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So Chic, So Listrac: Fourcas Hosten

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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.

Bottle line up with ja nony

His Father’s Son: Grand Mayne 1955-2011

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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.

An impressive lineup of corks of twenty year old wines cover

In the Sweet Spot: 2001 Brunello di Montalcino

featured, Italy: Tuscany, Verticals & Retrospectives

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

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.

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Conterno Monfortino Magnum Vertical: 1970-2014

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, 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

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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.