After weeks and months of tasting, the world’s leading wine critics are announcing their verdict on the latest Bordeaux vintage. Here you’ll find a round-up of what they’re all saying, with a summary of each report and the wines they rated most highly, updated and added as they’re released
James Suckling was the first out with his report, published on 19th April, before most people have made it out to taste the new vintage. He’s not shying away from calling this a truly great vintage, saying “it sets a new benchmark for Bordeaux”. It’s the 40th vintage he has tasted en primeur, and he feels it proves the region’s ability to face the challenges of climate change, with its uniquely hot and dry conditions. He notes that while the reds are the undoubted star, it is also a great vintage for Sauternes – with botrytis development in mid-October that produced exceptional wines.
While the growing season urges parallels with 2003, the wines are totally different. The 2022s “can be flamboyant, fruity and tannic, yet they have a freshness and form that give them energy and vitality”, he writes. While he found a few wines that were over the top, he generally felt there was consistent quality across the spectrum, from more modest estates to the grandest châteaux, with the wines “exceptional”. He gives nine potential 100-point scores, versus only one last year (for Lafaurie-Peyraguey in Sauternes – an address he also praises this year).
Suckling’s highlights: Cheval Blanc, Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Lafite-Rothschild, Le Pin, Léoville Las Cases, Pontet-Canet, Trotanoy, Pavillon Blanc du Ch. Margaux, Angélus, Canon
WILLIAM KELLEY – WINE ADVOCATE
Publishing his report on the Friday of Primeurs week, William Kelley defines 2022 as “an amplifier” – highlighting differences between sites and how producers work both in the vineyard and winery. “Bordeaux has produced some monumental wines in 2022, but unlike many of the great vintages of the 20th century, the year was not a rising tide that raised all boats,” he says.
The best wines offer “remarkable concentration, energy and harmony” but there are some that are “jammy, astringent and rustic”. He highlights that those with higher organic matter in their soils and who managed their canopies well were rewarded. He argues that vines adapted to the long, dry season, and the experience of recent warm vintages ensured that 2022 was not another 2003 – despite its extreme, hot, dry conditions.
He warns that the frequently high pHs are a risk for the final hurdle – with an increased risk of volatile acidity and Brettanomyces, suggesting that although few samples showed these faults during the en primeur tastings, “it is certain that some producers will trip before the finish line this year”. Nevertheless, he is clearly impressed by the best wines – with eight potential 100-point scores in the mix.
In a first, the work was divided between Kelley and Yohan Castaing, a relatively new member to the Wine Advocate team – so there are notes from both. The highlights noted below are 12 specifically recommended.
Kelley’s highlights: Berliquet, Bourgneuf, Branaire-Ducrou, Clos Manou, Dame de Montrose, De Retout, Domaine de l’A, Grand Village, Haut Marbuzet, Langoa Barton, Larrivet Haut-Brion, Mangot
Not yet released:
Antonio Galloni – Vinous
Neal Martin – Vinous
Jane Anson – Inside Bordeaux
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW – The Wine Independent
Georgie Hindle – Decanter
Jeff Leve – The Wine Cellar Insider