Browse using the new Vinous website now. Launch →


Petrus 1943 bottle copy

Cellar Favorite: 1943 Petrus

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Nov 2022

In my continuing and futile attempt to drink every Petrus of the 20th century, I ticked off one of the lesser-known war vintages this summer. Incidentally, it was served blind, and though I identified the château, I was quite a few years out on the vintage. Maybe even decades!

Lascombes 1928 bottle copy

Cellar Favorite: 1928-2011 Lascombes

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Oct 2022

During this year’s en primeur campaign I had a chance to taste nine mature vintages of Lascombs. I plan to assess more recent vintages for a more in-depth, standalone piece. But in the meantime, these wines see the light of day as a Cellar Favourite.

3 les carmes winery exterior copy

Bending Rules: Les Carmes Haut-Brion 1955-2019

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Oct 2022

Not so long ago Les Carmes Haut-Brion was just another Pessac-Léognon estate. Now it’s one of Bordeaux’s most forward-thinking châteaux. I recently spent a morning with winemaker Guillaume Pouthier, as I wanted to discover the anatomy of the estate and what links its past, present and future.

La tour figeac 1964 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1964 La Tour Figeac

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Oct 2022

Given price inflation in recent years, a good tactic is to aim for a vintage/wine region with a high reputation and go a little off-piste. Take the Right Bank in 1964, for example. Sure, you can open that bottle of Cheval Blanc or Petrus, and it will knock your socks off…but you’ll pay a king’s ransom for the privilege. Foraging around a retail shop in Burgundy, I spotted a bottle of 1964 La Tour Figeac with a reasonable fill and clarity. I decided it was worth a gamble, given that I had no idea of provenance and no experience with the estate in this era.

2 cantenac brown facade copy

Dive In: Cantenac Brown 1978-2018

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Oct 2022

Cantenac Brown is one of Margaux’s most ornate, eye-catching châteaux. It has also witnessed a “quiet revolution” in terms of quality. I re-examined recent vintages with winemaker José Sanfins, though sadly there was no chance of a swim afterwards.

Sauterns sign pic copy

Looking Back: 2007 Sauternes

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Oct 2022

Each year I look back at a vintage of Sauternes to see how the wines are evolving. This year, I decided to revisit 2007, a vintage that contains a handful of botrytized jewels.

First growth 2012 copy

A Century of Bordeaux: The Twos

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

Why look back 10 years when you could look back 20, 30, 40, perhaps 110 years? After a lockdown hiatus, my annual “Century of…” article examines an array of Bordeaux wines from a raft of 2012s, all the way back to the year the Titanic sank.

1 leoville poyferre bottles line up

Léoville-Poyferré 1936-2018

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

Didier Cuvelier rejuvenated Léoville-Poyferré. A new chapter opened when his cousin, Sara Lecompte Cuvelier, took over the helm a few years ago. Following a vertical of recent vintages, this article examines one of Saint-Julien’s most respected estates.

Pichon baron full line up copy

Memories Tumble Out: Pichon Baron 1937-1990

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Aug 2022

Even the most famous Bordeaux estates own pitifully small libraries of older vintages. When Christian Seely invited me to taste a bygone era of Pichon Baron from the châteaux’s scant reserves, I knew it would be an unrepeatable travel back in time, one with plenty of surprises.

Pichon lalande 1940 copy

Cellar Favorite: 1940 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Aug 2022

On a recent visit to the estate, director Nicolas Glumineau probably risked his own job when he invited me down to the cellar to choose a bottle. I decided upon an esoteric and forgotten vintage, one that Glumineau himself had never tasted before.