Bordeaux En Primeur 2022
A Vintage of Centuries
“This is the 40th year I have tasted barrel samples in Bordeaux, but I have never come across anything like the 2022 vintage.” — James Suckling
Bordeaux lovers, rejoice! The 2022 vintage is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and promising in recent years. Despite the challenges posed by a record-breaking heatwave and drought, the wines have managed to retain a remarkable balance of fruit, acidity and tannin, even at this early stage, the wines show impressive harmony and structure, reminiscent of some of the best years in Bordeaux, such as 2018, 2009, 2005, and 1982, which also experienced hot and dry conditions.
On the Right Bank, the cooler limestone in Saint-Emilion and the deep clay across other appellations ensured that the wines retained more freshness than those grown in hot, sandy gravels. Merlot, with its high freshness and low alcohol content, was a star, while the Cabernet Franc was elegant and pure, displaying velvety tannins and floral notes. Our favorite Right Bank wines include Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Vieux Chateau Certan, Canon La Gaffeliere, Canon, and Berliquet.
On the Left Bank, wines from the Northern Médoc region, particularly those from Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe, performed exceptionally well, thanks to cooler temperatures, superior June rainfall, and more clay under gravel. The majority of these wines, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, are medium to full-bodied, velvety, and layered, with a fleshy core of fruit framed by rich, unusually suave, and polished tannins. Our favorite Left Bank wines include Lafite-Rothschild, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Montrose, Leoville Las Cases, Kirwan, Brane Cantenac, La Mission Haut-Brion, Smith Haut Lafitte, Haut-Bailly, and Domaine de Chevalier (both red and white).
The 2022 vintage is a rare combination of power and grace, of concentration and freshness, of richness and finesse. It is a vintage that will delight both collectors and consumers alike, as it offers both immediate pleasure and long-term potential. It is a vintage that will make history in Bordeaux.