Angelus 1953 bottle

Cellar Favorites: 1953 & 1975 l’Angélus

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Feb 2019

Sometimes these forgotten and frequently traduced periods are not as fallow as you might presume, especially in this Manichean age where we prefer to see things in black and white.

Pichon lalande chateau building

Looking The Part: Pichon-Baron 1953 – 2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

Today, Pichon-Baron is one of Bordeaux’s most popular wines, but it took many years, hard work and investment to get there. This articles traces its ascent from under-performer to Left Bank superstar via one of the most comprehensive verticals ever conducted at the château, an objective examination of the last four decades and beyond, plus a look at its sister property, Château Pibran.

Petrus grapes 2016 vintage copy

The DBs: Bordeaux 2016 In Bottle

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was praised to high heavens during en primeur, but the real test of quality is once the wines are finished and bottled. Is it truly one of the great modern-day vintages?

2005larcis edited

Cellar Favorite: 2005 Larcis Ducasse

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2019

Larcis Ducasse remains one of the truly great, reasonably priced wines of Bordeaux. I was once again reminded of that when I tasted the 2005 recently. Almost shockingly young, tannic and tightly wound for a wine of its age, the 2005 is positively stellar.

Saintemilion copy

2016 Bordeaux…It’s All In The Bottle

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2019

The bottled 2016s capture every bit of the potential I sensed when I started tasting the wines from barrel, prior to en primeur, in January 2017. I found many 2016s to be even better from bottle than they were during the spring futures campaign. The best 2016s are powerful, richly layered, vibrant and stunningly beautiful, not to mention incredibly delicious and alluring. For so many wines and estates, 2016 is an epic vintage.

Brane cantenac bottle l

Long Distance Runner: Brane-Cantenac 1924-2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

True, Brane-Cantenac has had its ups and downs over the years, but it is now creating some of its best ever wines. In one of the most comprehensive verticals ever written, I examine the estate from its formation to the present day and what influences the character of this singular Margaux.

Coutet madame1990 bottle

Cellar Favorites: Coutet Cuvée Madame

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

An unexpected message pops up on my Smartphone. It is from Aline Baly, daughter of co-proprietor Dominique Baly, enquiring whether I can meet for an impromptu tasting of eight vintages of Coutet’s Cuvée Madame. The odds are slim. I am flying back to Blighty at some ungodly hour the following morning and I am midway through a marathon tasting. Then again, this is not just any Sauternes, but an elusive and fascinating bottling.

1945

Cellar Favorites: 1945, 1966 & 1982 Gruaud Larose

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Dec 2018

I recently participated in two tastings connected with one of the most famous dynasties in Bordeaux: the Cordier family. Désiré Cordier embarked on a shopping spree for Bordeaux estates in that era, when real estate prices were depressed by a run of poor vintages and World War I. Amongst Cordier’s acquisitions, the other famous property purchased is Gruaud Larose, which came into their hands in 1917 and 1935, since back then, the estate was divided.

Fieuzal 1970 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1970 Château de Fieuzal Rouge

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Dec 2018

Old bottles of Graves have been regrettably few and far between. When I do encounter mature Graves from the 1940s and the 1970s, they always remind me how well they age, how their qualities are overlooked vis-à-vis other Bordeaux appellations.

Lafleur bottle line up

Enigma Variations: Lafleur 1955-2015

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Nov 2018

Lafleur is a property that I have researched and written about extensively over the years. And yet something enigmatic remains about this Pomerol château. This article lifts the lid on its history, the vineyard, its winemaker, and the Robin and Guinaudeau families, charting the progress of its wines over several decades courtesy of two extraordinary verticals and some spellbinding wines.