En Primeur 2022 New Release: Château Nenin and Château Haut-Batailley
2 June 2023
The return to form of the Delon (Las Cases) owned Chateau Nenin in Pomerol has been one of the most interesting stories of the past few years. Their 2022 has been released today at GBP 654/12 and it is very definitely worth your attention.
“The 2022 Nénin is terrific. Pliant, rich and creamy in the glass, the 2022 is a formidable example of the year” Antonio Galloni
“An incredibly ripe, sexy, full-bodied Pomerol revealing a broad, opulent mid-palate and velvety tannins” Jeb Dunnuck
The Delon family bought the estate in 1997 and renovations began in 2004 – but in these early years, quality remained somewhat lacklustre. So what has changed at Nenin in recent years to pique our interest? Well, an awful lot. Despite being a large estate (some 30 hectares) only the grapes from the true Pomerol plateau, around 14 hectares bordering the remarkable Trotanoy, go into the Grand Vin; the remainder goes into the second wine, Fugue de Nenin. Since ’97 there has been a serious restructuring of the vineyard, new drainage installed, a new vat room fitted and ageing cellars renovated.
Furthermore an increase in the volume of Cabernet Franc in the blend – as much as 36% in 2022 – has helped bring not only definition and aromatics, but a real sense of uniqueness. Indeed only the great Lafleur can boast more in Pomerol. And it’s not just the volume of Cab Franc, it’s the quality: the majority is around 25 years of age but there are sections as old as 80 years. These older vines and clay sub-soils were so crucial in 2022 to cope with the well-reported dryness of the vintage.
The scores and notes below speak for themselves, but safe to say Nenin is firmly back on our radar and it should be on yours too…
A Pauillac estate that is rocketing up in quality and reputation is Haut-Batailley released today at GBP 525.
Since 2017, Haut Batailley as been in the hands of Jean-Charles Cazes of Chateau Lynch Bages who has done much to turnaround the fortunes of this estate. Created as recently as 1942 when the Batailley estate was divided between two members of the Borie family. The vineyards are around a mile inland from the estuary, surrounded to the west by the vineyards owned by Latour (dedicated to Les Forts), to the east by Pichon Baron, to the north by Batailley, and to the south, over the St Julien border, by Talbot.
“It's a brilliant wine, if not the finest vintage I've tasted from this château” Jeb Dunnuck
With 22ha in production, the estate has undergone a significant replanting programme since the Cazes family took ownership which means the total vineyard size will almost double to 41ha in the years to come. While Lynch Bages has become increasingly broad-shouldered and built for the long haul over the past decade, Haut-Batailley finds the perfect balance between structure and elegance. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, the 2022 Haut-Batailley shows the potential of this estate under the Cazes family.