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Bordeaux 2022 en primeur: Pessac-Léognan, Graves & Bordeaux blanc sec

I conclude my appellation profiles of the miraculous and at times exceptional Bordeaux 2022 vintage with the whites of Pessac-Léognan, Graves and Bordeaux more generally.

These are, invariably, rather more miraculous than exceptional. They exceeded my expectations – and by some distance – but 2022 will never be remembered as a fabulous vintage for white Bordeaux. The meteorological challenges were just too considerable.

An extremely hot and intensely dry growing season leading to an almost unprecedentedly early harvest does not make this a candidate for vintage of the century or even vintage of the decade. But, time and again, and despite relatively low acidity (and at times slightly frighteningly high pH levels) I was amazed by the freshness, brightness and lift of these wines. That was easier to achieve on limestone or limestone and clay– and it is hardly surprising that many of the vintage’s genuine stars hail from such terroirs.

Les Champs Libres is a truly miraculous and exceptional wine. This vintage was made for a terroir such as this and, in the hands of the hyper-talented team from Lafleur, it is hardly surprising that the wine is so stunning, even if it really does need to be tasted to be believed.

Pavillon Blanc is once again the star of the Médoc blanc secs, a wine of staggering freshness, incredible intensity and chiselled beauty.

And in Pessac-Léognan it is the trio of Malartic-Lagravière, Pape Clément and Smith Haut Lafitte that shine most brightly. Domaine de Chevalier pushes them very close indeed. I was also greatly impressed by a number of the rising stars of the appellation: notably, Couhins, Couhins-Lurton, Larrivet Haut-Brion and Latour-Martillac.

Highlights in 2022

Wines of the vintage:

  • Les Champs Libres (95-97+)
  • Pavillon Blanc de Château Margaux (95-97)
  • Smith Haut Lafitte (94-96+)
  • Malartic-Lagravière (94-96)
  • Pape Clément (94-96)

Truly great:

  • Domaine de Chevalier (93-95+)
  • Couhins Lurton (93-95)
  • Cos d’Estournel blanc (93-95)
  • ‘Elena’ de La Grace Dieu des Prieurs (93-95)
  • Grand Village blanc (93-95)
  • Larrivet Haut-Brion (93-95)
  • Latour-Martillac (93-95)
  • Lilium de Climens (93-95)
  • Aile d’Argent (92-94)
  • Asphodèle de Chateau Climens (92-94)
  • Couhins (92-94)

Value picks:

  • Picque Caillou (91-93+)
  • Le Cynge de Fonréaud (91-93)
  • La Louvière (91-93)

Not yet tasted:

  • Haut-Brion
  • La Mission Haut-Brion

For full tasting notes, click here:

Please click link for db’s 2022 en primeur vintage report, along with appellation-by-appellation reviews on PomerolSaint-Émilion,  St EstèphePauillacSt JulienMargauxHaut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Médoc, & Moulis-en-MédocSauternes & Barsac and the satellite right-bank appellations, Pessac-Leognan & Graves (rouge) and Pessac Leognan, Graves & Bordeaux (blanc sec).

Read more:

Bordeaux 2022 vintage report: Mysterious majesty forged from the enigma of climatic excess (

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