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Bordeaux En Primeur 2022: The Views of the Critics

Bordeaux En Primeur 2022 is coming and the critics are beginning to publish their thoughts.

Antonio Galloni: “The 2022s are some of the most memorable young wines I have ever tasted in Bordeaux.

Antonio Galloni was clearly impressed by many of the wines he tasted from 2022. For him, “The best 2022s are magnificent, viscerally thrilling wines that show what is possible with thoughtful approaches to viticulture and winemaking. A number of properties at all levels made their best wines ever.”

Like us, however, he does have a notes of caution, sating that “2022 is not consistently great from top to bottom, so some selection is warranted.”

In terms of style, this is not your typical warm vintage, but “The best 2022s combine flavor intensity, energy and finesse in a way that I can only describe as magical. I use that word because no one has a concrete explanation of why the wines turned out the way they did”.

In conclusion “The top 2022s are positively riveting. These are some of the most compelling young Bordeaux wines I have ever tasted. ” making his picks well worth seeking out.

Galloni’s Top Wines:

Chateau Cheval Blanc, 98-100 points

Chateau Beau-Sejour-Becot, 98-100 points

Chateau Leoville Las Cases, 98-100 points

Chateau La Gaffeliere, 98-100 points

Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion, 98-100 points 

Chateau Vieux Chateau Certan, 98-100 points

 

James Suckling: “‘ASTONISHING’ 2022 SETS A NEW BENCHMARK.”

As is usually the case James Suckling was first out of the blocks and his view is overwhelmingly positive.

For him this was a unique vintage, “This is the 40th year I have tasted barrel samples in Bordeaux, but I have never come across anything like the 2022 vintage” as while it was one of the hottest and driest on record, “it produced thousands of opulent and structured but still fresh and balanced wines”.

2022 is a representation of how far Bordeaux has come since the last very hot vintage, 2003. New techniques and philosophies mean that, “most people making wine in Bordeaux in 2022 didn’t make anything close to the 2003. Their 2022 wines can be flamboyant, fruity and tannic, yet they have a freshness and form that give them energy and vitality”.

He compares it to great past vintages, both recent and of the past. “The 2022 is not the same as 1982, but its wines share some of the attractive youthful character, even though strong tannins are hidden under the fruit. The wines of 2022 also share some of the character of wines from recent hot vintages like 2015, 2018 and 2020 as well as the tannins of 2016.”

Suckling’s Top Wines:

Chateau Cheval Blanc, 99-100 points

Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 99-100 points

Chateau Le Pin, 99-100 points

Chateau Leoville Las Cases, 99-100 points

Chateau Pontet Canet, 99-100 points

Chateau Trotanoy, 99-100 points

Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux, 99-100 points.

We’ll Keep updating this page as and when more critics publish their thoughts. To read the early views of our resident MW, Matthew Hemming, please click here.

 

William Kelley: “Bordeaux has produced some monumental wines in 2022.”

William Kelley of the Wine Advocate highlights 2022 as a remarkable vintage with some incredible highs. For him, “Bordeaux has produced some monumental wines in 2022” but importantly, “unlike many of the great vintages of the 20th century, the year was not a rising tide that raised all boats”.

The extreme conditions meant that “the 2022 vintage is an amplifier, foregrounding differences between sites, viticultural practices and winemaking choices”.

He emphasises that this is not another 2003, conditions were different (despite the heat spikes), while winemaking has learned to adapt to the warmth, “intelligent winemakers were ready to harvest at the right time, a choice of decisive importance”.

The message is that there are great wines that are well worth buying across the price points as “shoppers will find rich pickings” and there will be excellent value options as “terroirs conventionally thought to be of only modest potential were also capable of delivering brilliant results this year.” 

Kelley’s Top Wines:

Chateau Montrose, 99-100 points

Chateau Canon, 99-100 points

Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion, 99-100 points

Chateau Leoville Las Cases, 98-100 points

Chateau Troplong Mondot, 98-100 points

 

Neal Martin: “The highest performers will dazzle. They will be extroverts”

It is a vintage of “snow-capped peaks” for Neal Martin, with wines that, at the top level, “blessed with kaleidoscopic aromatics, intense fruit, finely-sculpted tannins, structure, elegance and length”.

Like his fellow critics, quality does not run throughout and interestingly “terroir is not the be-all and end-all. Consequently, there is partial flattening of the hierarchical pyramid”. This means there will be, hopefully, great value wines to be had.

For Martin, the style is one where “The wines are generally deep and bright in color. Aromatics are unabashedly floral with black fruit rather than red, often extremely perfumed.”

Martin’s Top Wines:

Chateau Leoville Las Cases, 98-100 points

Chateau Cheval Blanc, 98-100 points

Chateau Eglise Clinet, 98-100 points

 

Jeb Dunnuck: an incredible, singular vintage for Bordeaux.”

Like his fellow critics, Dunnuck notes that the highs in 2022 are very high indeed, “It may not be as consistent as 2019 or 2020 style-wise, but there are brilliant wines from throughout the region, and the peaks of 2022 are certain to be legendary wines.”

While he guards against making broad statements, there is a lot of quality on show. For him, “While this is a vintage that needs to be taken on a château-by-château basis, at a very high level, the style of the 2022s can be thought of as a mix of 2020 and 2018, or a mix of 2005 and 2010, with a little of 2009 thrown in here and there. The 2022s are ripe, concentrated, sumptuous wines that have a real “wow” factor.”

Dunnuck’s Top Wines:

Chateau Montrose, 98-100 points

Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 98-100 points

Chateau Haut Bailly, 98-100 points

Chateau La Conseillante, 98-100 points

Chateau Larcis Ducasse, 98-100 points

Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion, 98-100 points

Chateau Cos d’Estournel, 98-100 points

Chateau Leoville Las Cases, 98-100 points

Chateau Vieux Chateau Certan, 98-100 points

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