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Meursault germain

Cellar Favorite: 2011 Domaine Henri Germain & Fils Meursault Charmes 1er Cru

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jul 2022

Over the last few months, I have been drinking quite a few bottles from Domaine Henri Germain. Winemaker Jean-François Germain has really ratcheted up quality in recent years thanks both to the pedigree of his family’s holdings and his conscientious approach. Germain still flies a little under-the-radar, and though prices are increasing, you can still find their wines on restaurant lists at reasonable cost, just as I did with this bottle at Noizé in London.

Cf july112022 lineup1

Cellar Favorite: San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico 2002-2010

Italy: Tuscany, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2022

“Would you like to taste some older wines?” Luca Martini di Cigala asks as he starts to open bottles for our recent tasting of new releases. Over the years, I have been fortunate to taste complete verticals of both Percarlo and La Ricolma, along with many other wines at the ten-year mark.

Cf july052022

Cellar Favorite: 2014 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoît Droin Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2022

Let’s be honest. White Burgundy remains a minefield for the average consumer. Prices for the most desirable wines are through the roof, and even paying these prices is no guarantee that wines will age and deliver the most magical experience that only fine, seasoned white Burgundy can deliver.

Cf june272022

Cellar Favorite: 2014 Domaine Denis Mortet Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jun 2022

The 2014 Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, which is part of a métayage agreement like the Echézeaux here, was a surprise addition to dinner in Bordeaux last March.

Wynns hermitage 1981

Cellar Favorite: 1981 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Hermitage

Australia, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jun 2022

I always loved the good old days when Australian winemakers “borrowed” the names of classic French wine regions to brand their cuvées. Cheeky? An homage? Theft? Well, the EU bureaucrats soon put a stop to all those Chablis and Hermitages made “Down Under”, but that doesn’t imply that some of them were not genuinely worthy of such noble appellations or even surpassed them.

Pavie 1978 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1978 Pavie

France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jun 2022

Meeting a friend for lunch at the bustling “Brutto” Italian restaurant near Farringdon Station last February, my generous host served a wine blind that epitomized everything great about “old school Bordeaux”. Ironically, it was from an estate that later became the paragon/pariah of modern winemaking depending on your views: Château Pavie.

Pouilly fuisse beauregard bottles

Cellar Favorite: 1971, 2001 & 2011 Château de Beauregard Pouilly-Fuissé Vers Cras

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jun 2022

No Burrier, no Premier Cru! Frédéric Burrier, the congenial proprietor of Château de Beauregard in the village of Fuissé, was the driving force that, after a decade of relentless campaigning, convinced the INAO that 22 vineyards in Pouilly-Fuissé merited promotion to Premier Cru status, commencing with the 2020 vintage.

Vr drc petits mont

Cellar Favorite: 2018 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Vosne-Romanée Les Petits Monts 1er Cru

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, May 2022

Whenever I visit Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, I often spy a half-a-dozen barrels stencilled “Les Petits Monts”. I have never asked about their fate or which producer they might be sold to, though I have a hunch.

Taaibosch 2018

Cellar Favorite: 2018 Taaibosch Crescendo

South Africa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, May 2022

Whilst up to my neck in Bordeaux primeur samples, one sunny evening during a brief return home for Easter, I took a break from Cabernet and cracked open a South African wine that had been sent to my home, the 2018 Taaibosch Crescendo.

Figeac 1946 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1946 Figeac

France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, May 2022

During en primeur week, I attended a dinner at Château Figeac. Following a raft of wines in large formats that included the 1989 and 1975, the evening’s climax was a mystery wine that guests were invited to identify. A few brave souls raised their hands to give their tentative answer – all wildly off, not by years, but decades.