En-Primeur 2023


En-Primeur 2023
Having spent last week in Bordeaux, our buying team returned with an overwhelmingly positive impression of the barrel samples they tasted. High points were the northern Medoc, with St Estephe, Pauillac and St Julien offering some stunning wines, while on the right bank Pomerol and parts of St Emilion hit high points. For consumers looking for an indication of style, the vintage can be described as a modern version of 1995, with a polished but not overripe fruit profile and a structure built on silky tannins.

While it is still early days, there are indications that some key chateaux are committed to a significant drop in prices. The En Primeur campaign will see early releases, with some big names already announcing release dates. This will put pressure on others to follow, so we have hopes for a short campaign which will offer genuine buying opportunities.

While we wait for tasting notes and vintage reports to appear, there is already enough information available to make a preliminary assessment of the 2023 Bordeaux vintage, the likely quality and style of the wines as well as the current state of the market and indicators for the En Primeur campaign.



2023 was the third in a row of small Bordeaux crops overall, with 384 million litres and 37 hl/ha. 2022 and 2021 saw 411 million litres (38 hl/ha) and 377 million litres (35 hl/ha) being produced respectively.

While production of generic Bordeaux Rouge and Bordeaux Superieur was down, the more prestigious appellations, the source of most of the wines offered En Primeur, did much better and were generally in line with the average. 2023 saw pretty generous yields, certainly when compared to 2022, in St-Julien, St-Estèphe, Pauillac and Margaux on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, and in Pomerol on the right bank.

The big issue in 2023was the many vineyards were hit by downy mildew in 2023 but it is a case of appellation by appellation and even by individual estates. Favourably sited vineyards with the resources to deal with the problem came through virtually unscathed.

2023 is far from a heterogeneous vintage, with growers differing in their approaches to vineyard work, including their ability to control mildew as well as their choice of picking dates. Individual terroirs also have their signature.



It was a very warm year overall, from March to September, with average rainfall. Budbreak was early, in late March, and the high risk of mildew in the following quarter was by far the most pronounced seen in decades. Storms in June meant a higher than average rainfall for that month, but the rainfall in July and August was below average, with temperatures roughly in line with the averages. Most red grapes were harvested in near ideal conditions in September. So what should we expect from the vineyards which avoided mildew? Well, everything points to what might be called a 'classic' Bordeaux vintage, one where the better wines show fruit and finesse over structure, richness and power. This was a year for freshness and balance, brought about by terroir, gentle extraction, slightly lower alcohol and bright acidity. This certainly sets them apart from the 2022 reds which were marked by ripeness and low acidity.


BOTTLING 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 2024.

There will be storage charges if we do not receive any shipping instructions before 30 Nov 2025. 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 2026. 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 2026. Payment upon receipt of invoice.


Wines ( * denotes Limited Allocation )
Aile d'Argent 2023Angelus 2023 - NewAusone 2023 - New
Belair Monange 2023 - NewBeychevelle 2023 - NewBrane Cantenac 2023 - New
Calon Segur 2023 - NewCanon 2023 - NewCanon La Gaffeliere 2023 - New
Carruades de Lafite 2023 - NewChapelle d'Ausone 2023 - NewCheval Blanc 2023 - New
Cheval Blanc Le Petit Cheval 2023 - NewClerc Milon 2023 - NewClimens 2023 - New
Clos du Marquis 2023Clos Fourtet 2023 - NewCos d'Estournel 2023 - New
Cos d'Estournel Blanc 2023 - NewD'Armailhac 2023 - NewD'Issan 2023 - New
Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2023 - NewDomaine de Chevalier Rouge 2023 - NewDu Tertre 2023 - New
Ducru Beaucaillou 2023 - NewDuhart Milon 2023 - NewDurfort-Vivens 2023 - New
Gazin 2023 - NewGruaud Larose 2023 - NewHaut Bailly 2023 - New
Haut Brion 2023 - NewHaut Brion Blanc 2023 - NewHosanna 2023 - New
L'Evangile 2023 - NewLa Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion 2023 - NewLa Fleur-Petrus 2023 - New
La Mission Haut Brion 2023 - NewLa Mission Haut Brion Blanc 2023 - NewLa Mondotte 2023 - New
La Tour Carnet 2023 - NewLafite Rothschild 2023 - NewLafon Rochet 2023 - New
Langoa Barton 2023 - NewLatour a Pomerol 2023 - NewLatour Martillac 2023 - New
Latour Martillac Blanc 2023 - NewLe Carillon de l'Angelus 2023 - NewLe Clarence de Haut-Brion 2023 - New
Le Petit Mouton 2023 - NewLeoville Barton 2023 - NewLéoville Las Cases 2023 - New
Leoville Poyferre 2023 - NewLynch Bages 2023 - NewMargaux 2023 - New
Mouton Rothschild 2023 - NewPagodes de Cos d'Estournel Blanc 2023Pape Clement Blanc 2023 - New
Pape Clement Rouge 2023 - NewPavillon Blanc de Margaux 2023 - NewPavillon Rouge de Margaux 2023 - New
Pontet-Canet 2023 - NewQuintus 2023 - NewRauzan Segla 2023 - New
Smith Haut Lafitte 2023 - NewSmith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2023 - NewSuduiraut 2023 - New
Suduiraut Vieilles Vignes Grand Vin Blanc Sec 2023 - NewTalbot 2023 - NewTroplong Mondot 2023 - New
Vieux Chateau Certan 2023 - New *  



St. Estephe

Cos d'Estournel 2023 [WA 95-96, JS 98-99, VIN 96-98, JR 17.5]
WA 95-96... A contemporary classic in the making, the 2023 Cos d'Estournel has turned out beautifully, reflecting a lighter touch with extraction that has delivered more sensuality and harmony without the loss of any of the estate's signature power and authority. Wafting from the glass with deep aromas of cassis, wild berries, orange zest and exotic spices, framed by well-integrated new wood, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with a concentrated core of fruit, beautifully suave tannins and a cool, seamless profile. It's a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that attained 12.9% alcohol and is being matured in 50% new oak.
JS 98-99... The finesse is pretty phenomenal here, with such complexity of fruit and vivid, bright flowers. Lavender and rose. Seductive. Ever-so long and precise. Lead pencil and graphite. Reminiscent of old, great Cos, such as 1955 or 1982, but with so much more form and modernity. A renaissance of Cos. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot, 1% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.
VIN 96-98... The 2023 Cos d'Estournel is fabulous. Dark, resonant and inviting, the 2023 has so much to offer. All the elements are beautifully woven together. Black cherry, plum, licorice, espresso, mocha and incense fill out the layers. Readers will find a Cos endowed with tremendous substance and intensity. I can't remember a young Cos with this much fruit concentration, yet there is nothing overdone here. I loved it.
JR 17.5... Deep purple-black hue. Aromatic and exotic with spice and chocolate notes. Smooth attack then long and persistent. Plenty of freshness. Structured but slightly dry and chewy on the finish at the moment.
Cos d'Estournel Blanc 2023 [WA 90-92, JS 97-98, VIN 92-94, JR 15.5]
WA 90-92 ... A delicately, exotic bouquet of ripe orchard fruits, white fruits, lemongrass and spring flowers preface the 2023 Cos d'Estournel Blanc, a fleshy, ample and satiny wine that’s fresh and elegant with bright acids and a slightly lactic and mouthwatering finish. It’s a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon.


JS 97-98 ... This shows real precision and sophistication. Tight and dense palate that is concentrated but not heavy, with intensity and minerality. Sea salt and white pepper at the end. This is really at the top level of dry white Bordeaux now. 70% sauvignon blanc and 30% semillon.

VIN 92-94...The 2023 Cos d'Estournel Blanc, a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon, offers slightly more tropical notes on the nose than Les Pagodes, with a touch more depth-hints of orange blossom and honeysuckle. The palate is well balanced with tangerine and lime, fine acidity, notable focus and a bright and tensile finish. This is another delicious white. It will be difficult to resist in its youth.
JR 15.5...More restrained than Pagodes. Oak still apparent but there’s a zesty quality to the palate. Still seems a little light. Dry, stony finish. A bit formulaic.
Pagodes de Cos d'Estournel Blanc 2023 [WA 89-91]

WA 89-91 ...Aromas of citron confit, lemon oil, white fruits and herbs preface the 2023 Pagodes de Cos Blanc, a layered and juicy, round and broad wine that is moderately weighted, fresh, elegant and finishes with a slightly short and mouthwatering aftertaste. This is a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Sémillon.

Calon Segur 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 96-97, VIN 94-96, JR 17+]

WA 94-96... The 2023 Calon-Ségur is another en primeur success for this resurgent Saint-Estèphe third growth. Wafting from the glass with aromas of cassis, pencil shavings, wild berries and plums, it's medium to full-bodied, cool and layered, with a deep and integrated core, terrific concentration, lively acids and refined structuring tannins, concluding with a long, penetrating finish. It's a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that checks in at 14% alcohol.


JS 96-97... Blackcurrant, blueberry, cedar, pine needle and black truffle here. I don't think much about the nose with barrel samples, but this is splendid. It's medium-bodied with very fresh acidity and fine, linear tannins that are long and lively. Energy here. Refined. Salty character at the last minute. I may like this better than 2022. A blend of 72% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, 12% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

VIN 94-96... The 2023 Calon Ségur is a wine for readers who can be patient. In many recent years, Calon Ségur has been quite showy, but this is not one of them. Bold acids and huge tannins dominate at this stage. Bright red-toned fruit is a signature, but the 2023 is a powerful, young Calon Ségur that will clearly need time to come together. Bright acids extend the finish beautifully.
JR 17+... Dark-fruit and menthol notes. Less mid-palate volume than 2022 but some might prefer this slenderer version. Pure, long and focused with a lovely texture of tannin.

Lafon Rochet 2023 [WA 91-93, JS 93-94, VIN 93-95]

WA 91-93... Generous and layered, the 2023 Lafon-Rochet offers up aromas of blackberries, cassis, incense and burning embers, followed by a medium to full-bodied, rich and enveloping palate that's gourmand and charming, concluding with a gently minty finish. Like the 2023, this represents a richer, more demonstrative style for this Saint-Estèphe property, where Christophe Congé and his team are rehabilitating the vineyards.


JS 93-94... This is very St.-Estephe, with blackcurrant, lead pencil, graphite and crushed stone. Medium-bodied, linear and structured. Excellent finish.

VIN 93-95...The 2023 Lafon-Rochet is a promising wine. Today, it shows terrific depth, driven by an elevated presence of Cabernet Sauvignon and a healthy dollop of Petit Verdot. Dark blue-toned fruit, lavender, licorice and dried herbs show tons of character. There's plenty of Lafon-Rochet finesse, but with an added kick of textural richness not found in the wines made during the Tesseron era. This comes together beautifully with a bit of time in the glass. 



Pontet-Canet 2023 [WA 96-98, JS 97-98, VIN 93-95]
WA 96-96...With the 2023 vintage, this estate has crafted a wine of unprecedented aromatic intensity and precision that marks a significant evolution. Revealing an elegant, fresh bouquet of mulberries and cassis mingled with notions of violets, gentian and menthol, the 2023 Pontet-Canet is medium to full-bodied, seamless and multidimensional, with a pure and precise core of fruit that's framed by ultra-refined tannins and a powerful but controlled profile, concluding with long, mineral, licorice-inflected finish. It's the result of more daring harvest decisions than in previous years: By picking the Merlot earlier to highlight fresh, fruity notes rather than baked, sun-kissed flavors and simultaneously delaying the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest until after September 28 to refine tannins, the 2023 Pontet-Canet marks a significant evolution at this renowned estate. At this early stage, its élevage appears to be more discreet, too. This wine, which I'd be delighted to own, is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, matured in 50% new oak barrels, 35% amphorae and 15% once-used barrels.
JS 97-98... A very structured Pontet-Canet that expands in the mouth with a gorgeous combination of beautifully ripe fruit and intense tannins. Very structured for the vintage. Full-bodied with excellent presence and length. So much raw pencil shavings to the blackcurrants. Graphite and tar. Fresh and vivid. They picked cabernet at the right time at the end of September. 52% cabernet sauvignon, 39% merlot, 6% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot.
VIN 93-95…The 2023 Pontet Canet, which underwent a 34 day harvest ,has a very pure bouquet with dark cherries, blackcurrant and touches of vanilla, cohering over the course of ten minutes in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied, with very supple tannins matched by a keen line of acidity. There is plenty of creaminess on the mid-palate, fine grip and a pinch of black pepper toward the finish. Moderate in length, there’s lovely linearity here and an underlying salinity that becomes evident with continued aeration. Very fine.  
Duhart Milon 2023 [WA 92-94, JS 94-95, VIN 93-95]
WA 92-94… A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon (picked late, between September 25 and October 3) and 20% Merlot, the 2023 Duhart-Milon has turned out beautifully, unfurling in the glass with aromas of cassis, cherries and dark berries mingled with hints of mint, cedar and spice box. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and layered, it's deep and concentrated, with an ample core of cool but ripe fruit, sweet tannins and a long, penetrating finish.
JS 94-95… So much pure graphite and lead pencil here, together with blackcurrant and iodine aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied with creamy and velvety tannins that are very polished. Cedar and some tobacco box. Deep and layered. Al-dente tannins. Precise.
VIN 93-95...The 2023 Duhart-Milon was picked September 7 to October 3 and contains 15% pressed wine, matured in 50% new oak. It has a much more backward bouquet than the Moulin, displaying well- defined yet tightly coiled graphite-infused black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins that belie the backbone of this Pauillac. That graphite element is accentuated in the mouth and controls the classic finish that could only come from this appellation. This is excellent, but patience is required.
Lafite Rothschild 2023 [WA 97-99, JS 97-98, VIN 95-97]
WA 97-99... The finest of the first growths this year appears to be the 2023 Lafite Rothschild, a terrific effort that unwinds in the glass with deep and incipiently complex aromas of cassis, pencil shavings, lilac and violets mingled with hints of cigar wrapper and mint. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, it's vibrant and refined, with a deep core of fruit, plenty of sweet structuring tannin and a compelling marriage between energy and plenitude. It's a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot that reminds me of 2019's tannins combined with 2016's unimpeachable classicism.


JS 97-98... The purity of cabernet sauvignon is so evident here. It mesmerizes you with aromas of black and red currants, cedar, tobacco and bark. It's full-bodied yet there's very impressive weightlessness and agility, as well as subtlety and focus. Some iron and terra-cotta. Cedar and sandalwood undertones. Juicy and plummy at the end. 12.9% alcohol. 3.75 pH.

VIN 95-97…There’s wonderful precision here. The palate is medium-bodied with a cashmere texture, very pure (again) with a judicious dab of cracked black pepper. The finish is very sleek, thanks to its almost filigree tannins, seeming to glide across the palate. It's not a grippy or sinewy Pauillac, and on reflection, it is technically perfect. Yet, I find myself searching for a bit more…soul. Perhaps a few rough edges would captivate the emotions. This is a delicious Lafite-Rothschild no doubt, but I want it to move me once in bottle. Maybe it will.
Mouton Rothschild 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 98-99, VIN 96-98]

WA 94-96...Aromas of crème de cassis and dark berries mingled with pencil shaving, espresso roast and violets introduce the 2023 Mouton Rothschild, a medium to full-bodied, layered and fleshy wine with a creamy core of ripe but lively fruit, sweet tannins and an expansive finish. In terms of parcels, the 2023 is quite different in origins from the 2022, favoring plots that are better-drained rather than those resistant to drought. It's a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot, without either Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot featuring in the blend, and it attained 13.3% alcohol.

JS 98-99 ...This is the most structured Mouton since the great 2016, with tannins that start slowly and then take off. It’s muscular and toned. It’s full-bodied but doesn’t come across too heavy. It builds up in intensity and goes on and on and on. It just keeps expanding. I took a double take here. 93% cabernet sauvignon and 7% merlot.
VIN 96-98...The 2023 Mouton Rothschild was picked from September 7 to 30 and contains 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, the second highest ever (after the 2010). Matured entirely in new oak as usual, this has an intense, floral bouquet with violet petals infusing the black fruit and touches of licorice loitering just off stage-very fine delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with extremely refined tannins. Focused and harmonious, it's velvety smooth with a long and tender finish that has more crispness than the 2022. In fact, I might ultimately end up preferring this over the 2022...it will be interesting finding out in the future!
Lynch Bages 2023 [WA 93-95, JS 97-98, VIN 94-97, JR 17.5]
WA 93-95...As usual one of the chunkier, broader-shouldered wines of the Médoc, the 2023 Lynch-Bages exhibits aromas of dark berries and cassis mingled with pencil shavings, licorice and pipe tobacco, framed by creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied, rich and layered, it's deep, concentrated and generously extracted, with plenty of youthfully chewy tannin to carry it along in the cellar. The 2023 is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.


JS 97-98...Blackberry, black cherry, crushed stone and graphite. Lead pencil, too. It’s full-bodied with juicy, chewy tannins. Vertical and layered with lovely length. Quite plush. Chewy tannins at the end. Cabernet sauvignon driven. Showing excellent potential.


VIN 94-97...The 2023 Lynch-Bages is a dark, brooding wine. In so many vintages, Lynch-Bages is a wine of sensuality, but in 2023, it is quite the powerhouse. Formidable tannins wrap around a core of black fruit, spice, menthol, licorice and gravel. This is a somber, introspective Lynch- Bages with a ton of Cabernet Sauvignon character. I can't wait to taste this from bottle.


JR 17.5... Restrained nose but depth, energy and power. Layered fruit on the palate. Builds steadily, the tannins powerful but refined. Very long. Definite ageing potential

D'Armailhac 2023 [WA 92-93, JS 93-94, VIN 91-93]
WA 92-93...The 2023 d'Armailhac is an attractive effort, bursting with aromas of cherries, raspberries, licorice and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and succulent, with a pretty core of fruit, sweet powdery tannins and lively acids, it's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot—which is a rather high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon for this address. 

JS 93-94...There’s a powdery and open texture to this red. Full-bodied and layered with a pretty and weightless texture. Blackcurrants and blueberries and an orange-peel undertone. Velvety texture at the end. 70% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, 13% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.

VIN 91-93...The 2023 d'Armailhac was picked from September 7 to 30 and aged in 50% new oak. It contains the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon to date. Its tightly wound bouquet demands encouragement from the glass, perhaps just missing the panache that elevated the previous vintage. You could argue that this seems more "serious.” The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and a firm backbone. It’s a little pepperier than previous vintages, closing with a streamlined finish. Give this two or three years in bottle.
Carruades de Lafite 2023 [WA 91-93, JS 95-96, VIN 91-93]

WA 91-93… A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the 2023 Carruades de Lafite is lovely, bursting with aromas of minty blackberries, cassis and cigar box, followed by a medium to full-bodied, fleshy and layered palate that's creamy and textural, its generous core of fruit largely concealing its powdery structuring tannins, concluding with a long, resonant finish.


JS 95-96… A savory and juicy Carruades with softness and notes of ripe berry, cedar and dried tobacco. Like Lafite from the 1980s but more precise. Round and pretty. It really grows on the finish with such sweetness of fruit and length. Pointed, fine tannins at the end. Very long. A blend of 60% cabernet sauvignon and 40% merlot.

VIN 91-93... The 2023 Carruades de Lafite is notable for some of the Cabernet being picked prior to the Merlot, between September 7 and 29. This year, there is no Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot in the blend. It has a far superior bouquet to some of the vintages I was tasting a decade or so ago -much more purity and precision, with notes of black plum, wild strawberry and a touch of cassis. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky texture and a crisp line of acidity. It's fresh, precise and saline, with a long tail on the finish. This is surely one of the best Carruades I have tasted at this stage.
Clerc Milon 2023 [WA 92-94, JS 95-96, VIN 92-94]
WA 92-94...Revealing aromas of red berries, cherries and blackcurrants mingled with hints of pencil shavings and new oak, the 2023 Clerc Milon is medium to full-bodied, deep and fleshy, with a layered core of fruit, sweet velvety tannins and a seamless, succulent profile. It's a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6.5% Cabernet Franc and the balance Carmenère and Petit Verdot. 

JS 95-96...This has a great finish, with blackcurrant, chocolate, hazelnut and salt undertones that run the length of the wine. Full-bodied and dense, and then it lifts off at the end. Chalky undertone, coming from the limestone terroir here. 72% cabernet sauvignon, 19% merlot, 6.5% cabernet franc, 1.5% carmenere and 1% petit verdot.

VIN 92-94...The 2023 Clere Milon was picked from September 7 to 29 and is matured in 55% new oak. It has much more fruit concentration on the nose than the Pastorelle-quite precocious, with blackberry and cassis fruit. It's floral and more flamboyant than the d'Armailhac. The palate is very well balanced with a slightly creamy texture and a lovely mouthfee.
Its concentration is neatly counterbalanced by the acidity, and it feels very harmonious and long on the finish. Superb.
Le Petit Mouton 2023 [WA 91-93, JS 95-96, VIN 91-93]

WA 91-93...Aromas of dark berries, cassis and cigar wrapper introduce the 2023 Le Petit Mouton, a medium-bodied, fleshy wine with good depth and density, its lively core of fruit framed by sweet, powdery tannins, concluding with a penetrating finish. It's a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

JS 95-96...This is a tighter and more compact Petit Mouton with a full-bodied, compact palate that is framed nicely by the tannins. Savory and juicy. Structured. Contained. 79% cabernet sauvignon, 12% merlot, 7% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Better than 2022?

VIN 91-93...The 2023 Le Petit-Mouton is aged in 50% new oak. It has an intense nose, mainly black fruit commingling with briar and light estuarine scents. Perhaps the aromatics feel a bit "secretive" at present. The palate is medium-bodied with a concentrated entry. This is a voluminous and powerful Pauillac for the vintage, driven by that 79% Cabernet Sauvignon. There's a fine bitter edge on the finish; give this Le Petit Mouton three to five years in bottle.
Aile d'Argent 2023 [WA 90-92, JS 94-95, VIN 91-93]
WA 90-92... Evoking aromas of white flowers, lemon oil, lime tree leaves and spring flowers, the 2023 Aile d'Argent is medium to full-bodied, charming and enveloping with a fleshy core of fruit and a mouthwatering, long finish. While not as dense or fleshy as previous iterations, this vintage is a notable success within its context. It is a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 44.5% Sauvignon Gris and 0.5% Muscadelle.
JS 94-95...The density and beauty to this is so attractive, with a lush and flavorful character, yet it’s neatly framed by acidity and minerally undertones. Lively and salty. Part of the vineyard is on limestone, which gives that sea-salt undertone. Savory. Fresh at the end. 50% sauvignon blanc, 44.5% semillon, 5% sauvignon gris and 0.5% muscadelle.

VIN 91-93...The 2023 Aile d'Argent contains a little more Sémillon than usual (44.5%) to add texture to the blend. It has a lovely bouquet with grapefruit, hints of lime cordial, chamomile and lanolin. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, fresh and focused, with just a slight bitter lemon note imparting tension. A hint of ginger rises on the aftertaste. Superb.


St. Julien

Beychevelle 2023 [WA 93-94, JS 94-95, VIN 94-96, JR 16.5+]
WA 93-94...The 2023 Beychevelle has turned out especially well this year, exhibiting a more integrated, seductive style than recent vintages that were constructed in a punchier, more extracted register. Offering up aromas of cassis and plums mingled with notions of pen ink, violets and pencil shavings, it's medium to full-bodied, broad and fleshy, with a deep core of fruit and a classy, suave profile that foregrounds the estate's prime vineyard holdings on the plateau around Ducru-Beaucaillou. It's a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot that represents 50% of the estate's production.


JS 94-95...Pure fruit to this, with blueberries, hazelnuts, walnut and blackcurrants. Just like eating grapes at this stage. It has a full body, juicy tannins and a savory finish. Remains vivid and energetic.


VIN 94-96...The 2023 Beychevelle is fabulous. As always, Beychevelle includes quite a bit more Merlot than most wines in the appellation, but the Cabernet is especially high here. Inky dark fruit, crème de cassis, mocha, licorice and lavender build in the glass. This juicy, extroverted Saint-Julien has a ton to offer. The combination of fruit intensity, acid and supporting structure is superb. The 2023 is showy, but not at all overdone. Beychevelle remains one of the most distinctive wines in all of Bordeaux. It is especially classy in this edition. Tasted two times.


JR 16.5+...Floral nose. Elegant texture and tannins. Suave, smooth and fresh. Not quite the depth of a top year but has all the components.

Leoville Poyferre 2023 [WA 93-95, JS 95-96, VIN 95-97, JR 17+]
WA 93-95... Aromas of cassis, plums, pencil shavings and toasty new oak introduce the 2023 Léoville Poyferré, a medium to full-bodied, rich and chunky wine with a deep core of succulent fruit framed by sweet, generously extracted tannins. It's a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that saw some saignée and osmosis for additional concentration. As usual, it's the creamiest, most "modern"-styled of the three Léovilles. Harvest began on September 14 and concluded on October 5, with fermentations a little cooler than usual, perhaps an intimation of a stylistic evolution in progress.


JS 95-96...This is already very pretty and polished with plenty of currant and plum character. Medium- to full-bodied with creamy, round tannins and a juicy finish. Caressing. Very refined.


VIN 95-97...The 2023 Léoville-Poyferré is positively stellar. Medium in body, vibrant and beautifully persistent, the 2023 is all class. It also signals a shift away from the richer (but equally successful) style favored here in the recent past, now moving toward an approach that favors more vibrancy. Dark red-toned fruit, blood orange, spice, mocha and cedar infuse the 2023 with notable freshness and verve. The new Léoville-Poyferré is quite the stunner. Tasted two times.


JR 17+... Ripe, full and pure. Generous fruit but not overplayed. Fine but plentiful tannins. Length and freshness. Harmonious but less power than some years.

Talbot 2023 [WA 92-94, JS 94-95, VIN 93-95, JR16.5]
WA 92-94...Offering up aromas of dark berries, baking chocolate, plums, espresso roast and crushed mint, the 2023 Talbot is medium to full-bodied, deep and fleshy, with a rich but lively core of fruit, powdery tannins and a long, penetrating finish. Harvested over the course of fully four weeks, it's a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot that attained 13% alcohol. 

JS 94-95...A medium- to full-bodied red with very fine tannins. It’s firm and structured, showing a bright, dark-fruited character. Focused, with a good center-palate and a lingering finish. Really polished.

VIN 93-95...A medium- to full-bodied red with very fine tannins. It’s firm and structured, showing a bright, dark-fruited character. Focused, with a good center-palate and a lingering finish. Really polished.

JR 16.5...Juicy and appealing. Lively St-Julien fruit. Medium-bodied, harmonious and balanced, the tannins integrated. Rewarding. Could be GV.
Gruaud Larose 2023 [VIN 94-96, JR 17+]

VIN 94-96... The 2023 Gruaud Larose is a powerhouse. Rich and ample, with striking depth, the 2023 offers notable resonance from start to finish. Black cherry, blackberry, licorice and spice fill out the layers nicely. The 2023 is a big, potent Gruaud Larose that will need a number of years to be at its best. This is a terrific example of the vintage at its finest.

JR 17+... Aromatically appealing with graphite, cassis and floral notes to the fore. Juicy and flavoursome on the palate, refined tannins providing a silky texture. Discreet but present structure. Lovely balance. A beguiling wine.

Leoville Barton 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 96-97, VIN 92-94, JR 17.5]
WA 94-96... The 2023 Léoville Barton is a lovely classic in the making, unfurling in the glass with aromas of cassis and blackberries mingled with notions of pencil shavings, licorice and violets. Medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, it's layered, concentrated and suave, with beautifully refined tannins, vibrant acids and a long, penetrating finish. Benefiting from the Barton family's new highly functional winery, as well as experimentation with more discreet cooperage choices, it's somewhat reminiscent of the estate's terrific 2016. The 2023 blend is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc.


JS 96-97...The tannins here are cashmere-like. You can touch it, but at the same time it is weightless and beautiful. Medium- to full-bodied and textural. Soars at the end. This is really seamless and dialed in. Third year using the cellar. 87% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot and 3% cabernet franc.

VIN 92-94...The 2023 Léoville Barton was picked from September 12 to October 2 and aged in 60% new oak. This takes a long time to settle in the glass, unfolding with black fruit, wild mint and a subtle seaweed scent. This Saint-Julien gains cohesion with aeration-a bit of pep. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. A touch of dark chocolate infuses the black fruit, harmonious with a patina of new oak that will integrate with time. This is classic Léoville Barton from tip to toe, and whilst it does not match the imperious 2022, it is a very impressive follow-up due to its interwoven elegance.
JR 17.5...Majors on the Cabernet. Deep, dark and for the moment subdued. Layered fruit on the palate. Suave texture and tannins. Plenty of persistence. Ageing potential here.
Langoa Barton 2023 [WA 93-95, JS 94-95, VIN 91-93, JR 16+]
WA 93-95...The 2023 Langoa Barton is a very accomplished wine, the family's new winery having permitted more precise, parcel-by-parcel winemaking as well as gentler handling of the fruit to deliver a wine with all this estate's customary intensity of flavor but more polish and refinement. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cassis and plums mingled with hints of pencil shavings and dried rose petals, it's medium to full-bodied, with an inky core of fruit, vibrant acids and plenty of suave structuring tannin. This classic blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc is sure to number among the intelligent purchases of the en primeur campaign.


JS 94-95...There’s depth of fruit here with blackberries, blackcurrants and hints of cedar and tobacco. The tannins are very solid and polished with juiciness and depth. Pristine. Bright acidity. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 37% merlot and 3% cabernet franc.

VIN 91-93...The 2023 Langoa Barton was picked from September 12 until October 2 at around 50hL/ha, with some "late" saignée for half the vat-when it has some "serious color," according to Damien Barton. Two vats were chaptalized out of a total of 42, the highest at 15%, yielding an average alcohol of 13%. Matured in 60% new oak, it has a very perfumed bouquet with black plum, boysenberry and a touch of mint. This is notably forward and unabashed. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, a sorbet-fresh Langoa with a bright, almost pastille-like finish that lingers in the mouth. Very seductive and vivacious, I appreciate the nascent energy here.
JR 16+...Fresh and zesty with precise fruit and fine, integrated tannins. Some persistence on the finish. Balanced if understated.
Léoville Las Cases 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, VIN 95-97]
WA 94-96...A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and only 4% Merlot, the 2023 Léoville Las Cases is one of the more serious, structured wines of the vintage, reminiscent of a modern-day version of the estate's excellent 2001. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries, cassis and plums mingled with hints of licorice, mint and creamy new oak, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a taut core of fruit, lively acids and plenty of fine, youthfully firm tannins. It will require and reward patience.
JS 97-98...Exceptional quality of cabernet comes through here, with a lot of graphite, lead pencil, crushed stone, walnut and currant fruit. It grows and expands on the palate, remaining in focus at the same time. Refined and seamless with beautiful tannins that show power and intensity. It rolls across the palate with verve. 86% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc and 4% merlot.

VIN 95-97... The 2023 Léoville Las-Cases was picked from September 9 to October 2 at 43hL/ha and matured in 80% new oak barrels. This has a very precise bouquet, and, like the Clos du Marquis, it is imbued with an attractive estuarine element—aromatics that transport the imbiber to the banks of the Gironde. The oak is neatly integrated; 80% is much more optimal than 100% would have been. The palate is lightly spiced on the entry, moderately deep and quite lively on the mid-palate. This is a more linear Las-Cases than recent vintages, conveying a sense of "seriousness" toward the almost saturnine finish. Impressive in terms of persistence, this is a worthy follow-up to the magnificent 2022, but it will demand patience.  
Clos du Marquis 2023 [WA 91-93, JS 95-96, VIN 91-93]

WA 91-93… The 2023 Clos du Marquis is a rather serious, structured wine, evocative of cherries, dark berries and kirsch, framed by a touch of creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied and fleshy but structured, it's a taut, concentrated wine that will reward some patience.

JS 95-96...  This offers beautiful blackcurrants and blackberries with hints of chocolate and walnuts. Medium- to full-bodied with vivid acidity that adds tension and freshness to the mid-palate. It’s full of life and vibrancy, very fine and polished, and with nicely integrated tannins. Long finish. 56% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot and 9% cabernet franc. What will be better between 2022 and 2023?
VIN 91-93...The 2023 Clos du Marquis was picked from September 6 to October 5 at 44hL/ha and matured in 50% new oak. It has a complex bouquet, comprising a mélange of red and black fruit, cedar and subtle touches of violet-very charming. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grip. It's a little creamy in texture on the entry, but there is solid backbone and a saline finish. This is very promising.
Ducru Beaucaillou 2023 [JS 96-97, VIN 95-97, JR 17+]

JS 96-97...This has aromas of blackberries and blackcurrant, as well as graphite and flint. Some gunpowder. It’s full-bodied with extremely refined tannins, a creamy character and al-dente fruit at the finish. Crunchy, succulent and linear. Mineral edge to it, like licking a stone. Energetic.


VIN 95-97...The 2023 Ducru-Beaucaillou is a heady, sumptuous Saint-Julien. The aromatics alone are captivating. Truffle, rose petal, blood orange, pomegranate, spice and menthol build in a creamy, lavish Ducru. The 2023 is a classic Bruno Borie wine that emphasizes textural opulence. Time in the glass brings out gorgeous floral and spice-driven top notes. The balance of opulence and vibrancy is compelling.

JR 17+...Deep purple-black colour. Better on the palate at the moment, the nose a little wayward. Lovely textural feel on attack, the tannins plentiful but velvety and smooth. Quite ample but also long and driven. Good freshness as well. Ageing potential.



Du Tertre 2023 [WA 92-94, JS 95-96, VIN 91-93, JR 16.5]

WA 92-94… As this estate's extensive restructuring begins to come to fruition, the 2023 du Tertre contains fully 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, as replanted parcels begin to be included in the grand vin, complemented by 15% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot. Offering up aromas of dark berries, licorice, lilac and mint, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and fleshy, with a notably concentrated, serious core by this estate's typically charming standards, revealing sweet structuring tannins and a succulent, seamless profile. In short, du Tertre's renaissance continues.


JS 95-96…The lead pencil, blackberries and blackcurrants are very intense on both the nose and palate. Medium-bodied with a solid core of fruit and tannins and a creamy, refined texture that turns to a medium finish.

VIN 91-93…The 2023 du Tertre is deep, powerful and resonant right out of the gate. Dark-toned fruit, chocolate, lavender, mocha and dried herbs are
broadly sketched. This heady, layered Margaux is certainly not shy. All it could use is a bit more polish in its contours.


JR 16.5…Dark-fruit aroma and flavour, the Cabernet component evident. Supple and round then length and freshness on the finish. Competent and well made if lacking Margaux charm.

D'Issan 2023 [WA 93-95, JS 96-97, VIN 93-95, JR 16+]
WA 93-95...The 2023 D'Issan shows excellent potential, unfurling in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cassis, pen ink and white flowers, followed by a medium to full-bodied, velvety and enveloping palate that's rich, fleshy and charming, with lively acids, good depth at the core and a long, sapid finish. It's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.


JS 96-97...The purity of the fruit is really wonderful here, with blackcurrants, orange peel and raspberries. Aromatic. Full body, chewy tannins and a juicy finish. But it remains linear and vivid. The quality of the tannins and the powdery texture are really alluring. Silky. And so precise.


VIN 93-95... The 2023 d'Issan is a powerful, dense wine, especially for a property where the wines tend to be more understated. A rich, muscular Margaux, the 2023 d'Issan exudes intensity in all of its dimensions. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2023 is going to need a number of years to shed some of its considerable baby fat. Dried herbs, tobacco, incense and bold, dark-toned fruit flow into the deep, resonant finish.


JR 16+...Pleasing Cabernet-dominated aromas. Palate firm, fresh and structured but a bit recalcitrant today. Touch austere – needs to settle.

Durfort-Vivens 2023 [WA 94-95, JS 95-96, VIN 92-95, JR 16.5]

WA 94-95...The 2023 Durfort Vivens is once again dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, which represents 92% of the blend. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of minty cassis, plums and berries mingled with hints of pencil shavings and violets, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with good concentration, sweet tannins and a long, penetrating finish. With a pH of 3.66 and 13.7% alcohol, it's a resounding success.


JS 95-96...This has very fresh, lively and almost al-dente fruit. It’s mouthwatering and juicy. Medium-to full-bodied, refined and seamless. Long, with a firm backbone of tannins that are very fine and polished. Crunchy and structured. Chewy at the end.

VIN 92-95...The 2023 Durfort-Vivens is a very pretty, understated wine. In 2023, Durfort is marked by a brighter profile than usual: red fruit, blood orange and flowers. Medium in body and persistent, with good energy and very fine balance, the 2023 is promising. Even though it's showing a touch of oak at this stage, this layered and sumptuous offering is showing well.
JR 16.5...Deep purple hue. Expressive fruit with just a hint of toasted oak. Firm structure with polished tannins but not quite the finesse of 2022.
Margaux 2023 [WA 95-97, JS 99-100, VIN 97-100, JR 16.5]

WA 95-97... The 2023 Château Margaux shows considerable promise, unfurling in the glass with aromas of cassis, violets, spring flowers and sweet tobacco, framed by a deft touch of new oak. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's taut, concentrated and classically structured, with sweet, refined tannins and lively acids, concluding with a long, mouthwatering finish. It's a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that attained 13% alcohol.


JS 99-100... The aromas in this young Margaux are so primary, reminding me of grape must fermenting in the vat, then turning to perfumes and flowers. Violets and roses. Full-bodied but it comes across as so agile and bright, with vivid acidity that makes the wine crunchy and linear. As Alexis, one of the owners of Margaux said, this really shows the DNA of the estate. Weightless. One of the wines of the vintage.


VIN 97-100...Antonio Galloni, April 2024 The 2023 Château Margaux is fabulous. Sensual, silky and exceptionally polished, the 2023 Château Margaux is shaping up to be a classic. Seamless, silky tannins wrap around a core of dark red/purplish fruit. Hints of spice, new leather, menthol, licorice and rose petal fill out the glass. There's a bit of new oak peeking through today, but that won't be an issue in a few years' time. Only Bordeaux can produce wines that offer so much flavor intensity at a low alcohols. Margaux is the least showy of the First Growths, but it is often the most refined. The 2023 is sublime.


JR 16.5+... Perfumed, floral with silky tannins. Less power but more ‘Margaux’ than 2022. Soft attack, freshness and decent length. Overall good balance.

Pavillon Rouge de Margaux 2023 [WA 92-94, JS 96-97, VIN 90-93, JR 16.5]

WA 92-94... Somewhat reminiscent of a cooler-fruited version of the lovely 2019, Château Margaux's 2023 Pavillon Rouge wafts from the glass with aromas of cassis, raspberries, licorice and pipe tobacco, deftly framed by creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with a sweet core of fruit, ripe tannins and a lively, succulent profile, it's a blend 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc that attained 13.3% alcohol.


JS 96-97... Very Chateau Margaux, with perfumed violets, currants and other berries, as well as oranges. Medium body with fine, caressing tannins that are tight and vivid. Racy and refined. Brightness and beauty to this second wine. Succulent. Refined. One of the best Pavillon Rouges in a while. 30% of the production.


VIN 90-93... The 2023 Pavillon Rouge is a deep, intense wine. Bright acids drive a core of dark red-toned fruit, spice and flowers. There's a bit more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, which makes structural elements stand out, but the tannins are on the lower side analytically. I would give this a few
years to come together. Pavillon Rouge represents 30% of the château's production.


JR 16.5... Perfumed, floral with silky tannins. Less power but more ‘Margaux’ than 2022. Soft attack, freshness and decent length. Overall good balance.


Brane Cantenac 2023 [WA 93-95, JS 95-96, VIN 94-96, JR 17]
WA 93-95...The 2023 Brane-Cantenac is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot (which saw some saignée), 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carmenère and 1% Petit Verdot, and it completed its malolactic fermentation in barrels as has been the rule at this estate since the 1990s. Offering up aromas of dark cherries, cassis and spices framed by creamy new oak, it's medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy, with a creamy core of fruit and a long, gently lactic finish.


JS 95-96...This shows very pretty fruit and ultra-fine tannins that have an almost al-dente sense to them. It has a medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh, vivid finish. The tannin quality is exceptional.


VIN 94-96...The 2023 Brane-Cantenac is a sensual, silky wine. There's plenty of depth and structure behind that, but the first impression is most definitely one of elegance. Crushed flowers, spice and dried herbs meld into a core of super-expressive, dark, red-toned fruit. The 100% new oak is
impeccably balanced within the wine's frame. Brane-Cantenac remains one of the best relative values in Bordeaux, or anywhere, for that matter. This is a fine effort from proprietor Henri Lurton and his team. Tasted two times.


JR 17...Good depth of fruit marked by the Cabernet. Cassis and mint aromas. Fine, linear and long, the tannins polished and integrated. Really quite refined.

Rauzan Segla 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, VIN 96-98, JR 17]
WA 94-96...The 2023 Rauzan-Ségla shows considerable promise, unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries, dark berries and plums mingled with hints of pencil shavings and violets. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, it's deep and fleshy, with terrific purity of fruit, supple tannins and a long, resonant finish. This classic in the making is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% Merlot and 1.5% Petit Verdot.


JS 97-98... A Rauzan-Segla with solid tannins that are muscular, well toned and beautiful. Black currants, blueberries and flowers. Chewy finish. One for the cellar. Classic. The cabernet went to the gym.


VIN 96-98... The 2023 Rauzan-Ségla is fabulous. Rich, dense and explosive, the 2023 soars out of the glass with captivating aromatics. Readers will find a vertical, deep Margaux endowed with tremendous character and nuance. All the elements are so well-balanced. Crushed rocks, plum, blood orange, spice and leather are some of the notes that explode into the finish. In 2023, the Grand Vin is distinctly red-fruited and vibrant. Rauzan-Ségla is one of the most memorable wines of the vintage. It was nothing short of stellar on the four occasions I tasted it.


JR 17.. Reserved nose but plenty of depth. Generous fruit on the palate complemented by a firm but fine tannic frame. Reasonable persistence.

Pavillon Blanc de Margaux 2023 [WA 93-95, JS 96-97, VIN 92-94, JR 16.5]
WA 93-95...The 2023 Pavillon Blanc from Château Margaux, harvested during the morning hours of the August 23-30 heatwave, possesses a deep, complex bouquet of spring flowers, lemon oil, ripe orchard fruits, lemongrass and sweet gooseberries, followed by a medium to full-bodied, round and concentrated palate that's animated by lively acids, concluding with a long, taut, delicately phenolic finish. This bottling amounts to only 45% of the entire crop, the rest being relegated to a second wine.
JS 96-97... This is quite a big Pavillon Blanc with sliced pineapple, ripe apple, lemon and stone. It's full-bodied, layered and phenolic with a ripe sense to it, but then it’s citrusy and salty. Like fresh oysters. Reminds me of vintages from the 1980s, but with more freshness and clarity.
VIN 92-94... The 2023 Pavillon Blanc is quite powerful in this vintage, marked by a combination of creamy, textured fruit, bright acids and an almost
phenolic feel that adds pseudo-tannic structure. I imagine the 2023 will need a few years in bottle. Pavillon Blanc is usually more immediate and racier, but the 2023 looks like more of a long-distance runner. Lemon confit, almond and white flowers unfurl in the glass.
JR 16.5... Pale yellow. Sleek and aromatic with citrus, pear and mineral notes. Less concentration than some years but long, poised and zesty, that stony minerality reappearing on the finish.


Haut Medoc

La Tour Carnet 2023 [JS 92-93, VIN 91-93, JR 15.5]
JS 92-93... A white with character, showing sliced apple, lime and pear as well as minerals. Medium-bodied, crisp and crunchy.


VIN 91-93... The 2023 La Tour Carnet is superb. La Tour Carnet is one of Bordeaux's hidden gems. The 2023 is another fine edition. Dried herbs, leather, incense, licorice, crushed flowers, chocolate and spice lend notable aromatic complexity. Medium in body and nuanced, the 2023 has so much to offer. In this vintage, it benefits from the addition of fruit from Bernard Magrez's estate in Saint-Estèphe. In some tastings, La Tour Carnet has been more opulent. Either way, few wines in Bordeaux offer a better mix of quality and value.


JR 15.5...Red-fruit notes from the Merlot. Fresh but a little lean on the palate. Robust and chewy on the finish. Seems to lack a bit of depth.


St. Emilion

Belair Monange 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, VIN 95-97, JR 17+]
WA 94-96...The 2023 Belair Monange is the first vintage from this newly created property that incorporates a balance of fruit from the plateau and fruit from the hillsides, as restructured and replanted parcels are returning to production. Wafting from the glass with attractive aromas of raspberries, violets and kirsch mingled with hints of incense, licorice and rose petals, it's medium to full-bodied, fleshy and layered, with a deep and textural core of fruit, lively acids and powdery tannins, retaining a cool, ethereal profile that foregrounds its limestone origins.
JS 97-98...There’s finesse and beauty to this, with blackberry, dark-chocolate, bark, mushroom and forest-floor character. But it’s all class. Caresses your palate. Medium- to full-bodied and very long. Persistent and sophisticated.
VIN 95-97...The 2023 Bélair-Monange was picked September 11 to 29 at around 45hL/ha. It has a very intense, very well-defined bouquet: black cherries, mulberry and light iodine mixed with estuarine scents-scintillas of kelp and oyster shell in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, very fresh and animated. Focused and mineral-driven, the 2023 has one of the most refined finishes that you'll find on the Right Bank this year. This is a very strong follow-up to the 2022 and it may even surpass it, though this is cut from a very different cloth insofar that it is unapologetically more classic in style.
JR 17+... Pure and lifted, the fruit at a perfect pitch of ripeness. Refined texture, the tannins velvety and super-fine. Reasonably dense and persistent. Finishes with a chalky freshness.
Cheval Blanc 2023 [WA 98-100, JS 98-99, VIN 96-98, JR 18]
WA 98-100…One of the most profound wines of the vintage is the 2023 Cheval Blanc, a striking wine that stands out for its strong sense of identity and seamless integration at such an early stage in its life. Wafting from the glass with notes of mulberries, lilac, dark fruits, iris root and violets, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and seamless, with a gourmand core of cool, vibrant fruit that entirely conceals its sweet structuring tannins, concluding with a long, perfumed finish. It's a blend of 52% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, drawing on fully 46 of the blocks that make up Cheval Blanc, and it attained 13.8% alcohol.


JS 98-99…This is so cabernet, with blackcurrants, blackberries, crushed stone, graphite and lead pencil. Full-bodied with tight, chewy tannins that remain fine yet energetic. Winemaker Pierre-Olivier Clouet says this wine is a benchmark for Cheval Blanc. Reminds me of the great 1983. 13.8% alcohol. 52% merlot, 46% cabernet franc and 2% cabernet sauvignon.


VIN 96-98...The 2023 Cheval Blanc is uncharacteristically backward on first meeting, and it takes time to really fire up its engines. Quite strict and focused (surprisingly so), the bouquet reveals black fruit, a touch of bilberry, with just a whiff of iris flower. The palate has wonderful symmetry, outstanding mineralité and ample tension. It's extremely pure, with less weight than the 2022 but perhaps a touch more nerve. Modestly grippy on the finish, this "serious" Cheval Blanc will deserve several years in bottle. It's cerebral...and I like that. The 2023 is very different from the 2022 -a beautiful minor chord.

JR 18…Purple hue. Restrained compared with Petit Cheval but dense and beguiling. Bright, fresh and smooth but plenty of punch from a polished but solid tannic core. Abundant fruit. Long. Should hold up well.
Cheval Blanc Le Petit Cheval 2023 [WA 89-91, JS 94-95, VIN 91-93, JR 16.5]
WA 89-91...There are only 15,000 bottles of the 2023 Le Petit Cheval, a blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc that didn't have quite the plenitude of the grand vin. Offering up an attractive bouquet of minty berries, cherries, plums and petals, it's medium-bodied, pillowy and vibrant, with polished tannins and a bright core of fruit. I suspect that a bit of patience will be rewarded by more fat and texture.
JS 94-95...There’s depth of fruit, good structure and freshness in this black-cherry and chocolate-scented wine. It’s full-bodied, yet it tightens up on the finish. Toned, muscular and crisp. 10% of the production of Cheval. 50% merlot and 50% cabernet franc.
VIN 91-93...The 2023 Le Petit Cheval, which sees no new oak, offers blackberry and raspberry fruit on the nose, with hints of fireside hearth and light Earl Grey aromas, all finely delineated. The palate is medium-bodied with expressive Cabernet Franc that imparts subtle bell pepper notes in the background. Cohesive, silky-smooth and moderate in length, this is an attractive Le Petit Cheval that will give a decade's drinking pleasure.
JR 16.5…Leafy and floral, the Cabernet Franc notable. Very smooth with fine, filigree tannins for medium-term ageing. Lots of freshness, so appetising.
Quintus 2023 [WA 93-95, JS 95-96, VIN 94-96, JR 16]

WA 93-95...This year, the 2023 Quintus is a well-performing wine, possessing a dense, complex bouquet of smoke, dark wild berries and licorice intertwined with a delicate, oaky frame. Fleshy and ample, medium to full-bodied, it’s perfectly balanced with a delicate, lively core of fruit and a long, ethereal and chalky finish. The influence of the Grand Pontet limestone plateau lends additional straightness and precision to this wine, a blend of 78.3% Merlot and 21.7% Cabernet Franc.


JS 95-96...The purity of the fruit here is so impressive, with raspberry, lead pencil, cedar and sandalwood. Medium to full body with very fine and intense tannins that run the length of the wine. Mineral. Tensioned. Beautifully integrated and sophisticated at the end. Lightly salty. 78.3% merlot and 21.7% cabernet franc.

VIN 94-96...The 2023 Quintus is a rich, racy Grand Vin. Ample and resonant, the 2023 offers up copious dark- toned fruit, cedar, mint, tobacco, incense and French oak. There's tons of power and breadth but also more freshness than the early vintages, even if the oak is a touch present today.
JR 16...Hedgerow-fruit aroma and flavour. Round, supple and fresh. Crunchy fruit with light but fine tannins. Appealing and almost ready to go.
Canon La Gaffeliere 2023 [WA 90-92, JS 96-97, VIN 94-97, JR 16.5]

WA 90-92…The 2023 Canon la Gaffelière offers up aromas of minty berries, plums, pencil shavings, dried herbs and bay leaf, followed by a medium to full-bodied, bright and crunchy palate underpinned by tangy acids and chalky tannins. It's a blend of 35% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

JS 96-97...Showing al-dente fruit with raspberries, orange peel and other hints of bitter citrus. Medium-bodied with creamy and medium, round tannins leading to a salty finish. Cabernet franc really showing through.
VIN 94-97...The 2023 Canon La Gaffelière is a powerful, dense wine. In recent years Canon La Gaffelière has been on the more perfumed side, but the 2023 moves in a direction of textural intensity. On the other hand, its balance is compelling. Dark red-toned fruit, pomegranate, spice, blood orange, mint and dried herbs open, but only with great reluctance. Tannins are present but also buried by the fruit.
JR 16.5...Lighter crimson. Leafy, floral nose. Juicy fruit. Medium weight. Some persistence. Lighter in fruit concentration but well made.
Ausone 2023 [WA 95-97, JS 98-99, VIN 96-98, JR 17.5]
WA 95-97...The 2023 Ausone reveals an incipient bouquet of violet, smoke, dark wild berries, spices and cherries, all beautifully interwoven with creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with a rich chassis of tannin, it has a vibrant core of fruit and a long, mineral, vanillin-inflected finish. At 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, this ranks alongside the 2014 vintage as one of the most Cabernet-dominant Ausone vintages of recent years, and it will mature for 20 months in new oak barrels.


JS 98-99...I don't think I have tasted an Ausone like this. The purity of fruit and fluidity is so primary, like perfectly picked grapes with their juice. Then there is citrus freshness. It's muscular, with toned tannins that caress the palate and give a seamless finish. This really could push the boundaries for the character of Ausone, in the way of finesse with structure.


VIN 96-98...The 2023 Ausone is a powerful, heady wine. Dark, layered and explosive, the 2023 possesses tremendous depth and tons of sheer resonance, something that becomes increasingly apparent with time in the glass. Strong saline notes frame a core of dark-toned fruit, mocha, spice, new leather, pencil shavings and lavender. The savory, mineral-drenched finish is eternal. All the 2023 needs is time. Readers lucky enough to own it should be thrilled.


JR 17.5...Cool and refined but very embryonic. Floral notes with a vanilla edge, the oak not yet fully integrated. Pitch-perfect ripeness, the fruit succulent, the tannins all but hidden. Plenty of freshness, length and drive.

La Mondotte 2023 [WA 92-94, JS 97-98, VIN 95-97, JR 16.5]
WA 92-94...I typically have a weakness for Canon-la-Gaffelière in the von Niepperg portfolio, but this year it's the 2023 La Mondotte, a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, that stands out as the highlight of the range. Revealing aromas of dark berries, licorice and petals, framed by creamy new oak, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and harmonious, with good depth at the core, supple tannin and a penetrating finish.
JS 97-98... A dense yet agile wine with blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and citrus aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied with fine tannins that spread across the palate, running the length of the wine and helping it to last for minutes on the finish
VIN 95-97...The 2023 La Mondotte is fabulous. In fact, the 2023 is one of the best Mondottes I can remember tasting. A wine of vertical, explosive energy, La Mondotte dazzles from the very first taste. Inky dark fruit, mocha, lavender, new leather, spice and dried herbs build as this dynamic, complex Saint-Émilion shows off its compelling personality. Superb.
JR 16.5...Crimson hue. Red- and dark-fruit notes. Supple fruit with a fine tannic frame. Freshness enhanced by the chalky terroir. Saline edge to the finish. 
Chapelle d'Ausone 2023 [WA 91-93, VIN 92-94, JR 16.6]
WA 91-93...A fresh, delicate bouquet of cassis, violet, iris, raspberries and mulberries introduces the 2023 Chapelle d'Ausone, a medium to full-bodied, concentrated and textured wine with a fleshy core of fruit structured around chalky tannins and a long, precise finish.
VIN 92-94...The 2023 Chapelle d'Ausone is fabulous, as it often is. Succulent, ripe tannins give the 2023 tons of pure charm. Dark red/purplish fruit, lavender, spice, menthol, licorice and mocha all run through this sumptuous yet structured Saint-Émilion. This will be stellar in another few years time.
JR 16.5...Dense and floral with a hint of minty freshness. Smooth attack then plenty of line and length, the fruit enrobing the tannins. Freshness through and through.
Angelus 2023 [WA 95-96, JS 97-98, VIN 94-96, JR 17.5]
WA 95-96... A classic blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the 2023 Angélus reflects this estate's continuing evolution with regard to ripeness, extraction and élevage choices, offering up attractive aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with hints of mint, potpourri, rose petals, vine smoke and orange zest. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and supple, with a velvety attack that segues into a core of pure, pillowy fruit framed by supple, powdery tannins, it's cool and harmonious, concluding with a long, perfumed finish. This is a terrific effort that foregrounds the vintage and the terroir at their best.
JS 97-98...The transparency of fruit and the finesse is really something here. There’s depth and beauty to the pristine, fresh fruit. Full-bodied and muscular with wonderful tannins that provide tension and form. Subtle and weightless, this is a thought-provoking young wine.
VIN 94-96...The 2023 Angélus is elegant and polished right out of the gate. Floral top notes and bright acids bring out the more refined side of Angélus. The 2023 shows how much Angélus has evolved in recent years. Bright red-toned fruit, blood orange, mint and rose petal lend notable verve. The blend is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. About half of the Franc is being raised in foudre. All the elements are so well integrated for a young wine. It is one of the best recent vintages I have tasted.
JR 17.5... Deep purple hue. Complex nose with floral and dark-fruit notes. Rich, smooth and dense on the palate, the tannins fine but firm and tightly wound. Exudes a certain power and austerity at the moment but clearly built to age.
Le Carillon de l'Angelus 2023 [WA 91-93, JS 94-95, VIN 90-92, JR 16+]
WA 91-93...The 2023 Le Carillon d'Angélus, as usual a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, exhibits attractive aromas of cherries, raspberries and blackberries mingled with hints of exotic spices, vine smoke and violets. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and polished, it's layered and enveloping, with a charming, seamless profile and a long, mouthwatering finish. As readers will by now 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...There’s depth and beauty to this wine. It offers crunchy fruit, a chalky undertone and a hint of raw coffee bean. Medium body. Fine tannins. Bright and transparent.
VIN 90-92...The 2023 Carillon d'Angélus is juicy, supple and quite inviting. Soft contours wrap around a core of plum, red cherry, cedar, new leather, licorice and pipe tobacco. The blend is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Bright, saline notes from the Franc add freshness to complement the forward Merlot fruit. 
JR 16+...Crimson hue. Lifted floral nose. Sweet attack, the fruit filling the mid palate. Fine tannins with a slight chalky edge. A degree of tension, the finish perhaps a touch hard.

Troplong Mondot 2023 [WA 95-97, JS 97-98, VIN 95-98, JR 16]
WA 95-97... A blend of 84% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, the 2023 Troplong Mondot unwinds in the glass with aroma of black raspberries, mulberries and cherries mingled with notions of iris, licorice, black tea and spices. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's textural and mouthfilling, with the mid-palate density so typical of this terroir, its concentrated core of fruit framed by beautifully polished tannins and succulent acids.

JS 97-98... A tight and very focused young Troplong with freshness and finesse that adds plenty. Medium to full body, ultra-fine tannins and a vivid finish. Lots of blackberry and blueberry character. It really opens and envelops your palate, caressing every square inch. Cashmere-like texture. The limestone comes through beautifully.

VIN 95-98... The 2023 Troplong Mondot was harvested from September 5 to October 9, with 60-70% picked within nine or ten days; other parcels were "stragglers" that required more time. There is actually 4-5% whole clusters in the blend,and according to Aymeric de Gironde, it works like the vin de presse, glueing components of the wine together. Sulfur is only added when the wine is put into barrel. The 2023 has a very well-defined and focused bouquet with pure blackberry, raspberry, ground chalk and light sea cave scents. The palate is medium-bodied with a very crisp and mineral-driven entry. It's chalky in texture and quite tensile in the mouth, with a dash of black pepper on the finish. This is an individualistic Saint-Émilion that will fill out during its élevage. Very long.

JR 16... Juicy and fresh with red-berry aromas. Some sweetness but the chalky terroir notes are there from start to finish. Finishes bright and clean.

Canon 2023 [WA 96-98, JS 99-100, VIN 94-96, JR 17+]
WA 96-98... Wafting from the glass with aromas of mulberries and raspberries mingled with spices, rose petals, licorice and violets, the 2023 Canon is another brilliant wine from a property whose excellence can almost be taken for granted. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's seamless and concentrated, its vibrant core of fruit framed by sweet, powdery tannins and girdled by lively acids, concluding with a long, mineral finish.


JS 99-100... This is so elegant and sophisticated already, with a really electric presence and length that goes on and on. It's medium- to full-bodied with an intensity of tannins. It remains weightless and energetic. The pH is 3.41, making this a vivid and lively wine. Currant, orange and stone. Sea salt, too. The limestone soils created a unique wine here in 2023.


VIN 94-96... A wine of classicism and reserve, the 2023 Canon is less overtly expressive than most recent vintages, keeping much of its personality in reserve. Nevertheless, I watched it grow considerably over the two weeks I spent in Bordeaux. Bright red-toned fruit, blood orange, mint and spice are some of the many notes that open in the glass. It is a wine that marries generous fruit with classical rigor. I won't be surprised if it shows even better with time. Tasted four times.


JR 17+... Crimson hue. Energy and complexity on the nose. Supple, layered fruit on the palate. Fine tannins with some persistence. Elegant and true to its limestone-plateau origin.

Clos Fourtet 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, VIN 94-96, JR 17+]

WA 94-96...The 2023 Clos Fourtet is especially suave and refined this year, wafting from the glass with deep aromas of red berries, licorice, violets and pencil shavings, framed by a nicely integrated patina of new oak. Medium to full-bodied, supple and layered, with a velvety attack that segues into a bright, precise mid-palate, it's pure and lively, concluding with a mineral finish.


JS 97-98...This is so full of energy. It’s full-bodied with electrified tannins and a long, long finish. So polish and focus here with exquisite balance and length.

VIN 94-96...The 2023 Clos Fourtet is pure class. Elegant and soaring, the 2023 offers up an exciting mélange of dark-toned fruit, leather, incense, dried herbs, pencil shavings and crushed rocks. Beams of supporting limestone-infused tannin and acid give Clos Fourtet is super-distinctive feel. The long, enduring finish is a thing of beauty. Clos Fourtet remains a benchmark example of wines from Saint-Émilion's famed limestone plateau. Tasted two times.

JR 17+... Aromatically complex and enticing. Layered fruit on the palate with a firm but refined tannic frame. Juicy and fresh with a marked chalky character. Some potential. A success for the vintage.



L'Evangile 2023 [WA 93-95, JS 95-96, VIN 94-96]

WA 93-95... Wafting from the glass with deep aromas of dark berries, spices, licorice and petals, framed by a sweet patina of new oak, the 2023 L'Evangile is medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with a textural attack that segues into a supple, integrated core that's framed by sweet, powdery tannins. It's a blend of 78% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, checking in at 13.5% alcohol, that was harvested between September 4 and 28.


JS 95-96... The depth of fruit and creamy tannin structure show the class and beauty of this wine. It’s rich in ever-so-polished tannins that caress every inch of your palate. Medium to full body. Lovely finish. 95% merlot and 5% cabernet franc.

VIN 94-96...The 2023 L'Évangile was picked from September 4 to 28 at 42hL/ha, which is the highest for many years. Matured in 50% new oak (including 15 foudres) and 8% in amphoras (my sample only from used barrels), this has a very floral and precise bouquet with dark red fruit, blueberry, hints of blood orange and light sous-bois scents. It's very L'Evangile. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannins. Crisp and precise, there's fine tension toward the finish with a lingering black pepper note. This is a lovely L'Évangile that deserves five or six years in bottle. It will be worth the
Gazin 2023 [WA 88-90, JS 95-96, VIN 91-93, JR 16.5]
WA 88-90...Revealing aromas of dark berries, cassis and cherries, the 2023 Gazin is medium to full-bodied, firm and compact, with a dense core of fruit framed by chewy tannins.


JS 95-96...Very classy, with a crushed-stone and terra-cotta highlight to the blackberry, chocolate and hazelnut character. It’s medium-bodied with a personality that grows on the finish and delivers intensity and length at the end. Very long. Very structured. We will see which is better, 2022 or 2023.


VIN 91-93...The 2023 Gazin is deep, layered and exceptionally well-balanced. All the elements are in the right place. Dark red/purplish fruit, spice, leather, tobacco and dried herbs all meld together in a seamless, super-expressive Pomerol that hints at a very bright future. This is a fine follow up to the 2022.


JR 16.5... Red fruit with a chocolate note. Ripe and rounded on the palate. Tannins fine and integrated. Persistence on the finish. Some ageing potential.

Vieux Chateau Certan 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, VIN 96-98, JR 17.5]


WA 94-96... The 2023 Vieux Château Certan bursts from the glass with demonstrative aromas of dark berries, pencil shavings, violets mingled with notions of burning embers, iris, crushed mint and black tea. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and sensual, with a gourmand attack that segues into a layered, enveloping mid-palate, it's polished and perfumed, with a sweet core of fruit and a long, gently oak-inflected finish. This year's blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc checks in at 14% alcohol and a pH of 3.74.

JS 97-98... A very fine and polished young VCC with subtle density and a racy backbone of tannins. Compact with well-toned muscles and a persistent finish. Very silky. Really grows at the end. 82% merlot and 18% cabernet franc.

VIN 96-98... The 2023 Vieux Château Certan is like a drug. Its exotic aromatics, deeply layered fruit and sublime textures are just captivating. I tasted the 2023 from an assembled base blend and four core components. Every wine was nothing short of breathtaking. When I think of the archetypes of greatness in Bordeaux, VCC is one of them. The 2023 is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Like all producers, Alexandre and Guillaume were forced to decide whether to pick their Cabernets before or after the September rains. As it turned out, none of the lots picked before the rain made it into the Grand Vin. Only those picked later were deemed of high enough quality.

JR 17.5... Fresh, floral and complex. Sweet start then suave and smooth, the fruit crunchy and juicy. Ripe, fine tannic frame. Not the overt power of 2022 but structured and ageworthy all the same.


La Fleur-Petrus 2023 [WA 94-96 JS 97-98, VIN 94-96, JR 17]

WA 94-96...The 2023 La Fleur-Pétrus is very attractive, unfurling in the glass with aromas of dark berries, sweet cherries and plums mingled with hints of incense and spices, discreetly framed by new oak. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and layered, it's deep and textural, its rich core of fruit framed by plenty of sweet, powdery tannin.


JS 97-98...Very tight for this chateau, with blackberry, chocolate and black-cherry character, as well as a hint of smoky oak. Full and very poised with focus and beauty.


VIN 94-96... The 2023 La Fleur-Pétrus is fabulous. Increasingly, I find it one the most complete Pomerols in the Moueix range. Perhaps, that's because it comes from numerous parcels throughout the appellation and is therefore a wine that greatly benefits from blending. Bright acids and floral top notes add lift to a core of red-toned fruit. Hints of cedar, sweet pipe tobacco, mint and orange peel linger on the beautifully persistent finish.


JR 17...Violet-ruby hue. Red-berry aromas. Really refined palate, the fruit juicy and pure, the tannins extremely fine. Not much sweetness but clean, fresh and persistent. Plenty of charm.

Hosanna 2023 [WA 92-94, JS 98-99, VIN 95-97, JR 16.5]

WA 92-94...Rich and gourmand, the 2023 Hosanna wafts from the glass with aromas of ripe berries, baked red fruits and cherries, framed by hints of fresh mint and creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and layered, it's a rich, textural wine with a ripe core of slightly liqueured fruit, supple tannins and a long, vanillin-inflected finish.


JS 98-99... Wow. This is really structured and sizzling with dark fruit, such as blackberries and blueberries. Salty, racy aftertaste. The tannins are energetic and so long, driving the wine through an almost endless finish. Lots of old vines used for this.


VIN 95-97...The 2023 Hosanna is a classic wine from this property. Rich, ample and explosive, the 2023 offers up copious dark-toned fruit, mocha, new leather, licorice and chocolate notes. As always, Hosanna is marked by its textural breadth, volume and dark flavor profile conferred by old vines planted in the mid 1950s, just after the 1956 frost. Of the 4.5 hectares, one was replanted in the early 2000s. The 2023 is a fine example.


JR 16.5...A more elegant offering this year. Deep purple colour. Dark-fruit and floral notes. Smooth and comfortable on the palate, the fruit pure and the tannins finely honed.

Latour a Pomerol 2023 [WA 92-94, JS 94-95, VIN 91-94, JR 16.5]
WA 92-94...Jean-Pierre Moueix's "fermage" of this estate began in 1962, and his eponymous firm has only just acquired ownership of the vineyards to produce the 2023 Latour à Pomerol, which gives one a sense of how long it can take to acquire land in Pomerol! Offering up aromas of minty cherries, cassis, rose petals and petroleum jelly, the wine is medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy, with a generous core of sun-kissed fruit, sweet, powdery tannins and a broad, penetrating finish.
JS 94-95...This is structured and focused, with firm tannins and a polished texture. Seamless and long with medium to full body. Deep and layered on the palate, building to a rather muscular finish. Big at the end. Almost rustic in style.
VIN 91-94...The 2023 Latour à Pomerol is a powerful wine. Swaths of tannin make a strong opening impression. There's plenty of fruit behind all that structure, but this is a wine that could go either way during élevage. In other words, it may come together more fully, or not.
JR 16.5...Ripe, expressive, fruit pastille aroma and flavour. Sweet-fruited but fresh and juicy on the palate. Fine tannins provide persistence. As regular and reliable as clockwork.


Pessac Leognan

Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, VIN 94-96, JR 16.5]

WA 94-96...The 2023 Domaine de Chevalier reveals a perfumed, incipiently complex bouquet of dark wild berries, cassis, rose petals, spices and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and rich, with a fleshy core of fruit framed by powdery tannins and bright acids, it concludes with a long, saline, gently oak-inflected finish. This blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc is maturing in 40% new barrels.


JS 97-98... Plenty of blackberry, blackcurrant, chocolate and flint aromas that follow through to a full body, yet it’s in check and focused with a beautiful framing of fine tannins. The purity of ripe fruit is impressive with cabernet really showing through.


VIN 94-96... The 2023 Domaine de Chevalier is beautifully resonant in the glass. Deep, layered and quite persistent, the 2023 has so much to offer. In many vintages, this red needs time to be at its best, but this edition has enough forward fruit to make me think it will drink well with minimal cellaring, even if the acids remain brisk. Graphite, dried herbs, menthol, licorice and rose petal build into the tense, saline-infused finish. The 2023 is all finesse.


JR 16.5...Crimson hue. Pretty red-berry nose with a touch of vanilla oak. Tannins supple and refined. Length on the finish. Elegant in style but not quite at the top of its game.

Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, VIN 94-96, JR 16.5]

WA 94-96...A perfumed, complex bouquet of pear, white peach, hazelnuts, lime tree leaves and spring flowers prefaces the 2023 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, a medium to full-bodied, fleshy and concentrated wine with racy acids, chalky, structuring dry extract, and a bright, vibrant profile that's rare in this vintage. This is a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon.


JS 97-98...This is layered and complex with an impressive mineral tension and depth. Medium- to full-bodied, very long and persistent. It has oyster shell, crushed stone and citrus peel character with racy acidity coming through, adding to its length and tension. Very long and firm at the end with a backbone of fine tannins for a white.


VIN 94-96...The 2023 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is one of the best dry whites of the year. Creamy and expansive, with terrific brightness, this exudes balance. Citrus confit, white pepper, mint, almond, pear and crushed rocks are some of the notes that build as the 2023 shows off its pedigree. I expect it will offer exceptional drinking for the next several decades.


JR 16.5...Sauvignon character evident on the nose. Certain depth of fruit on the palate but a little more forward than usual. Less éclat at the moment but Chevalier often surprises with a bit of bottle age.

Haut Brion 2023 [WA 95-97, JS 98-99, VIN 96-98, JR 17.5]

WA 95-97...The 2023 Haut-Brion exhibits a more Cabernet-inflected personality than the richer 2022, offering up a deep but youthfully reserved bouquet of dark wild berries, licorice, smoke and pencil lead mingled with notions of cigar wrapper, nicely integrated new oak and spices. Full-bodied, deep and velvety, it’s layered and concentrated, with a deep core of fruit structured around abundant but velvety tannins, concluding with a long, controlled finish. Somewhat reminiscent of the estate's successful 2006, it's a blend of 52.3% Merlot, 38.6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9.1% Cabernet Franc.


JS 98-99...This is tight, yet so upright and proper, with a vertical line of fine tannin that runs true and deep. It’s medium- to full-bodied with an exquisite texture and a long, structured finish.


VIN 96-98...The 2023 Haut-Brion was picked at the same time as the La Mission Haut-Brion, albeit the secateurs sheathed one day later, on October 6. The nose is less immediate than the La Mission and the fruit is a little darker: blackcurrant, juniper, hints of black olive and a light cedar scent. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grip and tension. This has superb energy, presenting a crescendo of flavors toward a complex and persistent finish that lingers in the mouth. There is real pedigree to this First Growth, and it will certainly give 30 to 40 years of drinking pleasure.


JR 17.5...Seems to have more intensity than La Mission. Deep, floral and fresh. Very fine tannins with that plush, velvety texture only Haut-Brion can do. Builds on the palate to a persistent finish so there’s a certain power as well. Stony-fresh finish.

Le Clarence de Haut-Brion 2023 [WA 91-93, JS 95-96, VIN 91-93, JR 16+]

WA 91-93...With aromas of ripe raspberries, dark wild berries and flowers, the 2023 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a moderately weighted, firm and dense wine on the palate with sweet structuring tannins and a long, vibrant finish. This blend of 55.5% Merlot, 40.9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3.6% Cabernet Franc is a great bottle in the making.


JS 95-96...Intensity and focus to this, with length and raciness for the second wine of Haut-Brion, showing polish and a refined texture. It’s medium-bodied with ultra-fine tannins and an exquisite finish. Caressing. 55.5% merlot, 40.9% cabernet sauvignon and 3.6% cabernet franc.


VIN 91-93...The 2023 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a heady wine. Here, the tannins are especially polished, almost uncharacteristically so, even through they are very much present. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, spice, new leather and gravel build effortlessly in the glass. Bright acids punctuate the finish. The 2023 is a showy Clarence with tons of character.


JR 16+...More reticent than La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion but shows a stony, Graves character. Juicy fruit and refined tannins. Dances on the palate but needs a little more volume. Good medium-term drinking.

Haut Brion Blanc 2023 [WA 93-94, JS 97-98, VIN 93-96, JR 16.5]

WA 93-94...A bit shy, the 2023 Haut-Brion Blanc exhibits aromas of lemon, lemon oil, crisp stone fruits and spring flowers, followed by a medium to full-bodied, dense and fleshy palate that's round and layered, with chalky underlying structure and a long, mineral finish. It's a blend of 58% Sauvignon Blanc and 42% Sémillon.


JS 97-98...The Haut Brion is open and very pretty, with sliced lemon, pear and white-peach character, as well as a hint of lemon grass. It’s full and layered with structure and focus. Crunchy finish. Fine phenolics and vibrant fruit for the vintage. 58.1% sauvignon blanc and 41.9% semillon.

VIN 93-96...The 2023 Haut-Brion Blanc is a quiet, restrained white. Pear, mint, white pepper and crushed rocks are all beautifully sketched, its mineral character emerging with time. The 2023 is not an obvious wine, initially quite aromatic but less expressive on the palate. The long, sustained finish takes things to another level. Complex and dynamic, the 2023 grows over time, hinting at an exceptionally brilliant future.
JR 16.5...Translucent hue. Aromatically dominated by the Sauvignon – citrus notes with a grassy edge. Bit more weight to the mid palate than La Mission. Round and svelte and textured with a stony freshness on the finish.
Pape Clement Rouge 2023 [WA 92-94, JS 97-98, VIN 95-97, JR 16.5]

WA 92-94...The 2023 Pape Clément evokes aromas of dark wild berries, spices, licorice and mulberries, followed by a medium to full-bodied, round and ample palate with structuring tannins and a firm, concentrated mid-palate that segues into a long, fruity finish. Less oaky than the previous years, this is a more contemporary expression of this great terroir. It's a blend of 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.



JS 97-98...This is really classy with length and polish that shine brightly. Also, you see blackberry, bark, currant and mushroom character. Full-bodied with wonderfully polished tannins and a seamless finish.

VIN 95-97... The 2023 Pape Clément is one of the most exciting wines I have tasted here in a long time, maybe ever. Intensely aromatic and layered, the 2023 is simply stunning. Dried flowers, mint, licorice, mocha, cedar and tobacco soar out of the glass. The purity of the flavors is simply mind- blowing. Plum, pomegranate, blood orange and spice build in the glass, adding notable textural richness and resonance. This is the first vintage vinified with indigenous yeasts. Aging takes place in a combination of concrete tanks, ceramic eggs, Clayvers, 400-liter barrels and 225-liter barriques. For readers who want to taste the "new" Bordeaux, this is it. What a wine! Tasted four times.

JR 16.5...Round and perfumed on the nose. Palate aromatic again with floral, red-fruit notes. Fresh and reasonably full on the palate but less punchy than in the past. Some persistence and potential.
Pape Clement Blanc 2023 [WA 91-93, JS 96-97, VIN 93-95]

WA 91-93...Aromas of white flowers, lemon oil, pomegranate and lemongrass preface the 2023 Pape Clément Blanc, a moderately weighted, sappy, layered and incisive wine with bright acids and a penetrating, mouthwatering finish. In comparison to previous vintages, the use of wood has been scaled back, allowing the wine to express a closer connection to its terroir and achieve greater precision in its aromatic profile.


JS 96-97...Dense and tight with a solid core of sliced Meyer lemon, lime and green apple. It’s full and very compact with a phenolic texture that runs the length of the wine. Slightly chewy, yet, it’s long and persistent with a mineral and bitter citrus undertone at the end.

VIN 93-95...The 2023 Pape Clément Blanc is another strong vintage for a wine that has been in transition for a few years now. There's still plenty of textural richness in the Blanc, but less of the tropical character and flamboyance of some past years. Orange peel, mint, dried herbs, chamomile and crushed flowers open gracefully. All the elements are so well balanced. Tasted three times. 
Smith Haut Lafitte 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 98-99, VIN 95-97, JR 17]

WA 94-96... The 2023 Smith Haut Lafitte is a brilliant wine, revealing a complex, elegantly oaky bouquet of dark wild berries, mulberries, blueberries, flowers and spices. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and rich, it has a fleshy core of fruit with good concentration and refined, structured tannins that segues into a long, penetrating and mineral finish. Crafted with an unprecedented majority of Cabernet Sauvignon—due to mildew affecting the Merlot—this Smith Haut Lafitte highlights a distinctly Cabernet-driven texture that authentically reflects its terroir despite a slightly more structured character.

JS 98-99... Probably one of the most structured and stony SHLs I have ever had. Full yet very tight and compact palate with tannins that are like a tightly wound ball of silk. It goes on for a very long time. The cab berries were very small and they delivered a fantastic backbone of tannins, but at the same time intensity of vivid and reserved fruit. This is really long and classic in structure. The elevage in barrel will polish the fantastic, pure tannins. 70% cabernet sauvignon, 23% merlot, 6% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. From biodynamically grown grapes.

VIN 95-97... The 2023 Smith Haut Lafitte is a powerhouse. In recent years, the Grand Vin has shifted toward a bit more nuance than in the past, but in 2023, small yields and thick skins yielded a somber, explosive Grand Vin. It will need many years to be at its most expressive. Blackberry, gravel, licorice, spice, plum and chocolate are some of the many notes that emerge from the glass. Readers will find a wine of real substance and textural intensity, framed by vibrant acids. A touch of air works wonders here.

JR 17... Good colour. Attractive nose with dark-fruit and floral notes. Juicy and sweet on attack with a reasonable density of fruit to follow. Powerful, muscular tannins that need to be reined in. Some warmth but freshness as well. Dry, chewy-chalky finish. Will benefit from élevage.

Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, VIN 95-97, JR 17.5]

WA 94-96... Aromas of white fruits, crisp orchard fruits, spices, smoke, spring flowers and pear introduce the 2023 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, a medium to full-bodied, layered and textured wine with a fleshy core of fruit and racy acids, concluding with a mineral, fresh and long finish highlighted by delicate notes of thyme and garrigue. Comprising 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris and matured in 50% new oak, this blend is among the finest white wines produced at this address.

JS 97-98... Another exceptional vintage for Smith-Haut-Lafite Blanc. It’s so complex and structured, offering a palate that feels similar to the texture of a red wine with a velvety tannin structure. There’s a lot going on here. Spice, crushed seashell and citrus blossom. Salty, too. Weightless and so long. 90% sauvignon blanc, 5% sauvignon gris and 5% semillon.

VIN 95-97...The 2023 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc was picked from August 23 to September 9 at 36hL/ha and matured in 50% new oak. It has a reticent bouquet at first, requiring a few swirls of the glass to reveal touches of orange pith, peach skin, wild fennel and light pressed white flower scents. The palate is very well balanced with a lovely creamy texture, counterbalanced by the taut line of acidity. Very poised and focused, it's somehow almost Corton-Charlemagne-inspired on the finish (perhaps due to the umami). This is a seriously fine white Pessac-Léognan.

JR 17.5... Initially discreet then opens to reveal floral, citrus and vanilla notes. Large on attack with plenty of succulent fruit, then drive and persistence on the finish. An extra edge of ripeness compared with many but freshness as well. Very much in the house style.

Haut Bailly 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, VIN 96-98, JR 16.5+]


WA 94-96... A blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon (harvested from the 20th to the 29th of September), 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2023 Haut-Bailly offers up aromas of mulberries, cassis, dark wild berries, pencil lead, licorice and spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, concentrated and rich palate that is both layered and seamless, its deep mid-palate animated by lively acids, concluding with long, mineral, penetrating finish. Although it displays a darker, more brooding profile character than in previous years, it remains highly representative of its terroir and will benefit from some patience. It's being matured in 50% new oak.

JS 97-98... I am thinking about the purity of fruit here, with blackcurrants, cassis and lead pencil. There's an underlying character of mineral and flint. The palate is dense, focused and precise, with very fine tannins that are ultra-fine and layered and go vertically down the palate. Everything is in the right place. So much polish and a svelte nature. Then hints of hazelnut and walnut to the refined texture. Sophisticated. 58% cabernet sauvignon, 34% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot.

VIN 96-98... The 2023 Haut-Bailly was picked from September 11 to 29 at 40.5hL/ha. It is being raised in 50% new oak for a planned 14 months, plus another three in vats. Véronique Sanders told me that there is 6% vin de presse in the blend this year. This has a beguiling bouquet that instantly switches on a metaphorical neon sign that announces you are in the presence of a very serious wine. Extremely pure and delineated, the nose presents aromas of blackberry mixed with wild strawberry, cedar and light sous-bois. It's much more classical in style compared to the 2022. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins that frame the blackberry, raspberry, cedar and graphite-infused fruit. It boasts more grip and persistency on the finish than its peers, with a residual subtle pinch of black pepper. This ranks as one of the standout wines in Pessac-Léognan, perhaps in Bordeaux itself. Outstanding.

JR 16.5+... Fresher than HB II with more of a Cabernet leaning (cassis and blueberry notes). Texturally smooth and round, the tannins fine but plenty of drive and persistence. Crunchy fruit and a light chalky finish. Less power than 2022 but more freshness and finesse and maybe balance.


La Mission Haut Brion 2023 [WA 94-96, JS 97-98, VIN 93-95, JR 17+]

WA 94-96...The 2023 La Mission Haut-Brion unwinds in the glass to reveal aromas of ripe red fruits, dark wild berries, spring flowers, burning embers and lilac. Medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated, it’s layered and textural with a dense core of fruit underpinned by youthfully firm structuring tannins. This blend of 52.7% Merlot, 29.6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17.7% Cabernet Franc its likely to become fleshier and more enveloping with barrel maturation.

JS 97-98...The classy mouth-feel and length to this is really gorgeous, and it seduces you with its texture of fine silk and finesse. Lasts for a long, long time. Medium body with medium, creamy and round tannins and a layered, textured finish. Shows blackcurrants, lead pencil and crushed stone at the end. 52.7% merlot, 29.6% cabernet sauvignon and 17.7% cabernet franc.
VIN 93-95...The 2023 La Mission Haut-Brion was picked between September 5 until October 5, a relatively long picking, at 50hL/ha. It has a wonderful bouquet with brightness and verve: very well-defined red and black fruit, a little floral in style, maybe not as rambunctious as recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins. A perfect line of acidity counterbalances the creamy texture, turning quite plush toward the finish, but it is amazingly well-focused. This is a generous La Mission Haut-Brion that will probably drink earlier than say, the 2022, as winemaker Jean- Philippe Delmas agreed. It's very fine and very delicious, but I would not place it within the canon of top vintage.
JR 17+...Fine boned and classy but less power than some years. Floral notes and lithe fruit with fine tannins that build on the palate. Could deceive but perhaps not for the very long haul. .

Latour Martillac 2023 [WA 90-92, JS 93-94, VIN 90-92, JR 16]
WA 90-92...Composed of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 14% Petit Verdot and matured with 40% in new oak barrels, the 2023 Latour Martillac reveals aromas of dark wild berries, spices, pencil lead and mulberries, followed by a medium to full-bodied, concentrated and rich, layered and fleshy palate that segues into a firm, long and mineral finish. The increased proportion of Petit Verdot, a response to mildew affecting the Merlot grapes, imparts a more structured and firm character than seen in previous years.
JS 93-94... The blackberry and blueberry character comes through clearly here, alongside a hint of stone. Medium-bodied with creamy and polished tannins and a savory finish. Very typical for the appellation.
VIN 90-92...The 2023 Latour-Martillac is a very promising wine. Dark red-toned fruit, gravel, incense and pressed rose petal lend notable complexity. What impresses me most about the 2023 is the quality of the tannin, something that has been penalizing at times in the past. There's a good bit of structure, but it is nicely integrated. Sweet floral and spice notes lift the finish. Terrific. Tasted two times.
JR 16... Dark fruit with a minerally edge. Juicy fruit on attack. Harmonious with a bit of grip on the finish. Classic Graves.
La Mission Haut Brion Blanc 2023 [WA 93-95, JS 96-97, VIN 93-95, JR 16+]
WA 93-95...Offering up generous amounts of lemon oil, spices and ripe orchard fruits with a touch of spring flowers, the 2023 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is medium to full-bodied, fleshy and broad, with a rich, aromatic palate. It concludes with an ethereal, powerful finish that carries elegant white fruit notes. It's a blend of 65.3% Sauvignon Blanc and 34.7% Sémillon.
JS 96-97...A creamy, round texture with ripe yet fresh aromas and flavors, showing apples, pears and hints of peaches. Medium- to full-bodied, polished and satisfying. 65.3% sauvignon blanc and 34.7% semillon.

VIN 93-95...The 2023 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is driven by the Sauvignon Blanc (65%) on the nose: Granny Smith apples, kiwi fruit, slate and light spicy aromas. There's very fine delineation, but I err toward the more nuanced Haut-Brion Blanc. The palate is lively on the entry with a touch of white pepper, very good tension and ample energy. Conference pear mixes with melon and grassy notes toward the finish. This will provide immediate pleasure over the next 20 years, though Haut-Brion Blanc has the intellectual heft.
JR 16+...Atypical given the dominance of Sauvignon Blanc in the blend. Surprisingly restrained aromatically. Misses a bit of mid-palate presence. Bit of an enigma at the moment. Will have to see how it develops.

La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion 2023 [WA 90-92, JS 95-96, VIN 90-92, JR 16+]

WA 90-92...The 2023 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion offers up aromas of blueberries, cassis and dark wild berries. Medium-bodied, long and fleshy, it’s nicely integrated, with a dense core of fruit, youthfully firm tannins and a persistent finish. Deeper and more structured than usual, it will regards some patience. This is a blend of 48.3% Merlot, 39.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12.3% Cabernet Franc.


JS 95-96...The solid center-palate and sure nature says La Mission, as it should, being the second wine of the estate. Medium body with a creamy and refined tannin structure that is long and true. Oyster-shell and blackcurrant character, as well as crushed stones. Direct. 48.3% merlot, 39.4% cabernet sauvignon and 12.3% cabernet franc.


VIN 90-92...The 2023 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion is a potent yet accessible second wine. Soft contours add to its considerable appeal. Crushed flowers, spice and sweet pipe tobacco lift a core of red-toned fruit in this racy, sensual Chapelle. Attractive floral and cinnamon notes linger. The 2023 is all charm-I expect it will drink well with minimal cellaring.

JR 16+...Lifted, fresh and aromatic with leafy, floral aromas. Thirst-quenching fruit and fine tannins but perhaps a little light in the mid palate? Could improve if it fills out in bottle.
Latour Martillac Blanc 2023 [WA 89-91, JS 93-94, VIN 89-91, JR 16]
WA 89-91...The 2023 Blanc from Latour Martillac reveals aromas of confit citron, lime, lime tree leaves, herbs and spices, followed by a juicy, round and layered palate framed by bright acids and a mouthwatering finish with delicate smoky hints. This blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Sémillon was matured 20% in new oak barrels.
JS 93-94... A bright and delicious white with gooseberry, citrus-blossom and crushed-stone character. It’s mineral and fresh with a medium body and vivid acidity. Tense and energetic with an attractively phenolic finish.
VIN 89-91... The 2023 Latour-Martillac Blanc is a tense, steel dry white. Lemon peel, chalk, white pepper, sage, mint and crushed rocks lend brightness and energy. I like the vibrancy here, but I just wish there was a bit more mid-palate creaminess. At this stage, the Blanc is a bit austere. Tasted two times.
JR 16... Aromatic, the Sauvignon component to the fore plus a chalky edge. Mid-palate fruit present. Clean and relatively appetising.



Climens 2023 [VIN 93-96, JR 17++]
VIN 93-96...The 2023 Climens is a dense, racy Barsac. Today is embryonic, but the potential is there. A wine of textural resonance, Climens offers up an exotic mélange of dried apricot, pear, spice, dried flowers, orange peel and passion fruit. I am very much looking forward to tasting this in bottle.
JR 17++...Pale gold hue. Pure and lifted, the botrytis character evident. Marmalade and tropical-fruit notes. Bitter-botrytised attack. Gently sweet with a defining acidity and freshness (more so than 2022). Clean, fresh and long on the finish. Very Barsac.



Suduiraut 2023 [JS 97-98, VIN 96-98, JR 18]
JS 97-98...The purity of the botrytis grabs your attention, with density and intensity to the dried fruit, sweetness and length. Very spicy and long. Almost oily. Really rich. 150g/L residual sugar. 100% semillon.
VIN 96-98...The 2023 Suduiraut (100% Sémillon) is a real stunner. Light on its feet yet wonderfully deep, the 2023 offers up a heady mix of tangerine oil, mint, white flowers, apricot and passion fruit. Readers will find a Sauternes that is more finesse than power. The 2023 is essentially a blend of three picks. The first was done at the end of September and accounted for 20% of the crop. The core of the vineyard, about 75%, was picked in a day ten window in October, following the September rains. A smaller third pick rounded out the harvest.
JR 18... Golden hue. Marmalade and barley-sugar notes on the nose. Smooth and suave on attack with a density of fruit behind. Sweet but refreshing, the bitter-botrytised character and enhanced acidity leaving the palate fresh and clean. Very pure and long. Appetising and with great potential



Suduiraut Vieilles Vignes Grand Vin Blanc Sec 2023 [JS 95-96, VIN 94-96]
JS 95-96...Real density to this old-vine white with dried-apple, peach and stone character. It’s full and dense but always vivid. I love the phenolics here. Fantastic dry white.
VIN 94-96...The 2023 Grand Vin Blanc Sec Vieilles Vignes is superb. Lemon confit, marzipan, white flowers, sage, mint and dried flowers all run through this super-expressive, savory dry white. There's real phenolic intensity to the Vieilles Vignes-a rich, deep white for the dinner table. Pretty floral top notes and a kick of tropical fruit brighten the finish.