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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.

1 leoville poyferre bottles line up

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.

Pichon baron full line up copy

Memories Tumble Out: Pichon Baron 1937-1990

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Aug 2022

Even the most famous Bordeaux estates own pitifully small libraries of older vintages. When Christian Seely invited me to taste a bygone era of Pichon Baron from the châteaux’s scant reserves, I knew it would be an unrepeatable travel back in time, one with plenty of surprises.

Pichon lalande 1940 copy

Cellar Favorite: 1940 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Aug 2022

On a recent visit to the estate, director Nicolas Glumineau probably risked his own job when he invited me down to the cellar to choose a bottle. I decided upon an esoteric and forgotten vintage, one that Glumineau himself had never tasted before.

Bordeaux 1920 bottles copy

Cellar Favorite: 1920 Clarets

France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Aug 2022

Each year I attend a dinner at Domaine de Chevalier hosted by Olivier Bernard. It’s been held for many years, long before I joined the table. The theme is always the numerical vintage, for example in 2022, all the vintages ended in two.

Climens bottle line up copy

Magic and Madness: Climens 1912-2020

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Aug 2022

At the end of April 2022, I conducted what turned out to be the final tasting of Climens with Bérénice Lurton as owner. This article examines the château’s history and viticulture with contributions from Lurton herself, as well as dozens of tasting notes stretching back decades.

Pichon lalande off vintage bottles

Bring Out Your “Dead”: Pichon-Lalande 1957-2013

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Aug 2022

When I asked Pichon-Lalande winemaker Nicolas Glumineau to pour off-vintages of his choosing, it turned out to be a surprisingly insightful and even enjoyable tasting. Time to venture into growing seasons hardly seen to learn more about this Pauillac Second Growth.

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Cellar Favorite: Lune d’Or 2012-2020

France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Aug 2022

This Cellar Favourite takes a look at the Bordeaux dry white, Lune d’Or, an increasingly important part of Olivier Bernard’s portfolio. Prior to tasting the Domaine de Chevalier proprietor’s latest releases at en primeur, he opened every vintage since the debut to demonstrate the quality of dry whites from Sauternes and its ageing potential.

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Where the Heart Is: Ducru-Beaucaillou 1934-2018

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Jul 2022

Bruno Borie asked how many vintages of Ducru-Beaucaillou I wanted to taste. My default reply is: As many as you are happy to open. An epic vertical tasting deserves an epic article, and this duly delivers, delving into the estate’s history, the Borie family, its viticulture and winemaking, all with in-depth contributions from Bruno Borie himself.

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Bols Blue to Bordeaux: Barde-Haut, Clos l’Église & Poesia

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Jun 2022

Patrice and Hélène Garçin-Lévêque preside over a small but very capable portfolio of Right Bank properties. This article takes a closer look at Barde-Haut, Clos l’Eglise and Poesia, the journey that each one has taken in recent years and (of course) verticals of each wine.