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Cellar Favorite: 1971 Latour & 1971 Les Forts de Latour

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2024

Wine is often a moving target. The greatest tend to be shape-shifters in the glass. Just when you think you’ve got a wine pinned down, it mutates into something different, and you end up crossing out words in your carefully written note. It’s like a child toying with you, playing peek-a-boo. Now you see me…now you don’t.

Bordeaux 1989 bottles copy

Rockeries in Living Rooms: 1988 vs. 1989 Bordeaux

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2024

Bordeaux vintages are so fascinating that people have been known to write entire books about them! Here, I focus on two particularly intriguing but stylistically different vintages, 1988 and 1989. The former has never quite had the same reputation as the latter. Did that play out during these themed dinners?

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Cellar Favorite: 1949 Pontet-Canet

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jun 2024

I recently attended a delightful private dinner in Washington, DC, in aid of the American Heart Association. The vinous theme was Pontet-Canet. Proprietor Alfred Tesseron has been a long-term supporter of this charity, and he had flown over specially for the event, guiding us through several recent vintages. The oldest was a bottle of the 1949 Pontet-Canet.

Pomerol 1961 bottles

Desert Island Dinner: 1961 Pomerol in Excelsis

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jun 2024

All wine lovers have their fantasy tasting. I’m lucky that several of mine came true. But I never thought that one day I’d taste the trinity of 1961 Pomerols side-by-side: Petrus, Lafleur and Latour à Pomerol. This is the story of an extraordinary evening where a dream came true…almost.

Century of fours potential cover

A Century of…Fours

France: Burgundy, featured, South Africa, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jun 2024

Century of Fours examines vintages ending in four and adds historical context via a parallel timeline of the FA Cup Finals from 1904 to 2014. It is two journeys through time for the price of one.

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The Bordeaux Soundtrack: Icons at Legacy Records

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, May 2024

Music and wine are perfect partners, so what better venue to host the first Icons of Bordeaux dinner than Legacy Records in New York with four of the region’s leading winemakers?

Primeur 2023 homepage image copy

The Dalmatian Vintage: Bordeaux 2023

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

The 2023 Bordeaux vintage is born in tumultuous times, at a pivotal moment for the region. When that is all stripped away, what do the wines offer in a growing season that swerved one way then another? The answer depends on which château you’re looking at.

Petrus cover

Bordeaux at the Crossroads: 2023 En Primeur

featured, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, April 2024

Tasting Bordeaux en primeur is largely the art of shutting out extraneous noise and concentrating just on the wines. This year, the noise is especially loud as estate owners, winemakers, consultants, négociants and other professionals debate the merits of 2023 within the context of today’s global market. Many of these views are fueled by agendas, which is certainly understandable. For this taster, it’s only about what is in the glass. When all is said and done, 2023 has a lot to offer. It is not a great vintage across the board, yet plenty of wines merit serious attention.

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Past Becomes Now: Lafite-Rothschild 1874-1982

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

Lafite-Rothschild can age for decades, but it can be a difficult wine to understand. This vertical stretches back to the 19th century and features some riveting examples of the First Growth and vintages that were reminders of how precarious it can be opening ancient Claret.

Domaine de chevalier 1993 covercopy

Cellar Favorite: 1993 Domaine de Chevalier

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

Last October, I was in Bordeaux during the autumn Porte Ouverte days, when locals can tour châteaux and attend evening dinners, many of which are inexpensive to take part in. I was tasting the 2021s on the same day as Domaine de Chevalier’s soirées, and proprietor Olivier Bernard invited me, along with around 200 other guests. With so many people, you need a large bottle!