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Morey monts luisants line up copy

Burgundy Focus 4: Ponsot’s Clos de la Roche & Morey Monts Luisants 1934-2019

France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, May 2023

To celebrate 150 years of ownership, last May the Ponsot family hosted an extraordinary double vertical of their Clos de la Roche and white Monts Luisants back to the 1930s. This in-depth report examines the roles various family members have played in creating Burgundy as we know it today and reveals some ethereal wines.

67 pall mall pumpkin

Vinous Table: Tuscan Dinner @ 67 Pall Mall, London, UK

United Kingdom, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, May 2023

When I was invited to join a Tuscan-themed dinner in the private room at 67 Pall Mall, I eagerly accepted. I wanted to reacquaint myself with Tuscan wines and placate my palate, which was protesting that it wanted to taste anything other than Cabernet or Pinot Noir. The bottles were deeply impressive and showcased Tuscany at its best.

Updown choux

Vinous Table: Updown Farmhouse, Betteshanger, UK

United Kingdom, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, May 2023

Updown Farmhouse is in the opening pages of what will hopefully be a long and prosperous life.

Gruaud larose tower copy

You’re Unbelievable: Bordeaux 2022

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, May 2023

This year’s en primeur report examines the anatomy of 2022 in Bordeaux, highlighting the vintage’s strengths and the potential future legends, yet not ignoring the caveats. This is a complex and intellectually-rewarding vintage that could rewrite the rules of the growing season and what wines to expect.

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Cellar Favorite: Taylor’s Very Very Old Tawny Port (Coronation of King Charles III Limited Bottling)

Portugal, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, May 2023

The Coronation of King Charles III inevitably was the perfect excuse for many English sparkling wine producers to mark the occasion with limited edition cuvées, likewise, Port Houses that have deep English roots. One that I recently tasted was from Taylor’s Fladgate, who raided some of their oldest reserves to blend a limited run of 1,500 bottles of what they have called their Very Very Old Tawny Port.

Hilltop anchovies

Vinous Table: Hilltop Kitchen, Godalming, UK

United Kingdom, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, May 2023

I adore Hilltop Kitchen. It offers delicious, perfectly-sourced, well-executed fare with minimal fuss and maximum care.

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Burgundy Focus 3: Mugnier’s Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er Cru 2007-1980

France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, May 2023

This unique vertical of Frédéric Mugnier’s Musigny Grand Cru offered a chance to examine one of Burgundy’s most sought-after wines back to vintages that predate his arrival. In this instance, going back through time was not unlike witnessing someone unlearning their skill and experience.

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Cellar Favorite: 1998 Wendouree Cabernet Sauvignon

Australia, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, May 2023

If there is one Australian producer that sends a tingle down my spine more than any other, it is surely Wendouree. There…I just shuddered typing the name. Regrettably, my encounters are infrequent, yet bottles seem to have that ineffable je ne sais quoi whenever they do appear.

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The Future Is Beaujolais: 2020-2022 Releases

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Neal Martin, May 2023

Few wine regions capture the heart, soul and tastebuds like Beaujolais, finally shaking off its association with Nouveau and witnessing a serious upgrade in quality, year-on-year. Tired of Burgundy’s fetishization and its unaffordable wines? Step this way.

Vouvray bredif

Cellar Favorite: 1971 Marc Brédif Vouvray Grande Année

France: Loire, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, May 2023

I cannot deny that I’ve proselytized the 1971 vintage to the point where I must sound like the most scratched record in my vinyl collection (namely, a war-torn copy of With The Beatles handed down by my nan and kept for sentimental reasons). But it is true that you can travel the globe from wine region to wine region and find marvels that continue to drink well. Case in point, this gorgeous Loire that I chanced upon in London recently. I am a big fan of mature Vouvray, and Brédif seems to have a treasure trove of mature vintages.