En-Primeur 2022


En-Primeur 2022
Bordeaux 2022 En Primeur

It is fair to state that the Bordeaux 2022 vintage threw up several surprises. The hot and dry weather conditions throughout the year set record highs for temperature and lows for rainfall. Another surprise was how well the vines seemed to handle these conditions, although yields are down, with berries being very small and thick skinned. The third and final surprise is how well the resulting wines have turned out, with many showing remarkable freshness and balance, with superb aromatics combined with the structure to age. Not all chateaux fared well, but those who had put in the hours in their vineyards and understood how to handle the grapes when they arrived in their cellars have produced an exciting set of wines.

- The temptation to make comparisons with previous hot, dry vintages such as 1976 or 2003 should be resisted. Instead 2022 has more in common with 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2018.

- Merlot, often grown on clay soils which retain moisture, particularly on the Right Bank, showed particularly well in this vintage, conveying an unusual level of aromatics and complexity.

- This was a vintage which demonstrated the advances in viticulture since 2003. The use of cover crops between rows of vines aided water retention, unlike the bare soils prevalent in 2003. Canopy management, particularly the use of foliage to shade ripening grapes, has advanced considerably.

- Most vignerons now recognize the crucial importance of harvesting dates. Those who made the wrong decision failed to capture the optimum balance between sugar, acidity and physiological ripeness.

- The top chateaux are now equipped with an array of fermentation vessels of varying sizes, enabling them to harvest small blocks at the optimum level of ripeness.

- This was a vintage which favoured properties with a high proportion of mature vines. Young vines lack the deep roots to access water, particularly on sandy or gravel soils.

- High tannin and alcohol levels but notably low malic acid levels. The high pH encourages microbial spoilage so wines are more vulnerable to develop volatile acidity and Brettanomyces during élevage.



After rain in December 2021, there was little rainfall to speak of until a downpour at the end of June which was welcomed for the relief it brought to the vineyards, although some areas were hit by hail damage. Bud break took place towards the end of March with early April frosts causing concern for some growers. Apart from the June rains, the pattern of record breaking temperatures and no rain persisted. The total rainfall for the six months leading up to the harvest in September was 278mm compared with a ten year average of 435mm. On the positive side night time temperatures were mostly cool, slowing the ripening process and allowing retention of acidity. Most estates began picking reds at the end of August and were finished well before the end of September. It was the earliest harvest on record for some properties.


This is far from being a homogenous vintage, with temperatures and rainfall varying across the region. In terms of vineyard management, picking dates and handling the must during fermentation, not everyone got it right. This is a vintage where each release must be assessed on its own merits. As usual we will focus on a group of leading chateaux who we have followed for many years. The hot weather meant that this was not a vintage which lent itself to the production of high quality dry white wines, although we will be on the lookout for the exceptions. There will be some outstanding Sauternes.

*Denotes limited availability | WA = William Kelley | JS = James Suckling | AG = Antonio Galloni | NM = Neal Martin | JR = James Lawther

Prices are for standard 750ml bottles. Wines can be bottled in half bottles, magnums, or other formats for an additional charge. Please provide special bottling instructions before 31 August 2023.

There will be storage charges if we do not receive any shipping instructions before 30 Nov 2024. The charge will be HK$300 per annum per case or per large format bottle (9L-case). Cellarage invoices will be raised on 1 January 2025. If you wish to collect your wine early, we will refund you the remaining full month(s) storage fee on a pro-rata basis.

HK$180 per case inclusive of insurance. Please instruct us in advance for special shipping arrangements.

Please note that the following wines are offered ex-cellars Bordeaux. And they are available in units of 6 or 12 bottles per case. The minimum order will be 12 bottles (750ml) per wine. They will be available for delivery in Spring/Summer 2025. Payment upon receipt of invoice.


Wines ( * denotes Limited Allocation )
Angelus 2022Aromes De Pavie 2022Ausone 2022 *
Beychevelle 2022 - NewBranaire Ducru 2022 - NewCanon 2022
Carruades de Lafite 2022 - New *Cheval Blanc 2022 *Clerc Milon 2022 - New
Climens 2022 - NewClos Fourtet 2022Ducru Beaucaillou 2022
Duhart Milon 2022 - NewFigeac 2022Grand Puy Lacoste 2022 - New
Gruaud Larose 2022La Tour Carnet 2022 - NewLagrange 2022
Langoa Barton 2022Le Carillon de l'Angelus 2022Leoville Barton 2022
Leoville Poyferre 2022Leoville-Las Cases 2022Monbousquet 2022 - New
Pavie 2022Quintus 2022Suduiraut 2022 - New
Suduiraut Vieilles Vignes Grand Vin Blanc Sec 2022 - NewTalbot 2022 - NewTroplong Mondot 2022




Duhart Milon 2022 [WA 91-93, JS 95-96, NM 93-95, JR 17]

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WA 91-93… The 2022 Duhart-Milon unwinds in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cedar box, loamy soil, herbs and spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, supple and velvety palate with a broad attack that segues into a lively, nicely concentrated core of fruit, concluding with a youthfully firm finish.

JS 95-96… Very Pauillac in its blackcurrant, dark chocolate and walnut husk character. Full-bodied yet compacted. Wet earth, mushroom, earth, black tobacco. Fine and intense tannins. Fresh and complex. 78% cabernet sauvignon and 22% merlot.

NM 93-95… The 2022 Duhart-Milon underwent a short 15- to 18-day maceration and is raised in 50% new oak and the rest one-year-old barrels. It has a very graphite/mint-scented nose that is Pauillac through and through. The palate is fresh and vibrant with fine tannins. This is beautifully sculpted with a vibrant pencil lead-tinged finish reminiscent of Grand Puy Lacoste. The 2022 is a fabulous Duhart-Milon that should give 30 to 40 years of drinking pleasure. It's a Pauillac a bit like the late Steven Spurrier insofar that it's a Pauillac always conservatively dressed in a pin-striped suit, but that's the essence of Duhart.

JR 17… Marked Cabernet nose – blackcurrant with a touch of mint. Big tannic base but with an opulence to the tannins. Long and persistent. Plenty of Pauillac power.

Grand Puy Lacoste 2022 [WA 95-97, JS 95-96, NM 96-98, JR 17+]

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WA 92-94+... The 2021 Grand-Puy-Lacoste is a beauty, bursting with aromas of dark berries, plums, rose petals, violets, warm spices and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, supple and seamless, it's fleshy and enveloping, with melting tannins, succulent acids and a pleasure-bent, demonstrative personality. While it's clear that this is an irresistibly charming, satisfying Pauillac from the Borie family, it wouldn't surprise me to see it acquire additional depth, flesh and seriousness with further barrel maturation.

JS 94-95... Very fine and polished tannins with lovely balance and beauty. Blackberries, blackcurrants and a creamy texture. Lovely finesse and focus. There’s delicacy and beauty to this. 85% cabernet sauvignon and 15% merlot.

AG 94-96... The 2022 Grand Puy Lacoste was picked from 7 to 23 September and contains more Merlot due to the high quality of the fruit, matured in 75% new oak. There is 14.2% alcohol. Therefore, this lends this GPL a little more precocity and sensuality compared to other vintages, not cut from the same "classical" cloth as, say, the 2019 or 2020. Underlying this velvety veneer are enticing traits of freshly-rolled tobacco and undergrowth. The palate is medium-bodied with finely-sculpted tannins. Silky smooth in texture, so much so that it belies that backbone underneath. There is a peacock's tail of mineral-rich, quite peppery black fruit on the finish, completing a Pauillac endowed with huge potential.

JR 17+... Deep colour. Marked Cabernet nose. Cassis with a vibrant freshness. Juicy fruit and well-integrated tannins with a more textural feel this year. Reserved, measured, structured. Identity unchanged.


Carruades de Lafite 2022 [WA 91-93, JS 96-97, AG 92-94, JR 17]

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WA 91-93… Aromas of sweet cherries and berries mingled with hints of cedar box, loamy soil, warm spices, violets and orange zest introduce the 2022 Carruades de Lafite, a medium to full-bodied, bright and velvety blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.

JS 96-97… Extremely perfumed with sweet tobacco and blackcurrants as well as cedar and dark chocolate. Aromatic. Medium-bodied with an intense center palate of blackcurrant, orange peel and peaches. Nervy. 53% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot.

AG 92-94… The 2022 Carruades de Lafite is a real showstopper. I don’t remember tasting a Carruades quite like the 2022, a wine that combines the richness of the year with tons of supporting structure. Super-ripe red-fleshed fruit, blood orange, mint, cinnamon and rose petal all race across the palate, supported by bright citrus-driven acids that keep the flavors vibrant. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

JR 17… Relatively complex nose with dark fruit and spice prominent. Energy and tension on the palate so freshness. Zesty for the year. Comfortable tannic structure. Should be intriguing as it opens.

Clerc Milon 2022 [WA 93-95, JS, 95-96, AG 91-93, JR 17]

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WA 93-95... The 2022 Clerc Milon is beautiful, offering up aromas of cherries, raspberries and plums mingled with hints of pencil shavings and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, it's taut and lively, with a vibrant core of fruit framed by fine, chalky tannins. Its clay-limestone terroir lends it a distinctive signature that sets it apart from the rest of the portfolio.

JS 5-96... Focused and bright with plenty of fruit but oranges and minerals in the mid-palate. Really fresh with a fresh bitterness.

AG 91-93... The 2022 Clerc Milon is plump, juicy and vibrant, with terrific energy and tons of class. Sumptuous black cherry, gravel, licorice, menthol and spice are beautifully dialed up in this decidedly flamboyant edition of Clerc Milon.

JR 17... Rich and concentrated with layered fruit on the palate. Round and generous but with a chalky, minerally freshness. Tannins suave but finishes a little dry (oak not fully integrated?). Plenty of power.



St. Julien

Branaire Ducru 2022 [WA 95-97, JS 96-97, AG 94-96, JR 16+]

WA 95-97... A brilliant wine that's the finest young vintage I've tasted at this Saint-Julien estate, the 2022 Branaire-Ducru wafts from the glass with aromas of violets, blackberries, sweet cassis, licorice and pencil shavings, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered and multidimensional palate that's succulent, sapid and perfumed, framed by supple tannins and concluding with a long, mouthwatering finish. It's a blend of 60.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31.5% Merlot, 5.5% Cabernet Franc and 2.5% Petit Verdot that checks in at a healthy pH of 3.65. Why is it so good this year? In addition to the quality of the vintage, the new gravity-flow winery means fruit can be handled more gently, and picked more precisely, sub-block by sub-block, as the team now have fully 63 vats at their disposal, almost double their capacity through 2020. Given the Maroteaux family's sensible approach to pricing, this is likely to number among the must-purchase wines of the 2022 vintage, and it comes warmly recommended.

JS 96-97... The fine and intense tannins are very impressive because they fold beautifully into the wine, with blackcurrants, black cherries, hints of chocolate and hazelnuts. It's full-bodied with tight and focused fruit and a long and classy finish. Fantastic definition to this. Fresh. 60.5% cabernet sauvignon, 31.5% merlot, 5.5% cabernet franc, and 2.5% petit verdot.

AG 94-96... The 2022 Branaire-Ducru is a powerhouse, almost unnaturally so for this Saint-Julien, which is usually a more understated wine. A blast of dark plum fruit makes a pretty strong first impression. Licorice, cloves, spice, menthol and chocolate fill out the layers. Readers should expect a concentrated, virile Saint-Julien with compelling aromatic presence. In this warm, low-yielding vintage, Branaire is quite the brooding powerhouse. It will be interesting to see if more finesse develops in time. Impressive. Tasted two times.

JR 16+... Slight reduction but a touch of blackcurrant leaf as well. Gourmand fruit with plenty of matière but this sample a little edgy. Touch of oak on the palate, the finish tough and chewy. Should improve.


Beychevelle 2022 [WA 92-94, JS 94-95, JR 17.5]

WA 92-94... Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cherries and cassis mingled with hints of violets and licorice, framed by creamy new oak, the 2022 Beychevelle is medium to full-bodied, velvety and layered, with a fleshy core of fruit framed by rich, unusually suave and polished tannins in the context of recent vintages at this address. It's a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, with a pH of 3.85, quite typical for this address.

JS 94-95... The tannins are very well-integrated with lovely bright fruit of currants and blackberries. Medium to full body. Vivid and pretty. 54% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot and 4% petit verdot.

JR 17.5... Fragrant and floral on the nose. Lovely texture and tannins, the palate satiny and fine. Pure, fresh and long as well. Nothing overstated and plenty of charm.


Leoville Poyferre 2022 [WA 94-96, JS 96-97, AG 94-96, JR 17.5+]

WA 94-96... The 2022 Léoville Poyferré has turned out very nicely, offering up aromas of crème de cassis, cherries, violets and creamy new oak, followed by a medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy palate that's ripe but lively, with supple tannins and a long, vanillin-inflected finish. This year, the team began picking their Merlot comparatively early and didn't perform a saignée (tank bleed), given the natural concentration of the vintage, though it remains the most flamboyant and demonstrative of the three Léoville estates, seeing some 80% new oak with malolactic fermentation in barrique for the new barrels. It will be a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

JS 96-97... A very solid LP with black berry, blackcurrant, crushed stone and lavender character. Full and really well structured with a linear length to it. Focused and so polished. Thoughtful. 58% cabernet sauvignon, 34% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot..

AG 94-96... The 2022 Léoville-Poyferré is unctuous, deep and super-expressive, but not at all over-done. There's tremendous energy driving through a core of red/purplish fruit. Deceptively medium in body, the 2022 is a potent, statuesque Léoville-Poyferré that will offer many years of exceptional drinking.

JR 17.5+... Elegant and complex, fresh and alluring, the texture seductive and suave. Cassis and cedar notes with a hint of mint. Powerful but creamy tannins. Plenty of drive with length and grip on the finish. Clearly has potential.


Talbot 2022 [WA 93-95, JS 94-95, AG 92-94, JR 17]

WA 93-95... The 2022 Talbot is especially impressive, and if it fulfills all its promise, it is likely to emerge as this large Saint-Julien property's most exciting wine since the 1980s. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries, blackberries and cassis mingled with hints of violets and pencil lead, it's medium to full-bodied, velvety and concentrated, with a layered core of fruit, rich structuring tannins and a long, lively finish. It's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot that's being matured in 60% new oak.

JS 94-95... The tannins really are integrated and fill out across the palate. The texture is so beautiful and refined. Medium- to full-bodied and crunchy, with lovely texture and refinement.

AG 92-94... The 2022 Talbot is another impressive effort from the château. Savory and nuanced, the 2022 its wonderfully energetic in the glass. Dried herbs, incense, tobacco, menthol and licorice all build in a potent, virile Saint-Julien that checks all the right boxes.

JR 17... Dark fruit with a stony, mineral edge. Touch of blackcurrant leaf on the palate. Juicy and fresh with a firm tannic frame. Builds on the finish. Classic St-Julien that should age well.

Gruaud Larose 2022 [WA 94-96+, AG 93-95, JR 17.5]


WA 94-96+... The progress at this estate continues with the terrific 2022 Gruaud Larose, a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc that unfurls in the glass with deep aromas of minty blackberries, violets and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's elegantly muscular, with a broad attack that segues into a concentrated mid-palate framed by supple, powdery tannins. Richer and more brooding than its 2020 and 2019 counterparts, it confirms Gruaud's return to the Saint-Julien élite. Around one-third of the production made it into the grand vin this year, the château's first with organic certification.

AG 93-95... The 2022 Gruaud-Larose is 83% Cabernet, the most Cabernet ever for the Grand Vin here. A huge, opulent wine, Gruaud-Larose offers up an exotic mélange of blackberry fruit, cloves, espresso, licorice, bittersweet chocolate and incense. This full-throttle Saint-Julien is not exactly subtle, but its balance is impeccable. Readers should expect an unctuous, dense wine with tons of concentration, a good deal of new oak and all the pedigree to hold it all together.

JR 17.5... Deep crimson hue. Cassis and mineral nose. Juicy and vibrant with a real notion of drinkability. Elegant texture and tannins. Very long finish. Plenty of charm but substance as well.


Lagrange 2022 [WA 94-96+, JS 94-95, AG 92-94, JR 17.5]

WA 94-96+... The 2022 Lagrange is brilliant, ranking alongside the 2020, 2019 and 2016 as one of this over-performing estate's finest recent vintages. Revealing aromas of dark cherries, cassis, violets and pencil shavings, it's medium to full-bodied, velvety and layered, with a deep core of fruit, beautifully refined but youthfully assertive tannins and a long, mouthwatering finish. It's a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot with a very healthy pH of 3.63.

JS 94-95... Solid Lagrange with blueberry and blackberry character. Medium body and a tannin structure that unfolds at the finish. Very well done.

AG 92-94... The 2022 Lagrange is a bold, racy wine. Dried herbs, tobacco, cedar, mint and incense give the 2022 striking aromatic nuance and vibrancy to match its mid-weight personality. The Cabernet is especially evident in this savory and punchy Saint-Julien that is showing very well today.

JR 17.5... Dark fruit with a strong Cabernet-cassis profile. Layered and firm on the palate but fresh and digeste as well. Builds to a long, persistent finish. Linear and direct. Ageing potential.


Leoville Barton 2022 [WA 96-97+, JS 95-96, AG 93-95, JR 16.5+]

WA 96-97+... One of the stars of the Médoc and a wine likely to equal or surpass its 2019 and 2016 counterparts, the 2022 Léoville Barton unwinds in the glass with deep aromas of cassis, pencil shavings, spices and tobacco leaf, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered palate that's vibrant, pure and seamless, with beautifully classy tannins and a long, penetrating finish. The 2022 is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11.5% Merlot and 5.5% Cabernet Franc; and it's the first vintage produced in the estate's new winery, which more than doubled the number of vats, permitting sub-plot by sub-plot harvesting and vinification, along with a number of other technical improvements which translate into enhanced purity and precision.

JS 95-96... Very polished and poised with blackberry and blueberry character. Medium body with tight and focused tannin tension. Lively finish. Harmonious for the vintage.

AG 93-95... The 2022 Léoville Barton is a total model of classicism, even in this warm, dry year. All of the Léoville Barton signatures are present, even if the wine is still coming together. Blue/purplish fruit, lavender, spice, gravel and dried herbs open nicely in the glass, but it is the wine’s energy and overall tension that I find most surprising. This is classic as classic gets. Not interested in making the richest or showiest wines, nor interested in jacking up prices as high as they can be. Readers will find a straightforward (in the best sense of the term) Saint-Julien that captures the best of what Bordeaux can be. Just enough of everything, but not too much of any one thing.

JR 16.5+... Dark-fruit and spice notes. Layered fruit on the palate. Big tannic frame but tannins ripe and refined. Again (see Langoa Barton), the oak present in this sample resulting in a chewy, drying finish. Seems to have the potential but needs retasting.


Langoa Barton 2022 [WA 93-95+, JS 96-97, AG 91-93, JR 16+]

WA 93-95+... The first vintage produced in the estate's new winery, which more than doubled the number of vats, permitting sub-plot by sub-plot vinification, the brilliant 2022 Langoa Barton offers up aromas of dark berries, cassis, violets and cigar wrapper, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and fleshy palate endowed with terrific depth and tension. Polished and penetrating, it should match or even surpass the 2019 and 2016 vintages, and it is sure to be one of the more intelligent purchases of the en primeur campaign.

JS 96-97... Deep fruit, dark spices and graphite with wide yet polished, linear tannins. Full-bodied and intense with depth and structure. Long and chalky at the end. Big wine.

AG 91-93... The 2022 Langoa Barton is vibrant and focused, as the best wines are in this vintage. Crushed raspberry, blood orange, mint, spice and rose petal are all beautifully delineated. There’s a purity to the 2022 that is impossible to miss. I admire its precision and lovely minerality. Langoa could turn out to be one of the Sleepers of 2022, especially among the more affordable wines of the Left Bank.

JR 16+... Dark fruit with a touch of oak spice. Generous fruit on the palate but the oak noticeable in this sample – prise de bois? Freshness there but dry and chewy on the finish. Needs retasting.


Leoville-Las Cases 2022 [WA 98-100, JS 99-100, AG 98-100, JR 18+]

WA 98-100...One of the wines of the vintage this year is the 2022 Léoville Las Cases, a monument in the making that combines unerring classicism with unusual sensuality and charm by the standards of this estate's sometimes youthfully forbidding wines. Exhibiting deep aromas of dark berries, violets, pencil lead, rose petals and tobacco leaf, it's full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, with terrific concentration, beautiful purity of fruit, abundant but refined tannins and a long, vibrant finish. On the several occasions that I tasted it, the 2022 was surprisingly open for a young Las Cases, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were to shut down after a few years in bottle. It's a blend of 83.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.5% Cabernet Franc and 6% Merlot.

JS 99-100...This shows no gravity. The tannins are totally melted in the wine and give it fantastic structure, but the texture is so fresh and vivid. Crushed stone. Cloves. Chinese spices. Great finish. Opening and flying away. Orange peel. Very special. Thought-provoking. Endless. 83.5% cabernet sauvignon, 10.5% cabernet franc and 6% merlot.

AG 98-100...The 2022 Léoville Las Cases is stunning. Fine-grained and nuanced, the 2022 Las Cases is breathtaking. Red/purplish fruit, rose petals, lavender, spice and mocha open gradually but what impresses most about the 2022 is its sublime finesse. Silky, plush and exceptionally beautiful, the 2022 Las Cases is shaping up to be one of the wines of the year.

JR 18+...Deep crimson colour. Complex, powerful and refined with blackcurrant, violet, spice and cedar notes. Juicy and dense with layered fruit and tannins. Big structure but the tannins almost hidden. Picks up pace on the finish. Long. One of the top wines this year.


Ducru Beaucaillou 2022 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, AG 95-97, JR 17.5+]


WA 94-96... One of the Médoc's most powerful wines this year is the 2022 Ducru-Beaucaillou, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Merlot that opens in the glass with aromas of dark cherries and berries mingled with pencils shavings, vanilla pod and spices. Full-bodied, broad-shouldered and muscular, with a core of ripe but lively fruit underpinned by a chassis of powdery, liberally extracted tannin that asserts itself on the finish, it's a punchy, modern Saint-Julien reminiscent of a hypothetical blend of the 2018 and 2020.

JS 97-98... Some much creme de cassis and blackcurrant aromas and flavors here. Full-bodied with powerful tannins, yet fine and layered. Chewy. You can really feel the thick grape skins here. Excellent length. Tannins spread across the palate. Minerally and crushed stone.

AG 95-97... The 2022 Ducru-Beaucaillou is elegant and nuanced. Bright red/purplish fruit, rose petal, blood orange, mint and spice give the 2022 unusual brilliance. In most recent vintages, Ducru has been on the opulent side. The 2022, on the other hand, is strict and linear in construction, a wine that is more about persistence than size. Bright saline underpinnings extend the mid-palate into the striking, beaming finish. Harvest took place over four weeks, the longest ever, as opposed to the two weeks or so that is the norm. Yields were 30hL per hectare, down from the 35-37 typical in recent years.

JR 17.5+... Deep colour – purple-black to the rim. Cassis and blueberry fragrance with a toasted oak edge. Smoky and minerally as well. Smooth texture with a generous quantity of tannin behind. Concentrated, polished and long. Has the potential but needs time.



Haut Medoc

La Tour Carnet 2022 [WA 88-90, JS 92-93, AG 91-93, JS 16.5]


WA 88-90... A blend of 59% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2022 La Tour Carnet offers up rich aromas of cassis, blueberry, warm spices and pencil shavings, framed by toasty new oak. Fresh and slightly menthol-tingled, the palate is medium to full-bodied, with a fleshy core of fruit and firm structuring tannins that assert themselves on the finish.

JS 92-93... A juicy red with redcurrants and flowers. Dark stones, too. Medium body with creamy tannins and a juicy finish. Polished and balanced.

AG 91-93... The 2022 La Tour Carnet is packed with dark cherry, plum, chocolate, leather, licorice and espresso. Potent and heady, with tons of tannin, the 2022 is shaping up to be one of the under the radar wines of the year. Tasted two times.

JR 16.5... Cask sample. Reserved, dark-fruit aroma. Full and plush on the palate but fresh and balanced as well. Plentiful tannins but ripe and rounded. Persistent if a little chewy on the finish. Oak needs to fully integrate.



St. Emilion

Cheval Blanc 2022 [WA 97-99, JS 99-100, AG 98-100, JR 18.5]

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WA 97-99… One of the stars of the vintage is the striking 2022 Cheval Blanc, a blend of 53% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon that bursts from the glass with aromas of mulberries, cherries and wild berries mingled with mint, orange zest, pencil lead, vine smoke and exotic spices. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and layered, it's rich and gourmand, with beautifully refined tannins, lively acids and a long, saline, pungently perfumed finish. Harvest began on 29 August, with all the Merlot picked before the month was out, and the result is a wine that is as vibrant as it is lavish.

JS 99-100… This is a wine that soars to new heights with its brightness and weightlessness. The balance of serene fruit that’s perfectly ripe. Full-bodied yet tight and polished where it seems delicate and compressed, with berry, chocolate and walnut character. The finish is endless and poised.

AG 98-100… The 2022 Cheval Blanc is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. Deep, seamless and striking in its beauty, the 2022 possesses pedigree to burn. Readers will find a sumptuous wine, but there’s plenty of tannin lurking beneath all of that intensity. In fact, the 2022 is the most tannic Cheval since 2010. The aromatics are surprisingly vibrant for a wine from a warm, dry year. The wine's energy is palpable. The 100% new oak is not all perceptible, which is another sign of top-notch balance. Time in the glass brings out a whole range of exotic Franc notes, followed by blood orange, red fruit, mind and dried herb touches. The 2022 includes 17% press wine (compared to the 11% or so that is typical), but as I have noted in my comments elsewhere in this report, the press lots were of high quality in 2022 because the winemaking was gentle. Once again, Cheval Blanc represents a pinnacle of excellence.

JR 18.5… Floral notes from the Cabernet Franc with a hint of mint and chocolate. Sumptuous texture, the fruit juicy and fresh but the perception silky and smooth. Powerfully built but ripe tannins behind. Delicious and just so refined. One of the wines of the vintage.


Quintus 2022 [WA 92-94+, JS 96-97, JR 17+]


WA 92-94+... The 2022 Quintus, one of the best wines produced at this estate, reveals aromas of dark berries, licorice, ripe plum, spices, and hints of graphite. It’s fleshy and concentrated, precise and crystalline, with a tensile, chalky profile, velvety tannins and a vibrant, penetratingly saline finish. The integration of fruit from Grand Pontet recently acquired by the Dillon group means that the blend now contains fully 41.5% Cabernet Franc, bringing more mid-palate structure and amplifying Quintus's limestone-influenced character.

JS 96-97... Black berry and lead pencil on the nose with fresh flowers. Some rose stems, too. Full-bodied with racy and fine tannins that run the length of the wine. Complex and intense in flavor, it remains full of energy and verve..

JR 17+... Built for the long-term so will need time. Deep crimson hue. Subtle red-fruit aroma. Opulent and mouth-filling on the palate but fresh. Firm tannic frame behind. Powerful and long, a chalky-saline note on the finish a reminder of the limestone-clay terroir.


Ausone 2022 [WA 94-96+, JS 97-98, AG 95-97, JR 18]

WA 94-96+... A blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the 2022 Ausone unwinds in the glass with aromas of plums, raspberries and cherries complemented by hints of crushed mint and spices, framed by a lavish patina of creamy new oak. Full-bodied, layered and rather muscular, it's deep and concentrated, its vibrant core of fruit framed by a serious chassis of rich, powdery tannins, concluding with a long, saline finish. Given its imposing levels of structuring extract, it will require patience.

JS 97-98... This is really open with bright and flamboyant aromas of cassis and cherries. Blueberries. Some peaches as well. I don't remember a young Ausone like that. Full-bodied with flamboyant fruit and energy. Very fine tannins. They are there but you don't feel them. Supple but very fruity. And intensely fruity at the end.

AG 95-97... The 2022 Ausone is dense, powerful and quite brooding in demeanor. Dark-toned fruit, spice, leather, licorice and dried herbs add to an impression of somber intensity. In so many vintages Ausone is immediately alluring, but the 2022 is a potent, backward wine that is going to require many years to be at its finest. The blend is equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Harvest took place between September 5 and 9 for the Merlot and September 21 and 27 for the Cabernet Franc. The 2022 is a decidedly hedonistic Ausone.

JR 18... Unusually aromatic at this early stage. Complex floral and red- and dark-fruit notes. Uncompromisingly dense with plentiful but fine tannins. Smooth texture. No hard edges but firm and persistent. Plenty of potential.

Angelus 2022 [WA 96-98, JS 98-99, AG 93-95, JR 17.5+]

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WA 96-98...This estate's shift in the direction of gentler extraction and more reductive, less overtly oaky élevage continues, and this extreme vintage only underlines that. Fermented at cool temperatures (20 to 23 degrees Celsius), and with an increasing proportion of the wine's Cabernet Franc component matured in large wooden foudres, the 2022 Angélus wafts from the glass with deep aromas of dark berries and cherries mingled with hints of iris, licorice and pencil lead. Full-bodied, deep and seamless, with a layered core of cool, vibrant fruit, powdery tannins and a long, saline finish, it's a brilliant young wine in the making. The 2022 is a blend of 53% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

JS 98-99...So many beautiful primary fruit aromas. Al dente. Peaches. Very floral. Aromatic. Full-bodied and extremely fine tannins with length and beauty that show incredible depth. Superb brightness and reality. Exciting. Cabernet franc freshness and dynamics come through now, even though the blend is 60% merlot and 40% cabernet franc.

AG 93-95...The 2022 Angélus is racy and super-expressive right out of the gate. These days a more restrained style has become the norm at Angélus, and yet there is plenty of mid-palate pliancy and overall richness. As good as this is, the most impressive 2022s I tasted at Angélus were straight out of barrel, which makes me think the Grand Vin could perhaps be at another level with a bit more selection. Even so, the 2022 is quite alluring.

JR 17.5...Purple-black hue. Dense, dark and spicy. Beautifully textured, the tannins ripe and smooth. Plenty of lift and no exaggeration. Firm, long and crunchy on the finish. Substantial but measured.


Le Carillon de l'Angelus 2022 [WA 91-93, JS 94-95, JR 16.5+]

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WA 91-93...Unfurling in the glass with notions of raspberries, red plums, sweet soil tones and truffle, the 2022 Le Carillon d'Angélus is medium to full-bodied, fleshy and vibrant, with powdery tannins and a long, saline finish. As readers will remember, this bottling is no longer a "second wine" per se, but rather draws on some 25 hectares of dedicated vineyards, emphasizing Merlot from the cool terroirs of Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes, complemented by holdings in the gravelly Figeac sector and on clay soils near Angélus itself—with anything that doesn't make the cut relegated to the No. 3 d'Angélus.

JS 94-95...A very fresh and vivid red with crunchy and bright character. Citrus rind as well. Medium-bodied. Fine taninned with a vivid finish. Precise.

JR 16.5+...Precise in execution, the aroma lifted and refined, the texture of tannin pure and exact. Nothing overblown, the fruit remaining juicy. Harmonious.


Pavie 2022 [JS 95-96, AG 94-96, JR 18]
JS 95-96…Intense aromas of cherries and spices. Full and layered without being heavy. It starts large and rich, but the tension and tannins tighten down. It's structured and powerful. Velvety, edgy tannins. Very salty at the end. Like an unpolished diamond. It now includes Pavie Decesse and Bellevue. Slightly overdone but wait and see.

AG 94-96… The 2022 Pavie is a unique wine that celebrates a number of milestones for the château. It marks the 20th anniversary of Pavie under the helm of Gerard and Chantal Perse, who have taken this once sleepy property to brilliant highs. Two thousand twenty-two is also the first vintage for Pavie since the incorporation of the Pavie Decesse and Bellevue Mondotte properties. From my perspective, it is always sad to see the loss of historical estates, even if they are relatively small because it is a loss of culture. In terms of the wine, it is superb. Black fruit, mocha, chocolate, licorice and spice add to an impression of virile intensity. Many recent vintages of Pavie have hinted towards a more vibrant style, but the 2022 is very strongly marked by the heat and drought of the year, the yields that are lower than typical and the harvest that started late in relative terms. In my view, the 2022 is a bit pushed, at least today. Huge tannins and a strong torrefaction oak imprint need time to soften, and that may or may not happen with élevage.

JR18…Deep purple-black colour to the rim. Lovely depth of fruit – raspberry coulis with a stony freshness. Sapid and savoury on the palate, the tannins muscular but the texture smooth and fine. Tight and firm on the finish, a saline note highlighting the terroir. Powerful but controlled. Built for the ages.



Aromes De Pavie 2022 [JS 93-94, AG 90-92, JR 16.5]

JS 93-94… A juicy and rich wine with medium chewy tannins and a medium body. Racy. Plenty of crunchy fruit and energy.

AG 90-92… The 2022 Arômes de Pavie is a blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It is undoubtedly a serious wine that offers a striking mix of fruit depth and vibrancy, all framed by incisive tannins that need to soften. Élevage will be critical in determining where this ultimately goes.

JR 16.5… Deep colour. Juicy and lifted with ripe red-fruit notes to the fore. Structured and firm with a chalky undertow. Saline notes on the nose and palate reinforce the notion of terroir. Built in the image of the grand vin.



Monbousquet 2022 [JS 93-94, AG 92-94]

JS 93-94… A rich wine with lots of tannins that are very fine and velvety, with deep fruit. Full and flavorful. Slightly salty and irony. Remains fresh and minerally. Some white pepper. Lead pencil.

AG 92-94… The 2022 Monbousquet is gorgeous. Rich, deep and explosive, the 2022 offers up an exotic mélange of sumptuous red/purplish fruit, lavender, mint and rose petal. Curvy and sumptuous, with striking fruit purity, Monbousquet is super-impressive in this tasting.


Figeac 2022 [WA 98-100, JS 97-98, AG 96-99, JR 18]


WA 98-100... A blend of 35% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2022 Figeac is a brilliant wine with which to celebrate this property's elevation to Premier Grand Cru Classé "A" status. Wafting from the glass with aromas of raspberries and cassis mingled with notions of iris, forest floor, cigar wrapper and pencil lead, it's medium to full-bodied, pure and perfumed, with a deep and multidimensional core of fruit, bright acids and beautifully refined tannins. Serious yet civilized, it's the quintessential Figeac, testament to the late Thierry Manoncourt's vision to plant such a large proportion of Cabernet, and on drought-resistant rootstocks. Such is the inherent complexity of Figeac's terroirs that harvest took place sub-block by sub-block between September 1st and 25th. Congratulations are in order for the Manoncourt family, director Frédéric Faye, consulting winemaker Thomas Duclos and all their team.

JS 97-98... This is the earliest ever harvest for Figeac and the fruit is something else. Flowers such as violets. Blackberries. Currants. Cherry blossom. Full-bodied with lovely freshness and depth. Crunchy and juicy. Perfect al dente fruit.

AG 96-99... The 2022 Figeac is a magnificent, super-classic Figeac, as odd as that might sound in this freakish vintage. A wine of sublime delicacy and nuance, the 2022 possesses tremendous aromatic presence, finely sculpted fruit and phenomenal persistence. I especially admire the wine's freshness, energy and clean, mineral finish. The 2022 is a towering Figeac, a wine that brilliantly showcases the unique qualities of this site. Figeac is a rare Right Bank estate with gravel and blue clay soils that are not often found here, planted approximately with equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

JR 18... A signature Figeac, the Cabernet coming through on the nose and palate. Floral, cassis and graphite notes. Plenty of energy, the fruit juicy and rich but not excessive. Ripe, abundant tannins behind. Long, persistent finish. Just a hint of oak in the background.


Troplong Mondot 2022 [WA 92-94, JS 97-98, AG 96-98, JR 17.5]

WA 92-94... A wine that transcended both my lofty expectations and anything produced at this address in the last 50 years, the 2022 Troplong Mondot realizes all the potential of this striking terroir. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cherries, exotic spices, bay leaf and orange zest, it's full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, with incredible concentration without weight, supple tannins and a seamless, complete profile, concluding with a long, saline finish. All the work of the last few years in the vineyards and winery makes itself felt, as Troplong Mondot's vineyards took the hot, dry conditions in their stride, and the quality of the fruit that they produced has been preserved by a gentle vinification and a discreet élevage, featuring only 55% new oak and some 20% of the volume in large foudres.

JS 97-98... Very attractive aromas of plums and chocolate with hints of raspberry bush and hazelnut. So fresh and even savory with medium to full body. Such a wide tannin structure building up on the palate. Shows depth and length with lots of minerality. Floral. Beautiful already.

AG 96-98... The 2022 Troplong Mondot is one of the most elegant wines I have ever tasted here. Seamless and layered, the 2022 caresses the palate with layers of dark-fleshed fruit, spice, leather and mocha. The purity of the fruit is just remarkable. The typical Troplong stature is present, but the tannins are nearly imperceptible. Clean saline notes extend the long, precise finish. In 2022, the estate was quite selective and only bottled about 70% of the production as Grand Vin, as opposed to the more typical 90% or so.

JR 17.5... Fragrant and fine with red-fruit and liquorice notes. An impressive amount of juicy fruit on the palate, the tannins plentiful but silky and smooth. Builds on the palate providing a long, fresh, chalky finish. Elegant and harmonious.


Canon 2022 [WA 99-100, JS 98-99, AG 96-99, JR 18]

WA 99-100... From an estate that is delivering its greatest run of vintages since the superb Post War series that preceded the frosts of 1956, the 2022 Canon is a magical wine that will be worth every effort to track down. Wafting from the glass with aromas of dark berries, wild plums and cherries mingled with hints of bay leaf, spices and violets, it's full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, with huge levels of concentration, vibrant acids and beautifully refined tannins. Concluding with a long, saline finish, this pure, perfumed and ineffably complete Canon is built for the ages, even if its structural polish is such that it will be approachable at a surprisingly early age.

JS 98-99... Endless on the palate with plenty of umami character. So Canon in its nature with plenty of fruit and fine tannins, yet almost weightless. The structure is all there. Electric. Long, long, long.

AG 96-99... The 2022 Canon is elegant and sensual, with virtually no sensation of tannin. A wine with no beginning and end, Canon is totally seamless. All the Canon signatures are there, but woven together in an effortless, gracious expression of this site. It's the sort of wine that is about subtlety and nuance more than power. Dark red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal and spice caress the palate, but ultimately, Canon is above all else a wine of exquisite detail. Haute couture.

JR 18... This lovely wine really goes to the limit of unexpected freshness in 2022! Subtle and limpid and dangerously approachable. The lively calcaire note is very obvious. Clean and pure. Lots buried in there. Health juice/mouthwash. More lifted than the Rauzan-Ségla and less concentrated.


Clos Fourtet 2022 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, AG 96-98, JR 18]


WA 94-96... Now incorporating the vineyards of the former Grand Murailles, the 2022 Clos Fourtet is lovely, wafting from the glass with aromas of dark berries, plums, rose petals, orange zest and exotic spices. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless, it's deep and complete, with a layered core of vibrant fruit and a long, saline finish. This is another terrific wine from this 19-hectare vineyard situated on the limestone plateau of Saint-Émilion, just outside the village. It's a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon.

JS 97-98... This is broad and opulent with a full body and fine-grained, velvety tannins. Deep dark fruit, crushed violets and spices. Structured, layered and really long. Wow. So long and refined with great clarity.

AG 96-98... The 2022 Clos Fourtet is fabulous. Rich, sensual and layered, the 2022 bristles with the energy found in the best wines of the year. Clean veins of minerality frame a core of red/purplish fruit, lavender, sage, mint, rose petal and mocha. Simply put, the 2022 is a magical Clos Fourtet. This is the first vintage that incorporates fruit from what used to be Grands Murailles.

JR 18... Deep crimson hue. Expressive red-fruit and mineral nose. Generous fruit backed by plentiful but refined tannins. Remarkably smooth texture but firms up and lingers on the finish. Terroir evident. One for the cellar.




Climens 2022 [JR 17.5]
JR 17.5... Golden hue. Fragrant but understated with mandarin, spice and vanilla notes. Rich but fresh and balanced. Bitter-botrytised notes and great persistence. Saline note on the finish. Elegance and finesse.



Suduiraut 2022 [JS 98-99, AG 92-94, JR 18+]


WA 98-99... Wow. This is incredibly concentrated with such depth and power. Dried oranges. Full-bodied with some phenolic tension that frames the wine perfectly. Dried apricots and peaches. Incredible richness and freshness. Spicy and flavorful. Tastes more like a BA from Germany! 100% semillon.

AG 92-94... The 2022 Suduiraut is laced with hints of tangerine peel, spice, vanillin, chamomile and dried flowers. It offers a lovely mix of botrytis-inflected flavors and textures while also showing quite a bit of freshness. The 2022 is done in the lighter style the château favors these days. My impression is that it is still coming together, as the wine shows a very slight lack of cohesion that is not typical.

JR 18+... Deep gold colour. Aromatically resplendent. Great purity as well. Honey, marmalade and tropical-fruit notes. Botrytis evident. Palate rich, luscious and intense. Sweet and packed with fruit, the bitter edge of the botrytis providing balance. Very long finish.




Suduiraut Vieilles Vignes Grand Vin Blanc Sec 2022 [JS 94-95, AG 92-94, JR 16+]


JS 94-95... A classic Sauternes with dried peaches, lemon zest and crushed stone character. Full body. Layered and phenolic. Dry at the end. 55% semillon and 45% sauvignon blanc.

AG 92-94... The 2022 Grand Vin Blanc Sec Vieilles Vignes is laced with hints of lemon confit, marzipan, ginger, white flowers and white pepper. The 2022 is quite reticent today, which is probably a good sign for its aging prospects. The 2022 has a phenolic-like quality that imparts notable structure.

JR 16+... Pale straw. Citrus and aniseed notes, the Sauvignon present but less marked. Good fruit depth, the palate full and gras with a hint of integrated oak. Harmonious if a pinch flat but should evolve.