Wine

Bordeaux 2022 En Primeur – Vintage Report, Critics And Chateaux Thoughts

En Primeur Wine Bottles

“The best 2022s are magnificent, viscerally thrilling wines” AG

Bordeaux 2022 campaign is now drawing to a close.

 2022 is a fascinating and exciting vintage. The best 2022s are astonishingly fresh, with silky ripe tannins and plush, perfectly ripe fruit. Excellent wines can be found across the board, but again discernment is still needed as some did fare better than others.

Click here for our video report.

2022 Vintage Summary

    • Polished, plush red wines with a refined power, amazing freshness and wonderful complexity.
    • A new era for the region’s red wines, marrying youthful accessibility with great potential for long-term collaring.
    • A small crop: yields are down approximately 30% due to the drier summer conditions.
    • A hot and early vintage but one which bears no comparison to the excesses of 2003. The 2022’s have freshness and balance – a fine fruit profile with no indication of heat stress.
    • A vintage to seek out wines at all price points – from serious investment grade to excellent, easily affordable drinking wines. Quality is about location and careful management decisions. Both the petits châteaux and the great classed growths have excelled.
    • A vintage for all varieties and all appellations. Both the Merlot and Cabernet Franc (Right Bank) are exceptional, as is the Cabernet vigour and energy found in the Left Bank. Great wines left and right.
    • The effect of the individual Château’s terroir coupled with the individual winemaker’s approach that has influenced the styles and quality of wines made – it is a vintage of singularity, and we are pleased to say a vintage of greatness! Fresh, balanced, exciting and enormously pleasurable.

What The Critics Are Saying

“Everyone who has tasted the wines will agree that the quality and character of the 2022 vintage in Bordeaux is a surprise. How did conditions so extreme deliver wines of such aromatic range and freshness? How can wines of such density and structure exhibit such textural refinement and charm? … At its best, this is a vintage of remarkable concentration, energy and harmony” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

“The 2022s are some of the most memorable young wines I have ever tasted in Bordeaux. The best 2022s are magnificent, viscerally thrilling wines that show what is possible with thoughtful approaches to viticulture and winemaking. A number of properties at all levels made their best wines ever” Antonio Galloni

“This is, however much you try to resist the term, an extraordinary vintage… One thing for sure is that 2022 is a vintage that will be referenced for many years to come, and I’ve tasted many exceptional wines that are truly worth getting excited about.” Jane Anson

“This is the 40th year I have tasted barrel samples in Bordeaux, but I have never come across anything like the 2022 vintage. It was one of the hottest and driest growing seasons in the history of France’s most famous wine region, yet it produced thousands of opulent and structured but still fresh and balanced wines. For me personally, it sets a new benchmark for Bordeaux after my first reference vintage for the region from barrel, 1982…” James Suckling

The consistency of quality is just one surprise to come out of this vintage of extremes. The other amazing twist is the styles. There is a luminosity to many of the wines from 2022 that defies what we thought we knew about Bordeaux varieties. It whispers previously untold truths about the potential of the region’s terroirs and vines in the face of climate change…” Lisa Perotti Brown

“Everyone who has tasted the wines will agree that the quality and character of the 2022 vintage in Bordeaux is a surprise. How did conditions so extreme deliver wines of such aromatic range and freshness? How can wines of such density and structure exhibit such textural refinement and charm? … At its best, this is a vintage of remarkable concentration, energy and harmony” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

What The Château Say

“2022 is certainly a wine of great promise, endowed with all the virtues of the exceptional vintage: power, smoothness, generous aromas, silky subtlety and irresistible freshness. We will be talking about its excellence for a long time to come.” Château Pontet Canet, Pauillac

“Out of…extreme conditions came the reward of a great 2022 vintage of wonderful balance. It was a lesson in humility, demonstrating once again that until the grapes have been vinified, nothing is ever set in stone. Having so successfully overcome these climatic challenges, could the 2022 be ranked as the vintage of the century? Or is it perhaps a vintage belonging to a new era?” Château La Conseillante, Pomerol

What We Are Saying

Click here for our video report.

2022 – A New Benchmark Vintage

After spending time in Bordeaux tasting the 2022 vintage, we can say without a doubt that the overall quality is excellent and there are some outstanding wines, that despite the heat display an element of restraint and are even charmingly understated in their character. The best wines exude a sleek, opulent fruit profile that’s balanced out by freshness and precise, mineral-laced tannins. Patience will be required to see the true majesty of the vintage, especially at the top end. Excitingly however, as is often the case in excellent vintages, there are some brilliant drinking wines on offer too!

“This is a vintage of remarkable concentration, energy and harmony.” William Kelley

“There is a luminosity to many of the wines from 2022 that defies what we thought we knew about Bordeaux varieties.” LPB

“Astonishing! 2022 sets a new benchmark. I have never come across anything like the 2022 vintage. The quality of the wines, however, is exceptional” James Suckling

Left Bank versus Right Bank

In an atypical vintage such as 2022, an appellation-to-appellation comparison even a Right-Bank versus Left-Bank, Pauillac versus Margaux etc, doesn’t seem appropriate. Instead,  it is the effect of the individual Château’s terroir coupled with the individual winemaker’s approach that has influenced the styles and quality of wines made – 2022 is a vintage of singularity and we are pleased to say a vintage of greatness!

“Everyone who has tasted the wines will agree that the quality and character of the 2022 vintage in Bordeaux is a surprise. How did conditions so extreme deliver wines of such aromatic range and freshness? How can wines of such density and structure exhibit such textural refinement and charm” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, April 2023

Coping with the heat

Winemakers have successfully learnt what to do and what not to do from previous hot vintages such as 2003 and 2018, as perhaps have the vines themselves.  2022 was hotter and drier than any other season right from the start, which enabled the vines to get used to the heat from the get-go, as compared to 2003 when hot, dry weather suddenly arrived in summer.

Also, Bordeaux’s viticultural landscape has changed completely this century, having gone from bare earth to a riot of cover crops, designed to improve the microbiology of the soil and the health of the vines. In these unique conditions, the New World was a helpful reference point and more and more Bordeaux has had to address the same issues that Australia and California do, and it appears will continue to be required to do so. Pontet-Canet, for example, have adopted the use of a kaolin clay-based spray sunscreen a practice commonly used in Australia, which helps to reflect direct sunlight or UV light, as well as using a chamomile preparation thus protecting the fruit from sunburn and damage caused by thermal stress.

In 2022 taking these issues and proven methods to counter such temperatures into account they were ready to fight with this kind of vintage. Almost in spite of the conditions, there’s perfect balance – however, unfortunately, is that there simply wasn’t much of it.

“For me personally, it sets a new benchmark for Bordeaux after my first reference vintage for the region from barrel, 1982.” James Suckling