• Wine world

The 2022 En-Primeurs, our opinion

  • Wed, May 10, 2023 at 10:30
After a series of vintages renowned for their silky tannins, the 2022 Bordeaux wine vintage promises to take wine lovers back to their roots. According to experts, this vintage offers classic character, high quality and ageing potential. While modern winemaking may offer new techniques, it seems that the 2022 Bordeaux wine vintage reflects its year in an authentic way and this is great news for wine lovers who appreciate the tradition and history behind each bottle.

Vines don't climb to the sky!

Let's avoid the confusion that the title might induce: the 2022 vintage is a very good vintage, sometimes excellent, with few failures and an exceptional alcohol/acidity/tannin balance. Many properties, large and small, have made the best wine in their history, and that says a lot about the overall quality.

After a series of vintages with silky tannins, we find with 2022 a true old-fashioned Bordeaux, a wine to wait for, a wine of great class and great ageing potential. Modern winemaking cannot elude the character of the year and that is a good thing.

So, why this nuance in the title? Only for the rumours, the rumours of strong price rises, notably among the great ones, but not only: at a time when Bordeaux is regaining the favour of wine lovers, with digestible, balanced wines, at (relatively) low prices, at a time when the Burgundy bashing is starting, when all the other wine regions are pulling prices towards levels that are difficult for the consumer to bear, why jeopardise the return to grace of the first wine region of France, in great difficulty for 90% of its production?

In short, this is not the place for this debate, so let's refocus on the quality of the wines, and only on that. Among the wines tasted, one group clearly stands out, some expected, others less so: the new or recently promoted wines in Saint-Emilion, Pavie and Figeac, have simply made anthology wines, crushing all their neighbours by their success! In Graves, Haut-Brion and Mission are great wines, which we will detail later. But THE great wine of the vintage will be Château Montrose, simply extraordinary.

If we have to give regional indications, in short, very good overall success for Pessac-Léognan, in red, in white the wines are rich and dense. Good overall result also for Margaux, Saint Julien and Saint-Estèphe, more heterogeneous for Pauillac, as well as for Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. A special mention for Sauternes, which produced some very great wines.

So much for the broad outlines, even if it must be stressed that there are very few real failures this year, whose immense quality makes it possible to be picky... The rare disappointments are linked to the expectations that such a harvest always provokes, for wines that know how to be great even in average years.

In conclusion, a vintage to put in your cellar absolutely, while avoiding the few mistakes and the high prices!

Parcourir le catalogue Primeurs

Overview by region


Firstly, the region where white wines rub shoulders with reds. The whites that do best are (in short) Carbonnieux, Chevalier, Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Olivier, Pape-Clément, with only one very great wine this year, La Mission-Haut-Brion white, a superb example of high-class Semillon, which demonstrates the relevance of this grape variety!

For the reds: magnificent, sumptuous, most of the Pessac-Léognans are remarkable, very successful, we will find almost everyone, and notably the reasonable properties such as La Louvière, Latour-Martillac, Olivier, Fieuzal, and Picque-Caillou, but also more expensive wines such as Smith Haut Lafitte, Chevalier, and the great ones such as La Mission Haut-Brion and Haut-Brion. On this subject, we have been plunged for a week into the throes of uncertainty: La Mission Haut-Brion is looking (slightly) better than Haut-Brion but we are not sure that Haut-Brion will not do the same thing to us as the 1961, which is too young sixty years later... So a wine that is almost impossible to taste during the primeurs. This is a nice bet on the future, although we are not sure we will still be around to check it!

©Domaine de Chevalier


On the whole, an appellation which more than keeps its promises this year, with a nice group of beautiful successes, both expensive and reasonable. From Petit d'Angludet to Château Margaux, including Brane-Cantenac, Giscours, Durfort-Vivens, Labégorce, Marquis de Terme, du Tertre (which is making great progress), Rauzan-Gassies, Siran... With a special mention for Kirwan, d'Issan, Malescot-St-Exupéry who made superb, fleshy, generous wines, and Lascombes who avoided his former faults by making a very pleasant wine, in a year that hardly lent itself to it.

©Château Siran


Certainly less homogeneous than in recent years, Saint-Julien still presents a fine vintage. Very good Gruaud Larose, Léoville Las Cases, Léoville Barton, Lagrange, good Léoville Poyferré, Gloria, they let however Branaire-Ducru and Langoa Barton win the prize for quality, and above all for value for money!

©Château Lagrange


Ah, Pauillac, how many crimes are committed in your name! The gradual disappearance of the good little Pauillacs, all converted into grands crus classés! A very interesting tasting, however, with some nice wines (Batailley, Clerc Milon, Duhart Milon, Grand-Puy Ducasse, Lynch-Bages, Lynch-Moussas, Pédesclaux), some very good ones (Mouton Rothschild, Forts de Latour, Pichon Comtesse, Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pontet-Canet) and one exceptional wine: Latour.

©Château Pontet-Canet ©Julie Rey


Certainly the most homogeneous region, it delivers a very beautiful score whose only downside will be the release price. Extraordinary Montrose, very good Cos d'Estournel, great Calon Ségur, magnificent Lafon Rochet despite the change of owner, very nice Cos Labory as well as Lilian Ladouys, Phélan Ségur and Meyney.

©Château Calon Ségur

Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Listrac & Moulis

In the line of very good value wines, we have a nice series in 2022 with superb wines (Fourcas-Hosten, Poujeaux, Potensac, Branas Grand Poujeaux), and other very good ones (Chasse-Spleen, La Lagune, Cantemerle, Clarke, Fonréaud, Fourcas-Dupré) always to be checked according to their price. Many of them are present in this selection for the first time, nature having propelled them to a level never before reached.

©Château Poujeaux


This beautiful region has experienced many upheavals over the last twenty years, with this shifting rather than sandy ranking. What can we say, then, about the remarkable performance of the recently promoted or newly promoted wines this year? For it is indeed in Figeac and Pavie that we had perhaps the two most accomplished wines on the bank, Pavie having corrected its shortcomings in the last three years in terms of power control, and Figeac having undoubtedly acquired even more depth, if that were possible. 

Alongside Cheval Blanc, Canon and Clos Fourtet have made magnificent wines, and a large group of wines (premiers and crus classés) have made good wines: La Dominique, Grand Mayne, Monbousquet, Bellefont-Belcier, Jean Faure, Villemaurine, Ripeau, St-Georges-Côte-Pavie...).

©Château Canon


In this formerly classified appellation, all the wines are rather pleasant and successful. Some "small" prices, everything is relative, are excellent: La Rose Figeac, Clos René, Feytit-Clinet, Beauregard, La Cabanne, here is a first simple recommendation. We could also consider buying Clinet, Gazin, Certan de May, but if we were to choose only two we would choose Rouget and Nénin.

©Château Petit-Village


It is worth noting that this is probably a great year for Sauternes, with dense, rich, deep and balanced wines. Very good wines almost everywhere, with a monumental Fargues, but also Rayne-Vigneau, Rieussec, Suduiraut, Doisy-Daëne, Sigalas-Rabaud, La Tour Blanche, Guiraud, Doisy-Védrines. A year that will be pleasant for young people, but that will also delight your descendants!

©Château Suduiraut

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