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Margaux Focus 3: Château Margaux

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Sep 2023

Château Margaux is blessed with one of the most iconic facades in Bordeaux, one befitting a First Growth. After spending a day with the team earlier this year, this article examines the estate from vine to wine and revisits vintages throughout the years.

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Cellar Favorite: 2005 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Cru

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2023

At an evening meal in Tokyo, I had the pleasure of tasting the excellent 2005 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Cru from Jean-Marc Pillot. This was poured from magnum.

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Vinous Table: Mountain, London, UK

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Sep 2023

When I caught wind that Anglesey-born chef Tomos Parry planned to open a new restaurant called “Mountain”, well, I could not quell my excitement.

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Rhys: The Stellar 2021s

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep, 2023

The Rhys 2021s are off the charts. After a very difficult year in 2020, Mother Nature provided far more ideal conditions in 2021. Annual rainfall was down 50%, and yet combined effects of drought and a cool season with no heat extremes or shock events yielded a set of powerful, deep wines. Cool nights during the final phase of ripening helped preserve acidity. Readers will find wines that marry uncommon textural depth with intense vibrancy and minerality. Moreover, the 2021s are also incredibly expressive of site, something I always look for in vineyard-designate wines. I followed the 2021s over several days and saw them blossom beautifully over that time, with the exception of one or two wines that remain a bit closed.

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Brilliance in Santa Barbara

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep, 2023

Santa Barbara continues to impress with a wide range of exceptional, world-class wines. After the challenging but ultimately strong 2020 harvest, producers were welcomed with far more favorable conditions in 2021. It is a spectacular vintage for the whites, quite possibly the best I have seen in more than a dozen years of tasting these wines, but ultimately less consistent for the reds, as we will explore in this year’s report.

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Where Art Thou Chablis? - Chablis 2021 & 2022

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Sep 2023

Chablis is wrestling with an identity crisis as it confronts warmer growing seasons. Today, what do you expect from a glass of Chablis? This report delves into the 2021 and 2022 vintages that could both claim to represent contemporary Chablis.

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Cellar Favorite: 2011 Domaine d'Auvenay Bourgogne Aligoté Sous Chatelet

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2023

Let’s get the elephant out of the room. The secondary market price for this “humble” Aligoté is around £3,000 per bottle. That is absurd. That is unbelievable. But that is reality. Someone out there is prepared to pay that amount of money for this wine, motivated by the fact that it was crafted by Lalou Bize-Leroy or perhaps motivated by pecuniary gains.

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Vinous Table: 64 Goodge Street, London, UK

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Sep 2023

Overall, 64 Goodge Street is a welcome addition to the capital’s dynamic dining scene. Prices are reasonable, and the décor is tasteful and classy. I always like an open kitchen, and the service is absolutely top-notch. A central location and tempting wine list mean that oenophiles venturing to London will enjoy its take on Gallic cuisine. Plus, of course, no need to look up the address.

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Surpassing Expectations: New Releases from Sicily

featured, Italy: Center & South

Eric Guido, Sep 2023

It’s incredible how much Sicily has improved in such a short period. What was once a selection of hit-or-miss, over-stylized, oaky and often rustic wines has become one of my favorite annual tastings. Quality continues to rise, and prices remain fair, meaning consumers can now find some seriously world-class wines here.

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Eruptions on the Mornington Peninsula

featured, Australia

Angus Hughson, Sep 2023

Thanks to the never-ending march of international wine prices, “bargain” is a word seldom used to describe quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. However, hidden south of Melbourne, in Victoria, is a post-stamp-sized oasis where unicorns can still be uncovered. Forget what you think you know about Australian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The best wines from one of Australia’s leading regions of these varieties are also truly world-class.