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Vinous Table: The Sportsman, Kent, UK

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

I first heard about The Sportsman not long after it opened from a local friend, and it had only taken a couple of decades to visit. Thankfully, it did not disappoint. This is cooking where the chef wisely takes a back seat and allows the ingredients do all the talking.

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Growing Up ‘n Getting Wiser: South Africa in 2022

South Africa, featured

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.

First growth 2012 copy

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.

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Cellar Favorite: Blandy’s Madeira – 2022 Bottlings

Portugal, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

I recently joined Blandy’s CEO, Chris Blandy, and head winemaker, Francisco Albuquerque, for a tasting of their 2022 Madeira bottlings.

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Léoville-Poyferré 1936-2018

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

Didier Cuvelier rejuvenated Léoville-Poyferré. A new chapter opened when his cousin, Sara Lecompte Cuvelier, took over the helm a few years ago. Following a vertical of recent vintages, this article examines one of Saint-Julien’s most respected estates.

The trout and rabbit dishes served at the bistro.

Vinous Table: L’Espace PH3 Bistrot/La Pyramide, Vienne, France

France, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, NM

The hotel boasts two restaurants, the two Michelin-starred La Pyramide and a bistro, L’Espace PH3. On the first night, attendees convened at the bistro in order to mine its eye-boggling wine lists, and the following day, the second part of the Chambertin tasting was accompanied by a specially prepared menu in the flagship restaurant.

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Swings and Roundabouts: Chablis 2020/2021

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

Chablis is a mirror, translating growing seasons into wine with minimal interference compared to elsewhere. The 2020 and 2021 vintages are very different, the latter resulting in wines I thought would not be seen again. So where do you start looking?

Kanonkop paul sauer 2009

Cellar Favorite: 1997 & 2009 Kanonkop Paul Sauer

South Africa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

The secondary market for South Africa’s most desirable top cuvées continues to see increasing numbers of collectors chasing diminishing supply. Buoyant interest in the Cape’s blue chips is a relatively recent phenomenon that has grown organically, pulled by demand rather than forced by supply. One coveted label is Kanonkop’s Paul Sauer.

Cornerstone oyster

Vinous Table: Cornerstone, London, UK

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

Cornerstone is the kind of restaurant that I am seeking more and more these days: either waiting patiently for a Michelin star or recently in receipt of one, yet unburdened by the accolade. As a showcase for Tom Brown’s culinary skill, Cornerstone works perfectly.


Cellar Favorite: 2010 & 2011 Porseleinberg

South Africa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

Porseleinberg leads an impressive and growing fleet of world-class Syrah/Rhône blends from South Africa.