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Cellar Favorite: 1955 Domaine Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Sep 2018

Amongst the constellation of rare bottles that I have tasted over the years, few approach the 1955 Réserve des Célestins from the late Henri Bonneau in terms of an unrepeatable experience at the hands of fermented grape juice. It is a wine that lies on the edge of existence: I have never seen another bottle at auction and have never seen a tasting note. But this bottle appeared without warning at an extraordinary Sunday lunch in West Hampstead, London.

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Cellar Favorite: 1991 Domaine Pierre Morey Meursault Les Perrières 1er Cru

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2018

Without a shadow of doubt, the 1991 Meursault Les Perrières 1er Cru will be one of the white wines of the year, epitomising everything wondrous about mature white Burgundy.

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Cellar Favorite: 1971 Cantina Mascarello Barolo

Piedmont, Italy: Piedmont, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2018

The 1971 Barolo from Cantina Mascarello is a relic from a time when Piedmont was a very different place than it is today, in many more ways than one.

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Cellar Favorite: 1985 Domaine Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Sep 2018

Alain Voge’s star is rising, as is demand. Prices have not quite attained the eye-watering amounts demanded for Verset or Clos Rougeard, but it is just a matter of time. So perhaps it is an opportune moment to look at a mature vintage of the Les Vieilles Vignes, which comes from the oldest Syrah vines, between 25 and 80 years, spread across five lieux-dits, usually with partial whole bunch in the vat and seeing a modest 20% new oak. Alain Voge took over the domaine after the sudden passing of his father, Louis, in 1965 and introduced this cuvée in the 1970s, while current co-owner and winemaker Albéric Mazoyer has been in charge since 2004.

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Cellar Favorite: 1971 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo

Piedmont, Italy: Piedmont, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2018

The essence of old-school Barolo. That pretty much sums up the Barolo Battista Rinaldi crafted in 1971. From the moment it is opened, the 1971 is special.

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Cellar Favorite: 1906 Château d’Arche Crème de Tête

France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Aug 2018

It seems difficult to believe now given the current state of the market, but Sauternes was the most sought-after and most expensive Bordeaux at the turn of the 20th century. This Cellar Favorite hails from that era, testament to the greatness and unerring longevity of Sauternes...and it does not have to begin with the 25th letter of the alphabet.

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Cellar Favorites: Château Lanzerac: 1961 – 1968

South Africa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Aug 2018

During my recent visit to the Cape, I planned a lunch with Merchant Roland Peens. To my surprise, he munificently poured four bottles of Lanzerac Cabernet from the 1960s that he had recently acquired from a private cellar.

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Cellar Favorite: 1998 Fontodi Chianti Classico

Italy: Tuscany, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2018

Fontodi’s 1998 Chianti Classico reminds me of why I love these wines so much. At age twenty, the 1998 is simply glorious, with plenty of dried cherry, tobacco, saddle leather, licorice, dried cedar and smoke overtones wrapped into a classic, mid-weight frame.

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Cellar Favorite: 1985 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Recently, my friend Dan Keeling, co-owner of “Noble Rot” restaurant in London, called to ask whether he should take a punt on a bottle of Rousseau’s 1985 Gevrey-Chambertin that had been perfectly stored since release. He told me the price. No denying it was extortion for a village wine...but not insulting. In the back of mind, I contemplated how well some of those villages performed at Tour d’Argent back in January. Why not give it a go? A few weeks later I met up with Dan and he generously popped open that very bottle. Thankfully it confirmed my view that grower and in particular, provenance, can transcend vineyard site and thereby save you a lot of wallet heartache. It was so divine that we both agreed that it cast doubt on the benefits of trading up to a Premier or Grand Cru.

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Cellar Favorite: 1900 Château Margaux Deuxième Vin

France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

The wine was astonishing in so many ways, not least, in prosaic terms, how damn delicious it remains. Tasting it blind, nobody had any inkling of its age until the bottle was revealed with its slightly torn Pillet-Will label, owners at the time. My mind began imagining what the Grand Vin must taste like. One day, I hope, one day...