• Wine world

At the heart of the 2023 vintage with the Bordeaux En-Primeurs

  • Thu, May 2, 2024 at 12:00
Haut-Bages Liberal vineyard
During this month of En-Primeurs in Bordeaux, the U'wine team was able, as it is every year, to preview the vintage at the Bordeaux wine estates. Each vintage is a story written by the whims of nature and the expertise of the winemakers, so we have high expectations for the 2023 vintage.

Weather conditions for the 2023 Bordeaux vintage 

The 2023 Bordeaux vintage follows in the wake of capricious but favourable weather. The spring was marked by early flowering, giving rise to fears of late frosts. Fortunately, the vines were spared, and the summer that followed was marked by sunny days and cool nights, providing ideal conditions for the grapes to ripen. Autumn was mild and dry, allowing the grapes to be picked at optimum ripeness.

Expectations for Bordeaux En-Primeurs wines 

The 2023 vintage was unveiled during the En-Primeurs week in Bordeaux. Wines combining power and finesse are expected. Bordeaux wines promise to stand out for their balance and silky tannins. On the palate, we're hoping for an explosion of fruity aromas, underpinned by an elegant structure and bewitching length.

First feedback on Bordeaux En-Primeurs wines 

In the complex landscape of the 2023 vintage, diversity reigns supreme. Marked by a surprising heterogeneity, the 2023 vintage offers a varied panorama, where each Bordeaux wine estate reveals its character.  

Our experts have explored each cuvée with meticulous attention in order to weigh up the merits of each Bordeaux wine and decide whether or not to buy it En-Primeurs. While the 2023 vintage may not be considered great overall, it's still solid, according to Kate, our buying director; with a particular focus on dry and sweet white wines. In fact, it's a good year for dry white wines, which come out very aromatic, and an incredible year for Sauternes, which are very fresh.  As for the red wines, it's a 'new' classic, with supple tannins and fruit that's easy to get to grips with; a big favourite for the Pauillac appellation.

During this week's En-Primeurs in Bordeaux, big names such as James Suckling and Robert Parker, accompanied by their respective firms, assessed the 2023 vintage as a whole. Yes, even in the world of wine, we have critics who taste and award scores on a 100-point scale. These scores are essential references to guide us in our purchasing decisions, and are based on the wine's quality, structure and ageing potential.  

According to James Suckling, some red wines from the 2023 vintage stand out for their exceptional structure, thanks to low alcohol and vibrant acidity. He points out that some of his favourites have a remarkably low pH of around 3.5 or less, which he believes makes them some of the most vibrant and lively Bordeaux reds he has tasted in years. Among them, prestigious names such as Château Canon and Château Pavie stand out for their ability to take structure and intensity to the next level, thanks to their limestone-rich terroirs. In terms of its top ratings to date, the majority come from the right bank, particularly the Saint-Émilion appellation.

Robert Parker also highlights a 2023 vintage that will be ‘just as exciting’ as its predecessors. A more varied vintage in terms of quality, with a more pronounced style. His ratings highlight a number of nuggets, including Château Jean-Faure with 93-95 points, a glowing score for such a small château. We can also congratulate Château Figeac with 96-98 points and Château Léoville Barton with a score of 94-96 points for its red wine.

The curtain rises on Bordeaux's En-Primeurs wines

At the end of an intense week of tastings at the En-Primeurs in Bordeaux, the curtain is gradually being lifted on the 2023 vintage. As we wait feverishly to discover the jewels buried in the cellars, expectations are high, fuelled by the hope of unearthing the wine nuggets of tomorrow. 

Compared with last year, the 2023 vintage offers Bordeaux wines that can be enjoyed earlier, with varying degrees of ageing potential, depending on the region. It's a vintage of pleasure that we're looking forward to.

Now it's up to our team to let their senses and expertise guide them in unearthing the nuggets of tomorrow that will delight wine lovers the world over. We are convinced that for this vintage it will be very interesting to be accompanied and advised, more so than in previous years, so don't hesitate to call on our team of Personal Shoppers if you'd like some guidance!

Red wine En-Primeurs 2023, Château Pavie

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