Bordeaux 2022 en primeur: the satellite right-bank appellations
I conclude my review of the right-bank in this exciting if complex vintage with a selection of the wines of the ‘satellite’ appellations of Saint-Émilion (Lussac, Montagne & St Georges), Cadillac & Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, Côtes de Bourg, Fronsac and Lalande de Pomerol.
There are also a handful of right-bank Bordeaux or Bordeaux Supérieur that I tasted along the way.
As for their peers on the left-bank, many of these wines I found extremely impressive and even those that I noted below 89-91 are likely to represent exceptional value for money.
In vintages like this, comparative high-altitude vineyards with significant amounts of limestone like Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, Fronsac and Lussac often produce incredible wines that should not be overlooked. That is above all the case in 2022 as my list of personal highlights and value picks below attests.
The wines are listed alphabetically by appellation.
- Les Perrières (94-96+)
- Grand Village (93-95)
- Montlandrie (93-95)
- Le Plus de la Fleur de Boüard (93-95)
- Roc de Cambes (93-95)
- L’Infini de Château de Francs (92-94+)
- Les Cruzelles (92-94)
- La Dauphine (92-94)
- De Francs ‘Les Cerisiers’ (92-94)
- De la Huste (92-94)
- Le Rey Argileuses (92-94)
- d’Aiguilhe (91-93)
- Barbe Blanche (91-93)
- Canon Chaigneau (91-93)
- Canon Chaigneau Lilac Tiger (91-93)
[* – in addition to all those listed as notable highlights]
Bordeaux & Vin de France
- Domaine de Cambes 2022 (Bordeaux; from François Mitjavile and tasted with him at Tertre Rôteboeuf). More vertical and lifted aromatically that L’Aurage, this is actually very different and less floral. Its extremely bright and more croquant in its fruit profile too. Saline, again. Aurage’s florality is replaced here by subtle wild herbal components – marjoram and oregano the most prominent. Again, this feels very natural. There’s an interesting smoky wood element (like an oak barbecue). Cool and svelte. Graphite, a hint of cedar. This has a lovely rolling rippling mid-palate with a gracious plunge-pool texture; impressively limpid. Fruits of the forest, sloes. Damsons. 92-94.
- Le Grand Verdus Grande Réserve 2022 (Bordeaux Supérieur; 65% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; 15% Cabernet Sauvignon; a final yield of 25 hl/ha; 14% alcohol). Smoky on the nose with a plump, bright, raspberry fruit – very croquant and al dente, picked at optimal ripeness and certainly no more. A gentle sweet spice and a pleasing crushed rock minerality. The fruit is fresh and the tannins grainy and crumbly. Merits a few years in the cellar. 89-91.
- Grand Village rouge 2022 (Bordeaux Supérieur; 80% Merlot; 20% Bouchet; 30% new oak, the rest Y1 and Y2 barrels; tasted with Omri Ram at Lafleur). One can never quite prepare oneself for quite how good this is going to be, not least as it simply gets better with every vintage. One is always, inevitably, preparing oneself mentally for Lafleur itself at the end of the tasting. But the danger now is that one has used up all one’s superlatives before you get there! And that starts here. A shockingly radiant punk pink rim. Lovely wild herbs and heather flowers greet you immediately, with a little sous bois So intense, so engaging and so fabulous. Gracious and with a gravity-defying sense of weightlessness. A lovely salinity and crushed rock minerality. Intensely dark berry fruits – wild blueberries and mulberries– a little bit of black cherry too. Plush, plump, incredibly soft and yet dense and highly compact in the mouth, with a very tight frame and great detail. Intensely layered with an incredible sense of gravitas reinforced by the relatively slender form and those polished beady tannins. Wild and vivacious, energetic and brilliantly charged with raspberry fruit conveying sapidity and freshness to the heart of the dense mid-palate. The finest of fine-grained tannins coat the tongue and roof of the mouth on the finish. Wondrous; so delicate and with so much finesse. 93-95.
- Gravière de Grand Verdus 2022 (Vin de France; 100% Syrah; a final yield of 35 hl/ha; 13.5% alcohol). Somewhat iconoclastic, but rather fun. A bright, lifted, quite saline, smoky, animal nose with plump, ripe red and darker berry and stone fruit. You could almost be in Cornas – and this is where the massal-selection Syrah in this single parcel (1.1 hectare) hails from. Lots of stony and saline minerality and a big, plump mouthful of fresh berry fruit, with a little nutmeg and oregano. 89-91.
- Mondot de Grand Verdus 2022 (Bordeaux; 100% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of 35 hl/ha; 14% alcohol). A flawed sample. I will need to re-taste this but it’s invariably excellent. NR.
- Les Perrières 2022 (Bordeaux Supérieur; 50% Merlot; 50% Bouchet; tasted at Lafleur with Omri Ram). So bright and lifted and aerial and aromatically explosive, though gentler than that makes it sound. Raspberry and loganberry – more red-berry fruited than ever, but with a little red and black cherry too, a little redcurrant as well. So fluid, so sapid and so incredibly energetic, lively, dense and compact. I love the vertical uplift of fresh fruit from the depths of the mid-palate that brilliantly disrupts the density of the layering of the black cherry fruit. Once again, and rather like Grand Village, this is gravity defying and seemingly weightless. But it’s more chiselled and more architectural. The silky yet powdery tannins gently pixilate each layer. This is Lafleur on limestone, with old-vine massal-selection Bouchet from Lafleur replanted in 2016. Wondrous. As long as Lafleur, but structurally very different, with a more pronounced backbone. An electric wine, charged with juicy salinity, the freshness integral. 94-96+.
- De Reignac 2022 (Bordeaux Supérieur). Dark crimson with purple highlights. Herbal, floral, expressive and rather pretty if slightly wild (in a very good way). This has depth, concentration and lovely, grippy tannins. Quite serious and slightly austere. Dark berry fruit; raspberry too. Fresh. Well-constructed. 89-91.
Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux
- De Marsan 2022 (Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux). Opaque. Jet black. Pure blueberries. Pleasant but somewhat one-dimensional. Impressive girth and the tannins are svelte if a little dry on the finish. And the acidity builds and builds towards the finish.
- Réaut 2022 (Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux). Raspberry and mulberry. Fresh and with a pleasing sense of lift and good grippy tannins bringing structural interest and a nice pinch (one senses the calcaire here even if this is predominantly a gravel terroir). Needs time but pleasingly sapid on the finish if just a little dry.
Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
- D’Aiguilhe 2022 (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux; 90% Merlot; 10% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of 35 hl/ha; 14.3% alcohol; tasted with Stephan von Neipperg at Canon-La-Gaffelière). Rich and dark with hyper-concentrated fruits of the forest this is sapid and pure with fabulous freshness. Lots of wine for the money. A great advert for the appellation too. This has great finesse and elegance, lovely sapidity and a beautifully saline touch on the finish. 91-93.
- D’Arce 2022 (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux; 90% Merlot; 10% Cabernet Franc; pH 3.30; tasted at Barde Haut). Smoky. Floral. Lots of limestone terroir personality and a lovely pure crunchy expression of juicy dark berry fruits – cassis, mulberry and blackberry, very dark and concentrated – with a nice spiciness – nutmeg, cinnamon. There’s a little patisserie note too – almost Dutch cinnamon twirls. Limpid and crystalline with a gracious and fluid mouthfeel and luminous mid-palate. Enticing. 89-91.
- L’Aurage 2022 (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux; tasted with François Mitjavile at Tertre Rôteboeuf). Bright, dark berry and above all plummy fruit; a touch of damson perhaps. Salted liquorice root. Svelte and super soft. Dried petals and pot pourri. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Crushed blueberries. Quite spicy, as ever. Vibrant. Long, with chewy but ultra-soft grained tannins and a lovely plume just before the slow, gently tapering finish. 91-93.
- Clos Lunelles 2022 (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux; 80% Merlot; 10% Cabernet Sauvignon; 10% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of 35 hl/ha; pH 3.57; 14.6% alcohol; tasted at Pavie). Creamy. Pure. Lifted. Very limestone terroir in personality. Fresh plum and an intense, crushed a concentrated sapid berry fruit, black cherry too. True to itself. A little spice nicely brings further complexity. A little sucrosity. Not to broad a frame brining additional impact; chiselled by the tannins and with great sapidity. 92-94.
- Joanin Becot 2022 (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux; 80% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of 39 hl/ha; pH 3.60; 15% alcohol; tasted at Beau-Séjour-Bécot). This has a lovely honest, pure fruited character. Very vertical from the limestone plateau terroir. Lots of lift. Saffron and mimosa and bramble and mulberry fruit – plump and crunchy. Almost a rocky calcaire minerality – it’s like being in a limestone cave. Naturally sweet, impressively so. Juicy and sapid, those lovely crumbly limestone tannins. Very saline as all these limestone wines are in 2022. I love this, but I do find the sucrosity just a little discombobulating and you have a slight sensation of the alcohol on the finish. 91-93+.
- Clos Puy Arnaud 2022 (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux; 70% Merlot; 25% Cabernet Franc; 5% Cabernet Sauvignon; pH 3.35; 14% alcohol). Now cultivated biodynamically for 17 years. Lovely balance and harmony. Dark-shaded fruit, wild with herbal and heathery elements, dark cherries and sloes; lots of graphite too; wild sage and marjoram. The cool scented nose doesn’t prepare you for the natural sweetness on the palate that lightens the shading of the fruit – here more loganberry and very ripe raspberry notes. Lovely grippy calcaire tannins – really fine-grained. There’s so much energy imparted from the grip of the tannins. Very pure and structured and with impressive length. 92-94.
- Montlandrie 2022 (Castillon Còtes de Bordeaux; 75% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; 5% Cabernet Sauvignon; a final yield of 37 hl/ha; 14.5% alcohol; aging in oak barrels, 50% of which are new; tasted with Noémie Durantou at Eglise-Clinet). Very calcaire. Aerial, lifted, bright and fresh. Plump berry fruit – blackberry, bramble, a little blueberry – with a little thyme. This has a very compact frame that is nicely chiselled by the calcaire tannins – tighter even than usual and I really like that. There’s great sapidity and great fruit intensity. I love, too, the cassis leafiness with aeration. Air in the mouth also seems to liberate the cedar note, with the wine really filling the mouth in this second phase. Montlandrie in 2022 is fabulous. There’s a fountain of cassis from the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc injected in the chiselled architecture constructed by the Merlot. Very interesting. Very good. The best yet I think. 93-95.
- Le Rey Argileuses 2022 (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux; 80% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of 38 hl/ha; ph 3.50; 15% alcohol; tasted at Bellefont Belcier and already in bottle). Exciting stuff as ever. Hyper-chiselled. Vibrant, racy, bright, crunchy, fresh, brilliant. So very expressive of its terroir – that, after all, is the idea here! Intense and lively and energetic. Cedar and walnut. Chewy Castillon tannins! Finishes on spearmint. 92-94.
- Le Rey Rocheuses 2022 (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux; 80% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of 27 hl/ha; ph 3.60; 15.5% alcohol; tasted at Bellefont Belcier). Crushed brambles. A little more serious, even austere and this will need a little more time. Not yet in bottle as it will need just a little more élévage. Broad on the attack and sumptuous in its cool fruitedness. Then brilliant chiselled by the grainy yet polished tannins bringing this back to the linear and well-formed spine. Intense and sapid and with great personality. A little touch of graphite on the finish. Excellent. 92-94+.
Côtes de Bourg
- Roc de Cambes 2022 (Côtes de Bourg; 80% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; 15% alcohol; tasted at Tertre Rôteboeuf with the inimitable François Mitjavile). Gracious. Very dark fruit – plums, damsons and sloes, crushed mulberries. Very ripe but not too ripe. Very fresh. Oak smoke. Plump, pulpy and full in the mouth with a wonderfully fresh mid-palate. Excellent. Lovely fine grained tannins. Floral notes again, pink rose petals, patchouli and lilac, lavender too. An excellent and very harmonious Roc de Cambes. 93-95.
- De Carles 2022 (Fronsac). Pure, precise, but not as naturally sweet as some. Nice calcaire tannins really shape and chisel the mid-palate. Long and juicy – extremely so – and very precise and focussed on the long, rapier-like finish. A wine I’ve liked before and like very much in this vintage. 90-92+.
- La Dauphine 2022 (Fronsac; 80% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of 30 hl/ha; pH 3.5; 14.5% alcohol). Graphite, pencil-shaving and loads of freshly cracked black and green pepper corns; a touch of green Szechuan peppercorn and baies de Timut A little nutmeg, cloves … and the fruit, the glorious berry fruit – loganberry, blueberry and blackcurrant. This has an impressively concentrated core of bright, crunchy fruit, beautifully outlined by the fine-grained limestone tannins. Very fluid and limpid. I love the calcaire personality of the grippy tannins. One of the best wines of a rising appellation that copes so well with these climatic conditions. 92-94.
- De la Huste 2022 (Fronsac). The first time I’ve tasted this. Wow. Lovely. Intense, very calcaire in its verticality and the form and shape and above all feel of its tannins. Rippling with juicy, sapid freshness. Dark berry and stone fruit. Pure, precise, focussed and a brilliant advert for the appellation. Could be mistaken for a top plateau St Emilion. This could cause lots of potential damage in future blind-tastings (note to self …)! 92-94.
- De Fontenil 2022 (Fronsac). Bright, vertical, quite sweet-scented but very naturally so. Mulberry and bramble, a little damson with wild herbal elements too. Walnut oil. Full, plump, dark and rich with soft and delicate tannins that gain in granularity to reveal and pin-point the structure of this well-framed wine. Cool and mentholated on the slowly tapering finish. Less oaky than it sometimes is. 91-93.
- De Francs ‘Les Cerisiers’ 2022 (Fronsac). This has a lovely bright signature of crushed raspberry and fruits of the forest. Very pure and focused and a very vertical presentation with lots of lift from the calcaire terroir. Lovely cherry notes on the palate too. Super. Not complex but very beautiful and with great detail. Lively, energetic and the oak very subtly deployed. Another top Fronsac in this vintage. 92-94.
- Haut-Carles 2022 (Fronsac). Sweeter, richer and more concentrated than de Carles. But with much the same purity and focus. Black and red cherries, pure crushed mulberries, a little hint of damson too. Long and gradually tapering. Both of these wines are great. There’s just a little more richness to this. 91-93.
- L’Infini de Château de Francs (Fronsac 2022). Something of a coup de coeur. What a beautiful nose! Lots of vertical lift, very pure crushed dark berry fruits, damsons and sloes. The oak is very subtly deployed – with just a hint of brioche. Floral too. Gracious and elegant on the attack, lots of detail and even pixilation from the ultra-refined tannins. Long and radiant. Exuberant and so fresh. Sapid. If you haven’t already got the message, I really like this! 92-94+.
- Plain-Point 2022 (Fronsac). Very smoky, a little musky, dark briary fruit, quite earthy too. A little wild in the best sense. Pure, clean on the entry and a nice opening that is quite ample. But when the tannins engage they’re a little brutal and this finishes a little dry.
- Les Trois Croix 2022 (Fronsac). There’s lovely purity here – calcaire turbo-charged pure crushed bramble fruit. Black cherries too. Svelte on the entry with impressive forward momentum on the palate and a tight, well-defined core; the tannins are very expressive of their limestone terroir identity and quite substantial. Liquorice and menthol on the cool, juicy finish. 91-93.
Graves de Vayres
- Goudichaud Heritage 2022 (Graves de Vayres; 50% Cabernet Sauvignon; 50% Merlot; 13.5% alcohol). A bit clumsy and also rather closed. Pulpy fruit, rather pronounced acidity and slightly dry tannins. Pushed just a little far perhaps but impressively pure and linear. Almost a little green – one of very few.
- Du Petit Puch 2022 (Graves de Vayres). Pure. Very dark fruited. Lovely plump crunchy fruit. Monotonic I guess but lovely and inherently quaffable nonetheless.
Lalande de Pomerol
- De Bel-Air 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 70% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; 10% Cabernet Sauvignon; tasted at J. P. Moueix in Libourne). Well-made but a little difficult coming as it does after the first little flight of St Emilions, one notices the slightly ferrous minerality and the rathe bracing tannins. But very svelte on the attack and very well made nonetheless. Good depth, a certain amount of layering and a generous sapid finish.
- Canon Chaigneau Cuve 8a 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 14% alcohol). Gorgeous, extremely expressive pure dark berry fruit – loganberry above all, maybe a little mulberry too. Pure and very clean tasting. Naturally sweet and beautifully ‘al delte’. Bright and immediately mobile on the palate with lots of forward momentum and that signature gentle natural sweetness of perfectly ripe fruit of the vintage. Nice tannic grip. This is refined, cool and even a touch austere on the fresh and lingering finish. Lovely. 90-92.
- Canon Chaigneau 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 14% alcohol). A little more serious. More complexity too, with floral notes and more evident minerality accompanying the same spicily-tinged dark berry fruit that one finds in the non-oaked Cuve 8a. The fruit is actually a shade darker – with brambles joining the mulberries and with less loganberry. This is more ample and super-svelte in the mouth, with very refined and gracious tannins. Nicely balanced and, again, finishing cool and fresh. 91-93.
- Canon Chaigneau Lilac Tiger 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 100% Cabernet Franc; roughly 5000 bottles from vines which see a little less direct sun exposure; 14% alcohol). The very first vintage of this chance discovery – it is made from highly expressive Cabernet Franc in a fabulous vintage for the varietal that would have been lost in the grand vin. This is great, really great, properly great! It sings of Cabernet Franc in all its purity and sublime tension – it’s floral and wild and herbal, those lovely crunchy purple-blue shaded fruits popping in the mouth imparting a gloriously subtle and sapid cool freshness. Kalamata tapenade on the tongue. Graciously soft tannins reinforce the cool personality of the crystalline pure violet-tinged blueberry fruit. Really good – ‘better than you’d imagine’ good. I’ve never tasted a monocépage Cabernet Franc from either Pomerol or Lalande; this has me craving more. 91-93.
- La Chenade 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 80% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; 14.4%; aging in oak barrels, 30% of which are new; tasted at Eglise Clinet with Noémie Durantou). Archetypical and with a lovely shape in the mouth, dense and compact, quite gracious. This is layered and full, rich and plump in its fresh sapid fruitiness. Leafy Cabernet lends gravitas. Fresh plum and crunchy berry fruit. Very succulent and juicy. Rapier-fine and quite linear on the finish. Very long, leaving a trace of graphite and cedar in the empty glass. 90-92+.
- La Croix Bellevue 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 50% Merlot; 24% Cabernet Franc; 25% Cabernet Sauvignon; 13.5% alcohol). From Benoit Trocard. One of the right-bank wines with the highest proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon. Bright, pure, crushed raspberry fruit, quite spicy too, with a mixture of aromatic Asian spice notes and mace, nutmeg and cinnamon. Bright, fresh and fruit-forward with nice grippy tannins, not too much extraction and a cool mentholated finish. A good result in this vintage. 89-91.
- La Croix des Moines 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 80% Merlot; 10% Cabernet Franc; 10% Cabernet Sauvignon; 13.5% alcohol; Benoit Trocard). Rather Clos Dubreuil in style – quite a lot of oak but it’s well-integrated; classy, with crushed petals and pot pourri alongside the pulpy plum and berry fruit – notably, raspberry. A little hint of incense too. This is somewhat more burly on the palate, with the iron-minerality breaking through. Big, if not in fact that dense. Grippy, crumbly, chewy tannins. Good value with lots of character. 89-91.
- Les Cruzelles 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 80% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of 28 hl/ha due to size of the berries; 14.6% alcohol; aging in oak barrels, 50% of which are new; tasted at Eglise Clinet with Noémie Durantou). Lovely Cabernet Franc leafiness again, more profound, more serious, a slight hint of austerity like the 2020 – but better still. A much darker fruit profile than La Chenade. Cherries, damson and brambles joining the party alongside La Chenade’s raspberry and loganberry. Compact and picked al dente in terms of maturity of fruit, and so very fresh and sapid. Chewy on the finish too, just as it should be with lots of grape and cherry skin. A step up from La Chenade and, above all, more complex. Again, with graphite notes just starting to appear on the finish and in the empty glass. 92-94.
- Enclos de Viaud 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 80% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of 38 hl/ha; 2.36 ha on clay and fine gravel; pH 3.63; 13.5% alcohol; tasted at Bellefont Belcier). A little reductive at first but that passes quickly, Very ‘Lalande de Pomerol’ with that iron-briny minerality; crushed rock too. Bright, crunchy and croquant. Good density and intensity. Very saline again. Fine-grained tannins. True to the personality of the appellation.
- La Fleur de Boüard 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol). Spicy and herb-tinged with very dark expresso coffee bean, equally dark briary fruit and marjoram and even sage. This has a well-defined and nicely contoured structure, well illuminated by the grainy and grippy tannins. Long and slowly tapering, pure, precise and quite chiselled. 91-93.
- Les Hauts-Conseillants 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 95% Merlot; 5% Cabernet Franc; 6.5 ha on the Neac plateau; 3.5 by Lalande de Pomerol village on gravel and sand). Lush, dark berry fruit. Very fresh and sapid; pure and precise. Nice intensity despite the open texture and the limpidity of the mid-palate. Very lovely. Accessible but sophisticated. 90-92.
- La Gravière 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol). Plush, pulpy, plummy fruit, with a little red berry compote too. Not massive structurally, but better for that. But it’s a little rustic with that prominent ferrous minerality. Grippy, chewy tannins. Decent length and good freshness.
- Pavillon de Beauregard 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 70% Merlot; 30% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of just 21 hl/ha; aging for 12 months in a combination of oak barrels, 25% new, and terra cotta jars; certified organic). Plum, baked plum, bramble and mulberry. This has something of the signature of the wine-making of Beauregard about it. It’s very gourmand and savoury. Dense and layered. Lots of freshness. This was early-picked and it shows. Croquant. 91-93+.
- Le Plus de la Fleur de Boüard 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol). Impressive. Big, bold, deep, dark-fruited and richly spiced, with subtle and very careful use of the oak. Crushed raspberry and mulberry. Very pure. Le Plus has a very well-defined tight and compact spine and fabulous ripples of freshness around the edges and on the lingering finish. 93-95.
- Tournefeuille La Cure 2022 (Lalande de Pomerol; 70% Merlot; 30% Cabernet Franc; 14.5% alcohol). Lovely plump and crunchy dark berry fruit – brambles and mulberries, a little blueberry too. Pure, succulent and juicy from the mid-palate onwards, with a nice grippy finish sustained sapidity. Very good. Very fresh. Quaffable and refreshing. 90-92.
- Barbe Blanche 2022 (Lussac Saint-Émilion; 80% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Franc; from a vineyard of 28.3 hectares on the argilo-calcaire plateau; a final yield of 40 hl/ha; 14.5% alcohol; tasted at Couhins-Lurton with Jacques Lurton). I really like this. Saline. Sapid. Fresh. Tight and chalky. Energetic. Lively. There’s lots of chalky vertical lift and a chewy and tender mid-palate. Blueberries, freshly crushed; blackberries; lots of finger-staining briary fruit. Cool and nicely shaped. Loganberries too in the mouth. Really excellent and very expressive of its terroir. 91-93.
- Courlat Cuvée Jean-Baptiste 2022 (Lussac Saint-Émilion; 100% Merlot). Fresh, bright, naturally sweet but so vertical and fresh and with lovely intensity in this vintage. Better than the 2020 which I really liked too. Crushed berries – bramble and blackberry. This has a pleasingly grippy, almost crumbly texture from the fine-grained tannins. Energetic. Very pure. Good stuff. 90-92+.
- Clos de Boüard 2022 (Montagne Saint-Émilion). Quite oaky but floral at the same time – fresh dark berries, a little vanilla, graphite and toasted brioche. Cool, fresh, with a nicely defined dense core. Sapid and racy. Nice freshness and very refreshing. 90-92.
St Georges Saint-Émilion
- Tour du Pas Saint-Georges 2022 (St Georges Saint-Émilion). Bright. Lifted. Pure. Precise. Focussed. A vein of dark crystalline berry fruit. Very pure and almost laser-like again on the palate. Lots of menthol on the finish, revealed by the bite of the fine, grainy tannins. Nicely done. 90-92.
Please click link for db’s 2022 en primeur vintage report, along with appellation-by-appellation reviews on Pomerol, Saint-Émilion, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien, Margaux, Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Médoc, & Moulis-en-Médoc, Sauternes & Barsac and the satellite right-bank appellations, Pessac-Leognan & Graves (rouge) and Pessac Leognan, Graves & Bordeaux (blanc sec).