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Lower Your Sails (Or Breeches): Beychevelle 1929-2019

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Mar 2023

Apart from interesting backstories, Beychevelle has passed between some of the most powerful families in France over nearly a millennium. This article stems from a vertical tasting of 25 vintages marking the quarter-century of Philippe Blanc’s tenure, plus a handful of notes for wines back to 1929.

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Not Classed, but Classy: Haut-Bergeron 1961-2019

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Mar 2023

Sauternes articles tend to focus on major châteaux. But in this piece, I shine the spotlight on a less familiar name, one whose wines punch above their weight: Haut-Bergeron.

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Keller Excellence

Germany, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

David Schildknecht, Mar 2023

For nearly 20 years, Klaus Peter Keller has almost surely been Germany’s most written-about wine grower, both at home and abroad. What makes his estate perhaps the most exciting in Germany today? This article takes a close look at the people, places and mystique surrounding Weingut Keller, including detailed notes on wines from vintages 2019-2021.

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Money Well Spent: Domaine de L’Arlot: 1959-2019

France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Mar 2023

A few months ago, winemaker Géraldine Godot flew over to London to present a fascinating tasting of recent vintages from Domaine de L’Arlot in Nuits-Saint-Georges, including a rare vertical of their Romanée-Saint-Vivant.

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Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 1994-2021

Australia, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Angus Hughson, Nov 2022

Rules are made to be broken. In the rich landscape of Australian Shiraz, Clonakilla was the original maverick, pioneering cool climate Shiraz Viognier blends in an unlikely new wine region. Serendipitous plantings of Viognier and travels to Domaine Guigal lit a spark that has grown into an unexpected, runaway success that has helped to redefine Australian Shiraz. This vertical tasting of the Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier celebrated the winery’s 50th birthday and showcased a wine with unique finesse and longevity.

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Domaine Georges Roumier Part 2: Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras 1er Cru

France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Nov 2022

In this second look at Christophe Roumier, the limelight shines upon his Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras 1er Cru. With over a dozen vintages tasted blind, this tasting reveals a winemaker unafraid to translate growing seasons as they are.

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Domaine Georges Roumier Part 1: 1988s Examined

France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Nov 2022

Sometimes tastings seem beyond the realm of possibility, for example, going through all of Christophe Roumier’s wines from humble Bourgogne Rouge to his elusive Musigny. But to taste a mature vintage like 1988? That was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assess if Roumier created magic early in his career.

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Bending Rules: Les Carmes Haut-Brion 1955-2019

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, 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.

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Decoding Emidio Pepe: 13 Vintages of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Vecchie Vigne

Italy: Center & South, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Eric Guido, Oct 2022

Steeped in tradition, rare, certainly not inexpensive and sometimes earthy to the point of being rustic…to sum it up: intimidating. That’s what comes to mind for many consumers when they think of approaching an older bottle of Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Over the last six decades, these have been among the most distinctive wines made in Italy. Today, the current generation focuses on the future without taking away from their family’s glorious past.

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Dive In: Cantenac Brown 1978-2018

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, 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.