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Amos bursary line up copy

The Wines That Shaped My Life

New Zealand, France: Burgundy, Germany, France: Bordeaux, France: Champagne, featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Mar 2022

A charity dinner themed around the significant wines of my career threw up a couple of surprises. I doubt DRC and Blue Nun have ever found themselves reviewed in the same article. In these days of bleak headlines, the vignettes accompanying these eclectic wines hopefully put a smile on your face.

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Cellar Favorite: 2011 Matthieu Barret Cornas Billes Noires

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Josh Raynolds, Feb 2022

Cornas has been having a moment for the last decade, thanks to the excellent work of a new generation of winemakers who have breathed new life into what were once the most rustic, wild wines of the northern Rhône.

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Cellar Favorite: 2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Cuvée Marcel Lapierre

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2022

Marcel Lapierre was a living legend in Beaujolais when he passed away at the age of sixty, in October 2010, just after harvest. Such was his renown that his obituary was published in the New York Times as well as in major newspapers across the globe.

Cha%cc%82teauneuf du pape%e2%80%99s landmark castle has a history stretching back to 913. it was enlarged over the centuries but was almost completely demolished by the occupying german army  who blew it up before fleeing the area on august 20  1944 copy

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Weathers the Challenges and Changes

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Oct 2021

Châteauneuf-du-Pape has plenty to offer in 2019, 2018 and 2017, although not in the quantities of the preceding two years. All three vintages produced several wines that are extremely user-friendly, offering abundant, expressive fruit and adequate but not forbidding structure, which is what the market is demanding more and more of these days.

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Cellar Favorite: 2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Josh Raynolds, Sep 2021

It isn’t too often that a Cellar Favorite is also a currently available library release. That’s the case with the gorgeous 2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a wine that I marginally underrated when I tasted it from barrel in November 2008 and then in bottle a year after that.

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Back For More Beaujolais

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Aug 2021

My first foray into Beaujolais was not writing about it, but shipping it from one side of the world to the other. Mea culpa: I played my part in the not-so-carbon-neutral tradition of freighting jumbo jets full of Beaujolais Nouveau to Japan every third Thursday in November. Fortunately, I was never asked to dive into a swimming pool foaming with Gamay. I just had to get it there on the dot.

Mont brouilly  which rose up over 35 million years ago  dominates the beaujolais landscape and is home to some of the region's most prized vineyards.jpg copy

Changing Perspectives in Beaujolais

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Aug 2021

Two-thousand nineteen provides a somewhat welcome return to a mostly classic style of Beaujolais following the often weighty, ripe, and dark-fruited wines of 2018 and 2017. Compared to 2016, 2014 and 2011, most of the 2019s are definitely on the richer side, but I ran across few examples that approached the weight, much less the warmth, of their 2018 and 2017 siblings.

Morgon 1992 burgaud

Cellar Favorite: 1992 Domaine Jean-Marc Burgaud Morgon Côte du Py

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jul 2021

Beaujolais Nouveau fomented an assumption that the region’s wine cannot age. Humbug! It’s more a case that too few wine connoisseurs have the nous to tuck away a few Beaujolais bottles from its finest appellations such as Morgon or Moulin-à-Vent from its finest growers.

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Domaine A. Clape Cornas: 2012–1987

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Dec 2020

One of the world’s iconic estates, Domaine Auguste Clape has long set the standard for the Cornas appellation and has featured on any Rhône aficionado’s short list of the region’s very best properties. With a mere eight hectares of vines spread across Cornas, Saint-Péray and Côtes-du-Rhône, the Clapes produce two different examples of Cornas, a Saint-Péray, a red Côtes-du-Rhône and a red Vin de France. All of the reds are made with whole clusters and fermented in concrete vats before being moved into ancient, traditional oval foudres for aging. Because of small production (roughly 2,500 cases per vintage, total) and longtime worldwide demand, especially for the flagship Cornas, the wines are not always easy to find. Unfortunately, the world has caught on, and prices have risen sharply as well. These are structured, long-lived wines that are definitely built for the patient consumer. As this retrospective shows, patience is consistently rewarded, even in tough vintages.

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Cellar Favorite: 2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin Grande Cuvée

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Josh Raynolds, Oct 2020

Two thousand and one is, without a doubt, one of this generation’s greatest vintages for France’s southern Rhône valley, producing an abundance of rich but balanced and ageworthy wines that are now either in their prime or entering it.