Bordeaux 2009   margaux bottles

A Test Of Greatness: 2009 Bordeaux Ten Years On

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, March 2019

The Bordeaux 2009s were hailed upon release during a unique primeur campaign, though the crucial test would come when the wines reached 10 years of age. Now it’s time to put them to that test. Two tastings, one sighted and one blind, confirmed magnificent highs...yet no vintage should be beyond criticism.

Sociando mallet line up

Outsider Looking In: Sociando-Mallet 1982-2015

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, March 2019

How did the admiration of an estuary view result in the resurrection of one of the most singular estates on the Left Bank? The story of Jean Gautreau is fascinating and worth telling in this, the 50th year since he bought Sociando-Mallet.

Yquem 1869 copy

Cellar Favorite: 1869, 1879 & 1893 d’Yquem

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, March 2019

It was not until the 1930s that tastes began shifting away from sweet wines to dry reds, though d’Yquem will never relinquish its status as Bordeaux’s best sweet wine, a reputation consecrated by the 1855 classification as its sole Premier Cru Supérieur.

Angelus 1953 bottle

Cellar Favorites: 1953 & 1975 l’Angélus

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Feb 2019

Sometimes these forgotten and frequently traduced periods are not as fallow as you might presume, especially in this Manichean age where we prefer to see things in black and white.

Pichon lalande chateau building

Looking The Part: Pichon-Baron 1953 – 2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

Today, Pichon-Baron is one of Bordeaux’s most popular wines, but it took many years, hard work and investment to get there. This articles traces its ascent from under-performer to Left Bank superstar via one of the most comprehensive verticals ever conducted at the château, an objective examination of the last four decades and beyond, plus a look at its sister property, Château Pibran.

Petrus grapes 2016 vintage copy

The DBs: Bordeaux 2016 In Bottle

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was praised to high heavens during en primeur, but the real test of quality is once the wines are finished and bottled. Is it truly one of the great modern-day vintages?

2005larcis edited

Cellar Favorite: 2005 Larcis Ducasse

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2019

Larcis Ducasse remains one of the truly great, reasonably priced wines of Bordeaux. I was once again reminded of that when I tasted the 2005 recently. Almost shockingly young, tannic and tightly wound for a wine of its age, the 2005 is positively stellar.

Saintemilion copy

2016 Bordeaux…It’s All In The Bottle

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2019

The bottled 2016s capture every bit of the potential I sensed when I started tasting the wines from barrel, prior to en primeur, in January 2017. I found many 2016s to be even better from bottle than they were during the spring futures campaign. The best 2016s are powerful, richly layered, vibrant and stunningly beautiful, not to mention incredibly delicious and alluring. For so many wines and estates, 2016 is an epic vintage.

Brane cantenac bottle l

Long Distance Runner: Brane-Cantenac 1924-2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

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.

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.