Bordeaux 2023 En Primeur: The Critics

Bordeaux 2023 En Primeur: The Critics

As Bordeaux enthusiasts anticipate the release of the 2023 En Primeur wines, the verdicts from critics around the globe are eagerly awaited. Keeping up with all the press around Bordeaux is never easy during En Primeur, especially with the growing number of critics, so this year we will be canvassing the responses from well-known commentators here.

In this report, we delve into their insights and opinions on the Bordeaux 2023 vintage. From their views on the overall quality of the vintage to specific wines they rate highly, join us as we navigate through the diverse perspectives shaping the narrative of Bordeaux's latest offering. And don't forget to check back as we update the report when more critics inevitably publish their views.

James Suckling

Suckling, the first major critic to publish his views on Bordeaux 2023 vintage, is ebullient about the quality of the vintage. "In many ways, I like them better than many of the highly touted 2022s", he begins, "because they are so Bordeaux in their nature with their tensioned mouthfeels and energetic finishes. Many 2022s are very powerful and rich, highlighting the extremely hot and dry grape-growing conditions of the vintage. Some are almost international in their essence."

According to Suckling several senior chateau prefer 2023 to the widely celebrated 2022s, including L'Eglise Clinet's Noemie Durantou Reilhac, whilst Pierre-Oliver Clouet sees 2023 as "much more Cheval Blanc".

Like Jane Anson, he also notes that this is a heterogeneous vintage that favours "top terroirs and top winemakers", where you can find "terrific-quality wines, but they are different than 2022. I would compare these 2023s to 2019 or 2001 – even 1990 – for their freshness and balance of ripe fruit."

Suckling's top scoring wines include Canon (99-100), Le Pin (99-100) & Pavie (99-100), whilst value picks include Haut-Brisson (95-96) and de Ferrand (94-95).

Colin Hay, The Drinks Business

Colin Hay is the Bordeaux correspondent for The Drinks Business and is yet to publish scores, though his vintage report remains insightful into the growing season and potential character of the wines. 

The growing season itself possessed three (almost four) of the five conditions for an excellent vintage delineated by consultant Axel Marchal. For context, in 2021, none of these conditions were met, whilst in 2022 all of them were.

Nonetheless, Colin says, "in the most general terms, 2023 is a vintage that is likely to be judged favourably – a good and perhaps even a very good vintage, but not an exceptional vintage. But it is also a vintage that would not have turned out well even a decade ago and whose heterogeneity prevents it from being regarded as exceptional even it if is likely to have produced a number of truly exceptional wines."


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