Crab with black truffle

Vinous Table: Core by Clare Smyth, London, United Kingdom

United Kingdom, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

Core is the most impressive debut since I first dined at The Ledbury, another Notting Hill destination restaurant.

Brane cantenac bottle l

Long Distance Runner: Brane-Cantenac 1924-2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

True, Brane-Cantenac has had its ups and downs over the years, but it is now creating some of its best ever wines. In one of the most comprehensive verticals ever written, I examine the estate from its formation to the present day and what influences the character of this singular Margaux.

Bourgogne blanc rousseau

Cellar Favorite: 2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau Bourgogne Blanc

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

I am at Domaine Rousseau and ask Cyrielle Rousseau about the mysterious Bourgogne Blanc. She confirms that her family produced it for a number of years from a parcel in Gevrey-Chambertin, solely for personal consumption or to give to friends and associates. They no longer make it.

Corton charlemagne oct 18 copy

2017 Burgundy: A Modern Classic

featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

Winemakers’ prayers were answered when the 2017 Burgundy growing season bestowed them with normal yields, refilling cellars that were getting accustomed to being empty. But how good are the reds? Should you form an orderly queue to secure your allocation and if so, what growers or appellations represent the best potential value?

Coutet madame1990 bottle

Cellar Favorites: Coutet Cuvée Madame

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

An unexpected message pops up on my Smartphone. It is from Aline Baly, daughter of co-proprietor Dominique Baly, enquiring whether I can meet for an impromptu tasting of eight vintages of Coutet’s Cuvée Madame. The odds are slim. I am flying back to Blighty at some ungodly hour the following morning and I am midway through a marathon tasting. Then again, this is not just any Sauternes, but an elusive and fascinating bottling.

Roumier 1945 and 1955 bottles

Review of the Year 2018 - Neal Martin


Neal Martin, Dec 2018

Since 2003 I have always looked back upon the previous twelve months to assess what kind of year it has been in terms of wine, also the most memorable tastings, dinners and events. Life is not just about fermented grape juice, so my review includes music, film and anything that really crossed my mind at time of writing. This is my 2018.

Graham's 90 year old

Port Is For Life: Symington Vintage & Tawny Ports

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, Portugal, Fortified Wines & Spirits, Fortified Wines & Spirits

Neal Martin, Dec 2018

“Port is for life, not just for Christmas.” True, though I am sure sales figures would confirm that more bottles of port, in all its multifarious forms - Vintage, Ruby, Tawny, Single Quinta, Colheita, White or Crusted - are ceremoniously passed to the left over the festive period than at any other time of the year. So it would be remiss of me not to offer Vinous readers an early Christmas present in the shape of a port-themed article.


Cellar Favorites: 1945, 1966 & 1982 Gruaud Larose

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Dec 2018

I recently participated in two tastings connected with one of the most famous dynasties in Bordeaux: the Cordier family. Désiré Cordier embarked on a shopping spree for Bordeaux estates in that era, when real estate prices were depressed by a run of poor vintages and World War I. Amongst Cordier’s acquisitions, the other famous property purchased is Gruaud Larose, which came into their hands in 1917 and 1935, since back then, the estate was divided.

Kingprincess cover

Beyond Wine Album Review of Make My Bed EP - King Princess

Beyond Wine

Neal Martin, Dec 2018

Ladies and gentlemen and all those in between, I present a bona fide classic song: “1950” by King Princess. Its centerpiece is an effortlessly simple melody that you cannot believe has not been written before, one that immediately lodges itself in your brain.

Fieuzal 1970 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1970 Château de Fieuzal Rouge

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Dec 2018

Old bottles of Graves have been regrettably few and far between. When I do encounter mature Graves from the 1940s and the 1970s, they always remind me how well they age, how their qualities are overlooked vis-à-vis other Bordeaux appellations.