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2+2=5: Bordeaux 2021 In Bottle

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

Bordeaux winemakers endured a tumultuous season in 2021. It is easy to say that the wines are inferior as a result. But years of experience have taught me that is not necessarily true. Wine can defy logic, as if two plus two equals five. Keep an open mind, and you’ll find pleasant surprises.

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Nature Rules/Nature’s Rules: DRC 2021 In Bottle

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

The travails of the 2021 vintage in Burgundy spared no one, not even the most illustrious domaine of them all. At the end of the day, Nature rules. So, how did the team at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti fare, and how are the resulting wines?

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Vinous Table: Zoldering, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Netherlands, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

It had taken five years since opening for me to dine at Zoldering, and it lived up to expectations. Zoldering is really everything you could want in a restaurant unless you crave a luxurious setting or boundary-busting cooking. It’s not that kind of place. This is where you come to meet friends, chill out, drink great wines and eat delicious, well-executed food that you will want to eat again.

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Come On Aline: Château Coutet 1943-2017

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

Château Coutet has been revered as one of Sauternes/Barsac’s most prestigious sweet wines for decades. This article delves into its long history, but as we discover, under the indefatigable Aline Baly, Coutet is an estate that constantly looks to the future.

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Cellar Favorite: 1982 Pol Roger Brut Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Champagne

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

Our greatest Prime Minister, after Liz Truss, had impeccable taste in Champagne. Though I must drink far less bubbly than Sir Winston Churchill, which is probably why, like most people, I have always enjoyed the cuvée created in his honor. As the story goes, the PM met Odette Pol Roger in 1944 at the British Embassy in Paris, and their families struck up a close friendship.

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Vinous Table: Manteca, London, UK

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

Manteca does not quite have the same high profile as its peers, yet it was packed to the rafters, probably more of a lunch venue than an evening. It is not pursuing awards or Michelin stars, and all the better for it. Given the escalation in restaurant prices across London, while Manteca is not inexpensive, it is certainly affordable, and the wide choice of wines will please oenophiles. If you find yourself in the City or around Spitalfields, I heartily recommend this Italian.

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Survive Us All: Latour 1858-2018

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

A First Growth vertical that spans 160 years and took over three years to complete? This epic tasting of Château Latour is virtually unique in scope. But instead of simply glorifying ancient vintages, this article painstakingly examines the backdrop to the wines, winemaking practices, those involved in their creation, critics’ reception, market prices and the ups and the downs of this storied estate.

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Cellar Favorite: 2020 Domaine Bernard-Bonin Meursault La Rencontre

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

Domaine Bernard-Bonin is a Meursault-based producer that I would dearly love to visit. For reasons I will not go into here, so far, that has not been possible. This has not prevented me from enjoying the occasional bottle that has come my way.

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Cellar Favorite: 1981 & 1992 Le Pin

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jan 2024

I have been fortunate to taste every vintage, though it is over a decade since I encountered one of the early ones. Visiting the estate in December, Thienpont served a bottle blind, a bottle that drew gasps from the audience…even from his better half.

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Cellar Favorite: 1983 & 1967 Domaine J.L. Chave L’Hermitage

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Jan 2024

Last year was such a treasure trove of amazing bottles that I completely forgot a dinner in February that finished with a pair of outstanding wines from Jean-Louis Chave.