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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.

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

Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Center & South, 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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The 2018 Barolos, Part 2

featured, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2022

Two thousand and eighteen remains a mixed vintage that reflects the challenges of a growing season marked by heavy spring rains, intense summer heat and unbalanced weather during the final phase of ripening. There are some gorgeous 2018s out there, but finding them will take a bit of work. The best 2018s are beautifully perfumed, mid-weight Barolos that will drink well early.

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The Rise of Rosso di Montalcino

Italy: Tuscany, featured

Eric Guido, Oct 2022

Rosso di Montalcino used to be the catch-all category for producers to generate cash quickly or soak up fruit from younger vineyards before the vines reached maturity. Today, things are changing very quickly. There’s a new focus on the Rosso category, the result of a need to satisfy a younger generation that doesn’t want to wait 10 to 20 years for Brunello to age, as well as the realization that it is increasingly difficult to make balanced, long-aging wines in these recent torrid vintages.

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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.

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Abruzzo: The Great Divide

Italy: Center & South, featured

Eric Guido, Oct 2022

Producers in Abruzzo are divided and struggling. The most ambitious feel undervalued as they compete against bulk production and supermarket wines that bear the Montepulciano DOC. Climate change is another real challenge. The good news is that this remains a buyer’s market, with a growing number of fantastic wines that are being produced at price points that are nearly impossible to beat throughout the rest of Italy.

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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.

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Growing Up ‘n Getting Wiser: South Africa in 2022

featured, South Africa

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

Returning after lockdown, I sought to take the temperature of South Africa’s ever-changing vinous landscape: walking vineyards, meeting winemakers and marvelling at wines that quicken the pulse. What are the roots of its success? Where are the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead? It’s time to find out.

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2021 Barolo en Primeur Charity Auction

featured, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2022

I am delighted to once again host the Barolo en Primeur Charity Auction, being held simultaneously in New York City and Grinzane Cavour on Friday, October 28 at 12pm New York time and 6pm Piedmont time. This is a rare opportunity to acquire 2021 Barolo ahead of release. Some of the lots will be sold as single barrels, as they were last year, while others are collections of smaller lots from various producers, organized by village. All the wines will be adorned with special labels designed by artist Michelangelo Pistoletto.

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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.