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Bordeaux 2022: Cru Wine favourites from En Primeur Tasting Week

Cru Wine Recommends: Our favourite picks of the Bordeaux 2022 vintage

There is nothing quite like En Primeur week in Bordeaux. With early starts to ensure you reach your first tasting at 9am and late finishes with purple/grey teeth and notebooks full of scribbles as you try to take down not only the anecdotes and thoughts from the producers, but your own tasting notes and perception of the vintage. A whirlwind indeed! After tasting over 300 wines over the course of four days, these notepads became crucial to keep track of our thoughts and insights.

There have been many excellent wines produced in 2022, so narrowing down our list was difficult. These favourites combine the hallmarks of the vintage, beautiful freshness balanced with integrated tannins, with the incredible richness of fruit that you get in a warm year. As always, pricing will need to be taken in consideration and some wines are yet to be released.


Château Lafite-Rothschild

This had a surprisingly open nose for Lafite at this stage of maturity, with beautiful perfume, and classic Pauillac notes and a signature of the estate with black fruit, cassis and graphite. Supremely elegant and ethereal, this is a beautiful wine and was a pleasure to taste.

Château Mouton-Rothschild

Of all the first growths we tasted on this trip, Mouton stood out as the most expressive for us, with huge layers of complexity from the nose to the finish. This was really fun to taste, with more layers of flavour building on the palate throughout the tasting. The nose is extraordinary, perfumed and complex, with cassis, violet and earth. There is great density and concentration with the ripe Cabernet fruit but a beautifully velvet texture and grippy tannins on the finish. Whilst thoroughly enjoyable to taste, this is one that will need a long time to develop and you won’t want to be popping the cork on this for another decade or so.

Château Cheval Blanc

Château Cheval Blanc

This is certainly a contender for wine of the vintage. There is beautiful structure, energy and flow to this wine, with beautifully round and silky tannins that pitch the perfect balance with the fresh black and red fruit layers. The complexity is what astounded us this year, as the wine has layers upon layers of opulent textures and flavours, with a long mineral finish. As in 2015, this year they have not made a second wine, Petit Cheval, as all the Merlot went into the grand vin, along with part of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Château Figeac

Figeac’s famed, and unique terroir (gravel over blue clay) has helped to produce one of the wines of the vintage which knocked our socks off when tasting! With gentle coaxing the nose is expressive with rich red fruit, floral layers and cigar box. The 2022 is full of character and fruit flavour with a real density and complexity but incredibly balanced, with integrated tannins and the acidity levels will ensure this has great aging potential. What strikes us is the blend – it’s always interesting to see what effect each grape brings to the blend and the best of the best is showcased here. Expressive raspberry and florality from the Cabernet Franc, blackberry, cassis and graphite from the Cabernet Sauvignon and damson from the Merlot. A special label to commemorate their first vintage as Premier Grand Cru Classé A is still in discussion.

Château La Conseillante

Marielle Cazaux has been the winemaker at the estate for the last eight years and we reckon (and the critics agree) this looks to be her best vintage yet. The quality of the individual plots was so high that she was happy to simply add everything, rather than blend individual parcels! This is a phenomenal wine, bold and aromatic on the nose and full of powerful rich black fruit and spices. Merlot gives richness and is supported by a good amount of acidity, absolutely delicious with not much to find fault with.

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

This is another wine brimming with beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon character, which took some coaxing to reveal in the glass, but boy was it magnificent when it did. Floral, fruity, savoury and mineral notes gently present themselves in this elegant classic, with brilliant structure and balance.


Château Pontet-Canet

Our visit to Pontet-Canet was certainly a highlight of our day on the Left Bank. This is a brooding giant of a wine, deep, dark and saturated crimson. This jumps straight out of the glass with a beautiful and intoxicating nose of rich cassis, smoke, graphite and spice. The powerful full-bodied palate of black fruit, complemented by polished, velvety tannins and a mineral long finish, showcases all the hallmarks of the appellation and the estate.

Château Rauzan-Segla

When visiting the Château we were lucky enough to taste this in barrel and understand first-hand the subtleties of the influence of new and old oak on the texture and flavour of the wine. This is a big wine, with a stunning nose of vivid red and black fruits. This beautiful purity of raspberry and blackcurrant comes in layered waves on the palate, all balanced with excellent freshness and chalky tannins. One of the best wines of the vintage and a favourite for the whole team.

Château Canon

This was another Château where we were able to taste the wines from barrel and is up there with the very best of the vintage. The additional warmth of the growing season has given the wine additional power which aligns beautifully with the freshness and hallmarks of a Canon making the 2022 a match made in heaven. It dances out of the glass with what are probably the most breathtaking and complex aromatics of the vintage, raspberry coulis, blackberry, iris and rose are all beautifully delineated. The palate is dense for Canon, but it doesn’t lack freshness and really suits this vintage.

Château Pichon-Baron

This is another Pauillac which is hugely expressive, with bold black fruit, laced with floral and herbal notes showcasing the extremely old Cabernet Sauvignon vines on their grand plateau. On the palate it’s very pure, fine and polished, with lovely red and black fruit and super ripe tannins that creep up and build on the long, long finish. This shows the very best of the vintage combining power with elegance and freshness with linear precision. One of the standout wines of the vintage for sure.

Château La Gaffelière

La Gaffelière was one of the first wines we tasted during our week in Bordeaux and it set the bar incredibly high. Hundreds of wines later at the end of the week, its stunning beauty was still fresh in the memory, and remains so today. It has beautifully defined black, red, and blue fruit flavours, floral aromatics, concentration, freshness and balance. As Antonio Galloni says “La Gaffelière simply has it all” and judging by his potentially perfect score of 98-100 Points, it just well might when it is bottled! This is a wine that our Head of Private Clients, Joe Fogg can’t recommend trying enough and can’t give it any higher praise than to say that he will be purchasing it himself!


Château Larcis Ducasse

Abutting Château Pavie, this estate sits on some of the greatest terroir in Saint Émilion and this is articulated in the wine this year with aplomb. This is a seriously good wine and Nicolas Thienpont deserves huge credit for what he is achieving at the estate. Opening with an opulent nose of dark fruit, spice and earth, this is a powerful and rich wine with powerful and long with grainy, mouthcoating tannins that build beautifully on the long finish. Simply superb.

Château Brane-Cantenac

In our view this is one of the most under-the-radar wines on the Left Bank and the 2022 is a stunning example of all the allure a Margaux can have. This is full of beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon character and perfumed nose, balanced beautifully with ripe fruit, refreshing acidity and finely-grained tannins. This is a magnificent achievement from Henri Lurton and the team, which has also been highly praised across the major wine critics.

Château Braniare-Ducru

After a long day’s tasting throughout the Médoc we arrived at the Château for our last visit of the day and were blown away by what is undoubtedly the best young Branaire-Ducru we have ever tasted. This is very St Julien on the palate with fantastic vibrancy and energy. Vivid, ripe fruit, blackberries, blueberries and cassis are balanced with very refined tannins and fresh acidity. This often understated and modestly priced wine always offers superb value, but flies under the radar versus some of its more attention-grabbing St-Julien peers, yet make no mistake, the 2022 vintage warrants your attention.

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 

One of many delicious St Emilions in 2022, but one that should be on drinkers’ radars due to its great value. The style has become far more refined in recent years, showcasing the excellent terroir the estate benefits from on the limestone plateau. The fruit is vivid with bramble, blackberry and raspberry. Fresh, vibrant and with beautifully polished tannins. Another one Joe Fogg has pinpointed for his own collection!

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