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    Bordeaux 2022 EP


    2022 Bordeaux vintage – Something truly special.

    For the last 10 years or so, we have been incredibly lucky, almost spoilt, to have had so many great Bordeaux vintages. The rich, opulent wines of 2015 and 2018, the pure, balanced wines of 2016 and 2019 and the consistent quality of 2020, there has been almost too much to choose from. One could even say it has taken the fun out of buying Bordeaux when there are so many great wines year on year (they’d be crazy but one can see the method to their madness). And yet it doesn’t really matter now because 2022 has most likely beaten them all. Yes it really is that good.

    2022 was one of the hottest and driest growing seasons in the history of Bordeaux, with many making comparisons to the 2003 vintage with its record-breaking temperatures. But before you start having negative flashbacks of that vintage, the early hype and then the resulting inconsistency, the extreme highs and disappointing lows, “Jancis vs. Parker”, there are notable differences between 2003 and 2022.

    Firstly, whereas there was no respite from the heat in 2003, with temperatures remaining unbearably high for almost the whole Summer, 2022 would have shorter periods of high heat followed by cooler periods to allow the grapes to recover. Night time temperatures on average were also lower and a storm in June and showers in August were enthusiastically welcomed to prevent the vines becoming over-stressed.

    Secondly, winemaking techniques have vastly improved since 2003, such as leaving full canopies of leaves to shade grapes, picking the grapes at optimal ripeness, better sorting at harvest etc. Things that weren’t done 20 years ago apart from maybe in the most prestigious Chateaux.

    As a result, so many of the wines that have been produced have managed to combine the power and rich fruit one would expect from such a hot and dry Summer with boundless energy and freshness. The very best show a remarkable balance with fine, almost sweet tannins and enough acidity that will certainly help them age beautifully.

    In fact, it was the fineness of these tannins that was such a pleasant surprise. Tasting 50+ young Bordeaux wines at this stage should usually result in your mouth needing long breaks throughout the day and an almost withering wreck by the end of it and yet it never felt like that with these wines. The beautifully integrated tannins have allowed so many of the wines to be impressively approachable at such a young age. Comparisons with 2009 on this front would be valid.

    It’s difficult to say whether it’s a Left or Right bank vintage, both sides of the Gironde have produced exceptional wines. The key was for each Chateaux to prevent the wines going over the top with an almost confected note or not allowing the wines to achieve the structure they need to age. Luckily, there were hardly any we tried which were guilty of such crimes but there were always going to be favourites. Please see the list of the ones that we felt truly stood out, not just for their overall quality but also their value for money (wines with a * are ones we considered the very best of the wines we tried):-

    Haut-Brion Blanc*
    Larcis Ducasse*
    Leoville Poyferre*
    Pichon Baron*
    Les Carmes Haut-Brion
    Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion
    Domaine de Chevalier
    Domaine de Chevalier Blanc
    Haut Bailly II (second wine of Haut Bailly)
    Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc
    Le Gay
    Langoa Barton
    Leoville Barton

    There are still so many wines we didn’t get round to trying so this list could have ended up being a lot longer if we’d had the time and opportunity to taste everything. The fact is all the wines we tried were excellent, some were just truly exceptional.

    From next week onwards, we should start seeing some releases from the main Chateaux and of course it will be interesting to see how prices reflect what is clearly a stupendous vintage. I think we might have to accept prices will most likely go up but this really could be one of those years it might actually be worth the money.

    If you have your own personal favourite, it’s very likely the 2022 vintage is going to be the best iteration of that wine you’ll ever try.  And although we hear it every time from Bordeaux whenever there is a great vintage that this will be the best one yet, on this occasion, they might just actually have a point.

    Please let us know if there are any specific Chateaux you would like us to keep an eye out for so we can contact you upon their release where possible and ensure you don’t miss out on them.

    Or if you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to contact us on 0207 462 1261 or support@crsfw.com