En Primeur 2022 New Release: Château Grand Puy Ducasse, Clos Cantenac, La Tour Matillac, Château Marsau
23 May 2023
"the best ever" Grand-Puy Ducasse - James Suckling
Château Grand-Puy Ducasse’s origins date back to the 17th century though it wasn’t until the end of the 18th that the estate took shape as a serious wine-growing entity. Today the château’s 40 hectares are spread across three plots in Pauillac, with the northernmost parts bordering both Lafite and Mouton.
The château itself was purchased in 2004 by the French bank Credit Agricole, and since then significant investments have been made to harness the potential of this 5th Growth Pauillac and restore its reputation to the level its classification merits. Declared as “the best ever” Grand-Puy Ducasse by James Suckling, its modest price makes it particularly worthy of attention – “worth looking out for” to quote Jane Anson – this En Primeur.
"I loved the 2022 Château Grand-Puy Ducasse, another Pauillac that shines for its purity and length. Offering lots of red and black fruits, graphite, tobacco, and spicy oak, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, nicely integrated, ripe, fine-grained tannins, plenty of mid-palate depth, and a great finish. It shows the richer style of the vintage yet has a solid spine of freshness that keeps it light on its feet." - Jeb Dunnock, 93-95+ points
"Beautiful texture here. Tannins are dense and compact but finely polished and silky. Seamless and even with length and succulence. Medium- to full-bodied. Power with elegance. Endless for this. Finally the best ever." - James Suckling, 96-97 points
"the Petrus of the Cote des Francs" - Robert Parker
Château Marsau has been anointed variously by Robert Parker as “the Petrus of the Cote des Francs”, “Pomerol-look-alike” and “a revelation for this particular appellation”. This brilliant wine from the Cote des Francs is the jewel of the Chadronnier family who have made significant investments in time and money to really drive up standards in both vineyard and winery. Planted exclusively to Merlot, the deep clay soil of this 12ha estate helped hydrate the vines during the long period of dryness seen in the 2022 vintage.
Anne-Laurence Chadronnier has been making great efforts in the vineyard at Marsau. The estate has been certified organic since 2021 and since 2019 a no till approach has been implemented to help nurture and develop microbial life and retain water.
In the cellar too, the estate has started moving towards using large foudres which now account for 80% of the elevage, imparting less overt oak taste to the wine. The overall result is the most precise Marsau yet! This is a value-pick not to be missed
“Lovely dark fruity fragrance with perfumed floral aromas on the nose, smells expressive and open. Smooth and supple, a lovely combination of tension, mouthwatering acidity and fruitiness here, such sleek texture with definition and soft juiciness. The tannins have grip and purpose with a softly fleshy and mineral sensation - liquorice, wet stone and graphite - giving a wide and interesting expansion on the palate. Feels cool and controlled, serious and focussed, with balance, still with concentration and power and grip. Feels very classy on the palate.” - Georgie Hindle, Decanter, 94pts
OTHER NEW RELEASES TODAY:
"The 2022 Clos Cantenac, owned by Martin Krajewski of Pomerol's Château Séraphine, was cropped at 45hL/ha with a triage before picking that started on 5 September. It has an almost Burgundian bouquet with plush red berry fruit, a light marine influence, incense and warm gravel. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, slightly granular in texture, and impressive mid-palate depth with a seamless, sumptuous but not overbearing finish. This will be very tempting in its youth, but it has the substance to age. This deeply impressed me, and it might surpass Krajewsk's aforementioned Pomerol." - Neal Martin, 92-94 points
"The 2022 Latour-Martillac has a slightly ripe nose than its peers: candied red berry fruit, orange rind, light loamy aromas percolating through with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with quite thickly-textured tannins, weighty and powerful with cedar and mocha-infused black fruit on the assertive finish. It lacks a bit of finesse now, but I can see this surprising a few people with the wherewithal to cellar for a decade." - Neal Martin, 92-24 points
"Bright citrus, tart pineapple, and honeyed mint are just some of the nuances in the 2022 Château Latour-Martillac Blanc, a medium-bodied, vibrant, crisp white that certainly makes the most of the vintage. It shows plenty of ripeness and concentration, yet I love its acidity and balance." - Jeb Dunnock, 93-95 points