwatering opportunity to examine this legendary vintage. This article looks at those wines and some of the stories that lie behind them.

Dourhin montrachet vineyard

Joseph Drouhin “Monty and Moose”

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Oct 2020

Who doesn’t enjoy munching through a packet of M&Ms? But these M&M’s are different: Montrachet & Musigny from Domaine Drouhin. I examine these two wines via separate verticals from recent vintages back to the 1940s.

Larcis ducasse lineup (1)

Saturday Morning: Larcis Ducasse 1945-2017

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Oct 2020

Larcis Ducasse is now regarded as one of the leading Saint-Émilion estates, not surprising given its outstanding terroir. However, as this vertical back to 1945 proved, success came late compared to its peers.

Taupenot mazoyeres vineyard

Taupenot-Merme: Mazoyères-Chambertin 2002-2017

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Aug 2020

Taupenot-Merme has become one of the leading Morey-based producers over the last decade. This article examines their crown jewel of Mazoyères-Chambertin from 2017 back to 2002.

Southwold full line up copy (1)

Southwold: 2016 Bordeaux Blind

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Bordeaux

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.