Bouchard bottle line up

Oldies But Goldies: Bouchard Père 1892-2012

France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

Bouchard Père & Fils own one of the deepest Burgundy libraries of vintages back to the 19th century. This article recounts last November’s dinner when bottles with years ending in two stretching back through decades were opened.

Beaujolais landscape

But Seriously: Beaujolais 2021-2023

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

Beaujolais is one of the most dynamic wine regions in France. This report looks at new releases that almost entirely represent outstanding value for money, growers on the rise and the sheer diversity that Beaujolais has to offer.

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Cellar Favorite: 2016 Domaine de la Grange des Pères Vin de Pays de L'Herault

France, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

It must have been a decade ago when I attended a vertical of Domaine de la Grange des Pères in London. Then, it was revered as arguably Languedoc’s only true cult wine and, combined with its price tag, I was rather put off.

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Past Becomes Now: Lafite-Rothschild 1874-1982

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

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.

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Cellar Favorite: 1993 Domaine de Chevalier

France: Bordeaux, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

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!

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Vinous Table: Gyo-kaijin, Kanazawa, Japan

Japan, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

Gyo-kaijin encapsulates everything life-affirming about Japan’s dining scene. It is inexpensive, has impeccable service, a lively ambiance and, most of all, a standard of cuisine that you have to eat to believe. It was a serendipitous discovery, but knowing Japan as I do, I recognize that there were probably half a dozen other establishments lurking around the corner that would blow my mind and my tastebuds in a similar fashion.

Setsuri beef

Vinous Table: Kanazawa Setsuri, Kanazawa, Japan

Japan, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

It is easy to see why Kanazawa Setsuri is a popular local haunt. Sure, the food is absolutely top-notch, in a different league to what I find in the UK, even at exalted prices. The precision here is breathtaking. But what I really appreciate is the bonhomie of Kawada San and his assistant. They made it a dinner that was “fun." I just wish my Japanese was better so that I could have understood the wisecracks that had our doctor friends in stitches.

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Vinous Table: Takasegawa, Kyoto, Japan

Japan, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

Takesegawa epitomizes everything that makes Japan such a special, unique place to dine. The care afforded to every dish is evident by observing the chef and the flavors in the mouth. It’s the kind of place that you fall in love with and, like my fellow diner, you vow to return to every time you go back to Kyoto.

Disznoko bottles covercopy

Disznókő Tokaji: Latest Releases

Hungary, featured

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

Despite a long and illustrious history, Tokaji remains undiscovered by many wine lovers, not only its famous sweet Aszú wines but also its dry whites. I wish I could spend more time with its wines, but I did have a chance to taste a raft of young and old releases from Disznókő in London recently.

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Vinous Table: Tempura Matsu, Kyoto, Japan

Japan, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, Apr 2024

The Michelin guide has not recognized Tempura Matsu. It is rather a Kyoto institution that attracts locals and those piqued by Goulding’s aforementioned book. As I mentioned before, there is something timeless about this restaurant that foments from its half-century of history, its rustic, almost tavern-like interior and its straightforward dishes.