The Latest En Primeur 2023 Releases: 21st May to 6th June 2024

Bordeaux Index

6 June 2024

Read on for the latest Bordeaux En Primeur 2023 releases:

Bordeaux Index En Primeur 2023 Chateau Margaux


Château Margaux 2023

GBP 2160 per 6 IB

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Tasting Margaux transported us to the very essence of this most elegant of Bordeaux’s famed chateaux – a floral explosion of exotic perfumes, taffeta undulations of spices and lustrous fruits wrapped in gravity-defying tannins of near endless length. A more sensuous wine did not pass our lips all week. Chateau Margaux’s 2023 is a wondrous beauty that sits alongside the very finest vintages of its historic pantheon. Buy it if you can!

Tasting Notes

“The aromas in this young Margaux are so primary, reminding me of grape must fermenting in the vat, then turning to perfumes and flowers. Violets and roses. Full-bodied but it comes across as so agile and bright, with vivid acidity that makes the wine crunchy and linear. As Alexis, one of the owners of Margaux said, this really shows the DNA of the estate. Weightless. One of the wines of the vintage. 3.6 pH. Blend of 89% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.”

99-100pts JS James Suckling

“In competition for wine of the vintage, with a single swirl, you find roses violets, lilacs, black, with red cherries, espresso, cocoa, and boysenberries in the haunting aromatic profile. On the palate, the wine is silky, velvety, energetic, and lively. Instead of the weight and intensity found in the 2022, the 2023 focuses on its purity, refinement, length, vivacity, and sensual textures. The seamless finish resonates for 60 seconds, leaving you with lingering waves of incredibly sweet, and pure cherries. Part of the reason for the success of the vintage at Margaux is due to the combination of the amount of rain, and even more importantly, the timing of the rains, which helped the vines reach a better level of maturity. It is interesting to note that macerations were slow, and easy, with some vats taking 28 days due to the lower ABV levels. The wine blends 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. 13.1% ABV. 3.61 pH, 15% press wine. 41% of the crop was placed into the Grand Vin. Picking took place September 11-October 6. The length of the harvest was due to intermittent periods of rain during the harvest, so picking stopped and started, which is another key to the success in 2023. Drink from 2030-2065.”

98-100pts JL The Wine Cellar Insider

“The 2023 Château Margaux is fabulous. Sensual, silky and exceptionally polished, the 2023 Château Margaux is shaping up to be a classic. Seamless, silky tannins wrap around a core of dark red/purplish fruit. Hints of spice, new leather, menthol, licorice and rose petal fill out the glass. There's a bit of new oak peeking through today, but that won't be an issue in a few years' time. Only Bordeaux can produce wines that offer so much flavor intensity at a low alcohols. Margaux is the least showy of the First Growths, but it is often the most refined. The 2023 is sublime”

97-100pts AG Vinous

Château Calon Ségur 2023

GBP 468 per 6 IB

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One of our take-aways from the primeur tastings this year was the quality of Cabernets – both Sauvignon and Franc – on the Left Bank of the Gironde – and especially in the most northerly appellations of the Medoc. The later harvest allowing the grapes to ripen to their full phenolic potential while the cooler nights helped define their organoleptic compounds, these two grapes in particular display their varietal character in classical spades. The 72% Cabernet Sauvignon in this year’s Calon is immaculately refined with classic graphite, tobacco, cassis notes, while the Franc adds savoury spice, violet perfumes and energetic freshness, giving a powerful yet refined expression of this much-loved St-Estephe.

Tasting Notes

“The 2023 Château Calon Ségur is absolutely brilliant and clearly in the top handful of wines in the vintage. Based on 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, it has a stunning array of cassis and black raspberry-like fruits intermixed with smoky tobacco, graphite, and classy oak. Full-bodied, concentrated, and seamlessly textured, it has more mid-palate depth, richness, and length than just about every other wine out there.”

95-98 JD Jeb Dunnuck

“Precise and confident texture to this wine, has higher levels of both Cabernets in 2023 than in 2022, having reached exceptional maturity, and personally I feel that have recaptured the heart and spirit of Calon. Skilfully made, love the violet peony savoury character, it's sappy and has liqourice root and squid ink salinity, along with tons of cassis and cigar box. The blend for this was built on Cabernet, and you can feel it. My favourite Calon since the 2020 vintage, hands down. 100% new oak, director Vincent Millet.”

97 JA Inside Bordeaux

Pavillon Blanc de Château Margaux 2023

GBP 720 per 3 IB

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Another wonderfully aromatically exotic Pavillon Blanc this year with all that extra precision and depth the chateau’s new chais allow. Those lucky enough to have tried more mature examples will know how well these wines age as well – and tasting the 2023 at the chateau back in April was more evidence of the quality of this First Growth’s vin blanc.

Tasting Notes

“This is quite a big Pavillon Blanc with sliced pineapple, ripe apple, lemon and stone. It's full-bodied, layered and phenolic with a ripe sense to it, but then it’s citrusy and salty. Like fresh oysters. Reminds me of vintages from the 1980s, but with more freshness and clarity. 100% sauvignon blanc.”

96-97pts JS James Suckling

“White peach flesh on the opening gives an opulent start that quickly narrows inwards to flint and steel. An exceptional white wine, with sculpted charm, showcasing citrus, lime zest, green apple, anis and sage. Harvest August 23 to 30, yields 37hl/h compared to 15h/h in 2022.”

96 JA Inside Bordeaux

“The 2023 Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notes of fresh grapefruit, pineapple, and white peaches leading to hints of honeysuckle, orange blossom, and coriander seed with a waft of yuzu. The medium-bodied palate has vivacious citrus and tropical fruit flavors with a racy backbone and long chalky finish. This is delicious! The yield was 37 hl/ha and the pH 3.15.”

94-96pts LPB The Wine Independent

Château Gruaud Larose 2023

GBP 358 per 6 IB

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Always the first visit on our intrepid primeur tasting itinerary, Gruaud Larose lays down an immediate benchmark against which all the succeeding chateaux must compare. In the past that marker was swiftly improved upon but recent vintages have proved much more resilient with this year’s offering displaying a level of quality that elevates the property right back to its 2nd Growth best.

Tasting Notes

“The 2023 Gruaud Larose is a powerhouse. Rich and ample, with striking depth, the 2023 offers notable resonance from start to finish. Black cherry, blackberry, licorice and spice fill out the layers nicely. The 2023 is a big, potent Gruaud Larose that will need a number of years to be at its best. This is a terrific example of the vintage at its finest.”

94-96pts AG Vinous

“Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2023 Gruaud Larose leaps with vibrant notes of cassis, fresh blackberries, and mulberries giving way to nuances of tapenade, iris, pencil shavings, and iron ore. The palate is light-bodied and airy, with beautiful poise and soft silky tannins, delivering a lively burst of mineral and red berry notes on the finish. This is nicely done! The blend is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, and 2.5% Cabernet Franc, with pH 3.80.”

94-96pts LPB The Wine Independent

"Vibrant colour that speaks of a great En Primeur wine, with the bright acidities that seem typical in these appellations of 2023. More subdued than some sibling St Juliens, this has a serious feel, with the Cabernets very much on the savoury, stately side, sinewy and with touches of raspberry leaf and peony, fragrant and floral. Plenty of ageing capacity ahead, but don't feel that you will have to wait too long to begin drinking. Old school and delicous. The Cabernet levels are above 80% as has been true for the last few years, a result of the vines coming in to the right age after extensive replanting.”

95pts JA Inside Bordeaux

Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux 2023

GBP 720 per 6 IB

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Chateau Margaux’s second wine, Pavillon Rouge 2023, is released today at GBP 1440 per 12 IB. One of the perennial joys of tasting at Chateau Margaux during the late, great Paul Pontallier’s long-standing tenure, was to guess whether this year’s Pavillon Rouge was ‘the best ever’ – it always was, of course! So to taste the 2023 was to be reminded of Pontallier’s passion for this sometimes neglected element of the chateau’s output – partly out of nostalgia but mostly because, perhaps, just perhaps, this really is the best Pavillon Rouge ever made…?

The 2023 Pavillon Rouge is a seamless beauty whose Margaux pedigree shines like a beacon from the glass – so elegant, so floral, so fine – it just makes you want to smile. If you yearn after Chateau Margaux’s wines of yore, perhaps this Pavillon Rouge might just transport you back in time once more.

Tasting Notes

“Very Chateau Margaux, with perfumed violets, currants and other berries, as well as oranges. Medium body with fine, caressing tannins that are tight and vivid. Racy and refined. Brightness and beauty to this second wine. Succulent. Refined. One of the best Pavillon Rouges in a while. 30% of the production. 79% cabernet sauvignon, 14% merlot, 5% petit verdot and 2% cabernet franc.”

96-97 JS James Suckling

“The 2023 Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux accounts for 30% of this year's production. Deep garnet-purple in color, it pops from the glass with vibrant notes of red and black currants followed by hints of rosebud tea, crushed rocks, dried Provence herbs, and Sichuan pepper. The medium-bodied palate delivers an impressive mid-palate of ripe, juicy red and black berry flavors with soft fine-grained tannins and well-knit freshness, finishing with a spicy lift. The blend is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, with pH 3.60.”

92-94+ LPB The Wine Independent

“Flowers, and spice, along with black cherries, tobacco wrapper, and plums spring from the glass. Elegant, refined, soft-textured, and fresh, the silky-textured, cherries are vibrant, bright, and lifted, with length, and purity. The wine was made from blending 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. 13.3% ABV. Drink from 2027-2043.”

92-94 JL The Wine Cellar Insider


Bordeaux Index En Primeur 2023 Chateau Canon

Château Canon 2023

GBP 537 per 6 IB

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Fashioned with 71/29 Merlot and Cab Franc from some of the most desirable terroir on St-Emilion’s limestone plateau, Canon’s 2023 is a seamlessly crafted wine, replete with fabulous energies and chakras that turn what is a consumable beverage into a work of high art.

Tasting the final blend direct from individual barrels was a revelation this year – both grapes resonated their individuality within the embrace of the estate’s extraordinary terroir, revealing depth, nuance and intensity the like of which was in short supply this vintage. Needless to say, if you want to touch base with your inner self and connect with the soul of St-Emilion’s limestone magic, look no further, this is the wine for you!

Tasting Notes

“This is so elegant and sophisticated already, with a really electric presence and length that goes on and on. It's medium- to full-bodied with an intensity of tannins. It remains weightless and energetic. The pH is 3.41, making this a vivid and lively wine. Currant, orange and stone. Sea salt, too. The limestone soils created a unique wine here in 2023. A blend of 71% merlot and 29% cabernet franc.”

99-100pts JS James Suckling

“A blend of 71% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc, the 2023 Canon has a pH of 3.42 and it will age in barriques for 16-18 months, of which 50% are new. It is deep garnet-purple in color and sails out of the glass with bold notions of juicy blueberries, fresh plums, and Bing cherries, giving way to hints of black pepper, fragrant soil, and violets. The medium to full-bodied palate shimmers with energetic black and blue fruits, framed by super-satiny tannins and compelling tension, finishing long and fragrant. Absolutely ethereal!”

98-100pts LPB The Wine Independent

"Violets, roses, and lilacs kick off the floral display. You also find cherries, plums, black raspberries, cigar box, and spice, with a touch of licorice. There is a balance between the vivacity, and sweetness, a strong sense of crushed rocks, and stones, depth, and intensity. The finish is racy, in all the best ways, which is the perfect backdrop for the wine's layers of salt-tinged fruits that linger. The best part of the wine is that the fruit expresses a beautiful sense of purity, with no hard . edges. The wine blends 71% Merlot with 29% Cabernet Franc. 14% ABV. 3.41. Harvesting took place September 6 - October 4. The length of the harvest is one of the key points to the vintage, as the estate was able to stop, start, and wait for phenolic ripeness. Drink from 2030- 2060.”

97-99pts JL The Wine Cellar Insider

Château Rauzan-Segla 2023

GBP 360 per 6 IB

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Visiting any chateau and talking to winemakers and owners is always instructive, but having the chance to taste the estate’s gestating wine from barrel is an opportunity not to be missed. The relationships between juice and cooper are fascinating to behold and at Rauzan Segla the quality of Cabernet Sauvignon in both new and old barrels was undoubtedly impressive. At 85% of the blend 2023 – something of a record at this address – this Cabernet Sauvignon dominant Rauzan is especially powerful and perfumed, intense and elegant.

Tasting Notes

“The 2023 Rauzan-Ségla is fabulous. Rich, dense and explosive, the 2023 soars out of the glass with captivating aromatics. Readers will find a vertical, deep Margaux endowed with tremendous character and nuance. All the elements are so well-balanced. Crushed rocks, plum, blood orange, spice and leather are some of the notes that explode into the finish. In 2023, the Grand Vin is distinctly red-fruited and vibrant. Rauzan-Ségla is one of the most memorable wines of the vintage. It was nothing short of stellar on the four occasions I tasted it.”

96-98 AG Vinous

“A Rauzan-Segla with solid tannins that are muscular, well toned and beautiful. Black currants, blueberries and flowers. Chewy finish. One for the cellar. Classic. The cabernet went to the gym. 85% cabernet sauvignon, one of highest percentages ever.”

97-98 JS

“Dark in color, the array of floral notes shoot out with violets, lilacs, and roses. From there you find truffle, red and black fruits, cigar box and cedar also come IT is It is the striking nose powered by violets, and lilacs that gets the wine going, before finding all the currants, black cherries, mint, and spice in the perfume. On the palate, the wine is lush, energetic, long, deep, and rich. There is purity, paired with opulence in the long, vibrant, velvet-textured finish, with just a hint of chalk that appears on the backend. The wine is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. Once aging, this is a new, record-setting percentage of Cabernet in the blend. 14% Press wine. 13.5% ABV, 3.6 pH. The harvest took place September 7 - September 20. Yields were 30 hectoliters per hectare. The Grand Vin was produced from 50% of the harvest. Drink from 2029-2065.”

96-98 JL The Wine Cellar Insider

Château Les Carmes Haut Brion 2023

GBP 456 per 6 IB

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Last year’s #1 Vigneron de France, Guillaume Pouthier, grand overseer of what must be Pessac-Leognan’s most enigmatic chateau, continues to defy Aquitaine orthodoxy by producing one of the region’s most beguiling wines – yet again! 50% Cabernet Franc, 60% whole bunch fermentation and ageing in barriques, amphorae and foudres, this is definitely no ordinary Graves.

Tasting Notes

“Guillaume Pouthier and his team have once again crafted one of Bordeaux's most unique and characterful wines. Revealing aromas of mulberries and raspberries mingled with notions of vine smoke, orange zest, rose petals and spices, the 2023 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is medium to full-bodied, fleshy and concentrated, with a powerful, vibrant and complete mid-palate, concluding with a long, ethereal and mouthwateringly saline finish. Sensual, suave and seamless, its beautifully refined tannins are, analytically, more abundant than even those of the 2022 vintage, yet they are so brilliantly integrated as to be near-imperceptible. This blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot is crafted for longevity, though its refined structure will make it surprisingly approachable at an early age. It's maturing 70% in new oak barrels, 20% in 18-hectoliter foudres and 10% in amphorae. A creditable yield of 50 hectoliters per hectare represents a decided agronomic success in what was a challenging growing season.”

97-99pts Yohain Castaing

“This is a fantastic wine and very, very exciting, with purity and brightness to the floral, spicy and blackberry notes. It’s full and deep with agility and weightless. You feel the greatness in this. The winemaker says this is more concentrated and structured than the 2022. Lightly salty. 60% whole-berry fermentation. 50% cabernet franc, 30% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot. From organically grown grapes.”

98-99 JS James Suckling

Château Pavie Macquin 2023

GBP 288 per 6 IB

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Located on one of the propitious slopes of St-Emilion and under the direction of master oenologist, Nicolas Thienpont, Chateau Pavie Macquin has been quietly making brilliant wine for generations. The past few vintages, however, have seen a newfound precision and excellence that has propelled the estate amongst the heady heights of the big guns with scores to match. 2023 is another positive step in the chateau’s upward trajectory and was showing remarkable poise and energy when we tasted it in situ back in April.

Tasting Notes

“Flowers, red berries, spice, licorice, lavender, and sea-salt are featured in the perfume. The wine on the palate is electric, edgy, fresh, and fruity. The berries are ripe, sweet, and pure, with a strong essence of minerality that you really sense as the wine lingers on your palate. The key to the wine this year is two fold. First, the newer plantings from 2013-2016 have started maturing. In the cellars, the aging program is more gentle, with close to half the amount of punch downs, so you have less extractions which allows the wine to feel more relaxed on the palate. Clearly, this is in contention for the best vintage of Pavie Mac, (As it is affectionally known) ever produced. The wine blends 82% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. 14.1% ABV, 3.5 pH. The harvest took place September 18 - October 3. Drink from 2029-2055.”

97-99pts JL The Wine Cellar Insider

“This is a twitchy, lively red with brambleberry, black olive and a real sense of limestone. The tannins are very well integrated. Lots of energy. Medium body. Extremely long. Very cool, fine wine from this estate in this year. 3.35 pH. 14.2% alcohol. 82% merlot, 17% cabernet franc and 1% cabernet sauvignon. Best ever?”

98-99pts JS

“The 2023 Pavie Macquin is one of the stars of the vintage. An exceptional, vibrant wine, Pavie Macquin dazzles from start to finish. Seamless tannins wrap around a core of inky red/purplish fruit, lavender, mint, spice and blood orange, all framed by bright, salivating acids. The transition toward higher-density vineyards and greater freshness is paying huge dividends. This is a stellar effort from the château and long-time consultant Stephane Derenoncourt, who has kept Pavie Macquin as one of just a handful of estates he personally follows these days. In a word: Brilliant! Tasted two times.”

95-97pts AG Vinous

Bordeaux Index En Primeur 2023 Chateau Pichon Baron
Château Pichon Baron


Château L'Eglise Clinet 2023

GBP 1254 per 6 IB

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Today sees the release of undoubtedly one of our top wines of the 2023 primeur tastings – the brilliant Chateau L’Eglise Clinet. Following the all too early death, four years ago, of pioneering Pomerol vigneron, Denis Durantou, his daughters, Noemie and Constance, were suddenly thrust into the limelight, burdened with the responsibility of continuing their father’s remarkable legacy. But not only have they stepped up to the plate, it would appear, having witnessed the last two vintages, that they’ve fully embraced the Durantou mantle and built upon it further. The confidence exhibited in both the production and results of their 2023 harvest – for all their wines! – is nothing short of mind-blowing. From dealing with the threats of mildew by imploring locals with quadbikes to help treat the vines when the mud was too thick for tractors to waiting the perfect moment to pick the grapes, les filles Durantou have played an absolute blinder this year.

Given our great personal affection for Denis, it would be easy to suggest there’s a sprinkling of sentimentality when announcing L’Eglise Clinet as amongst our favourite wines in 2023 – but make no mistake, this Pomerol has everything you could wish for from the finest addresses of this feted commune – the most beguiling purity, an explosive mid-palate intensity (rare this vintage) and sublime, reverberating finish through a carapace of ripe, textural tannins. Denis himself would be beaming from ear to ear if he could see just how brilliantly his daughters are sowing the seeds for future generations of the Durantou clan. Chapeau!

Tasting Notes

“The 2023 L'Eglise-Clinet was picked between September 10 and 14 and matured in 82% new oak. It has a stunning bouquet with enthralling delineation and focus, very intense with blackberries, raspberry, crushed stone, Earl Grey and a touch of blood orange. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins and a dash of cracked black pepper. It's very harmonious and fans out brilliantly on the finish. It is surely going to vie with the stupendous 2022, and this ranks as one of the best wines of the vintage. Tasted on two visits at the beginning and end of my Bordeaux tastings.”

98-100pts NM Vinous

“A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, L’Eglise-Clinet 2023 has a pH of 3.7. It is deep garnet-purple in color and opens with an initial burst of gregarious fruit, with blueberry preserves and ripe, juicy plums giving way to perfumed waves of lilacs, cinnamon stick, star anise, crushed rocks, and forest floor. The medium to full-bodied palate is tightly coiled at this stage with the taut, intense black and blue fruit core intertwined with minerals and exotic spices, supported by firm, rounded tannins and compelling tension, finishing very long and fragrant. A head-turner!”

97-99pts LPB The Wine Independent

“The wine quickly focuses you on its floral characteristics paired with black raspberries, plums, black, with white cherries, dark chocolate, and just an edge of coffee beans. The palate however, is where the excitement takes place. The wine is opulent, rich, aromatic, concentrated, and long. The mark of freshness is there, but, you also experience the wine's elegance, and silky tannins, as well as its length, and width on the mid-palate, and finish. Interestingly, here, it was the moderate amount of sun hours that helped make the vintage as it shielded the grapes from the late summer heat wave. From a blend of 90% Merlot with 10% Cabernet Franc, 14.60% ABV. The harvest took place September 10-September 14. It is great to see continuing strong wines from the Durantou family. Drink from 2029-2060.”

97-99pts JL The Wine Cellar Insider

Château Giscours 2023

GBP 492 per 12 IB

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With records of winemaking able to be traced back to the mid-16th Century and, perhaps most notably, being the home of Bordeaux’s very own Cricket Club, Giscours holds an enviable place in the rich tapestry of the Medoc. And those who have had the opportunity to taste earlier vintages, like the remarkable 1975, can attest to the potential of this chateau’s exceptional terroir.

Alexander van Beek, appointed as Managing Director almost three decades ago, has successfully steered the estate from the dark days of the late ‘90s into one of the most consistent performers year on year. The 2023, a case in point, is another fabulous Margaux, combining the classicism of Giscours’ finest vintages alongside a new-found depth and focus. If fragrant, graceful, refreshing Margaux tick all your boxes, then go no further, Chateau Giscours has delivered your perfect claret in 2023.

Tasting Notes

“The 2023 Giscours is the very best wine I have ever tasted here. Giscours has been knocking on the door of Bordeaux's elite for a few years now. Two thousand twenty-three is the year in which Giscours joins the region's big boys and girls. A towering, majestic Margaux, the 2023 dazzles from start to finish. What a wine!”

96-98 AG Vinous

“This really expands in the mouth, with tight tannins that are polished and velvety. The fruit shows depth and purity. Medium to full body. Juicy center-palate. Like the ripe fruit in the center palate. The quality of the tannins in this rises to a new level. The tannins pull you through the wine. 71% cabernet sauvignon, 7% cabernet franc and the rest merlot.”

96-97 JS James Suckling

“The 2023 Giscours is one of the real successes of the vintage, unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cherries and red fruits mingled with hints of undergrowth, violets and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's seamless and concentrated, with a fleshy core of fruit framed by ripe, powdery tannins and succulent acids, concluding with a long, broad finish. It's a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc.”

94-96 WK The Wine Advocate

Château Pichon Baron 2023

GBP 617 per 6 IB

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One of the most compelling stories of the 2023 growing season is the remarkable quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon that ripened late into early October. The finest, old-vine plots in the centre of Cabernet Sauvignon’s heartland of Pauillac produced exceptional character of fruit, translating into some of the purest, most archetypal Left Bank clarets of the decade.

And if you were to ask anyone to pick an estate, outside of the First Growths, where Cabernet is King, you would be hard pressed to find a better address than Christian Seely’s home-from-home, Chateau Pichon Baron. With vineyards overlooking Chateaux Latour and Leoville Las Cases, their old vine Cabernets, dating back to the mid-1950s, are the source of some of Pauillac’s most revered examples of their variety and in 2023 make up 80% of the blend.

Tasting Notes

“If you like a great cigar, you came to the right place as the first thing you notice is the cigar box, and tobacco wrapper nuances before moving to the smoke, leafy herb, creme de cassis, blackberries, spice, flowers, and forest floor in the perfume. The palate is even better with its multiple layers of black, with red fruits, mouthfuls of fresh, ripe, chewy, red berries, Indian spice, and a lingering finish that holds your focus for at least 50 seconds. The key to the vintage was patience during harvesting to achieve phenolic ripeness. This is the quintessential example of a classic, modern Bordeaux. The wine blends 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with 20% Merlot. 13.2% ABV, 3.7 pH. The harvest took place September 17 for the Merlot, ending October 4 with the Cabernet. 44% of the harvest went into the Grand Vin. Drink from 2030-2065.”

96-98pts JL Wine Cellar Insider

“The freshness and brightness of the blackcurrant and orange-peel fruit give a real al-dente feel. Some stone and spice underneath. Medium-bodied with very fine tannins and a refined finish. A PB with tight, linear tannins. 80% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot.”

96-97pts JS James Suckling

“A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, the 2023 Pichon-Longueville Baron is a terrific effort from this estate, unwinding in the glass with aromas of crème de cassis, dark berries, pencil shavings, cigar wrapper, violets and burning embers. Medium to full-bodied, layered and textural, it's deep and concentrated, with sweet structuring tannins and a long, resonant finish. The charm and vibrancy of the vintage lends this considerable appeal, without effacing Pichon Baron's more serious, Cabernet-driven personality.”

95-97pts WK The Wine Advocate

“The 2023 Pichon Baron is stellar. It is another wine in this lineup that impresses with its finesse and nobility. Dark and enveloping, with terrific freshness, this Grand Vin is so expressive. The 2023 is an understated, wonderfully refined Pichon Baron. Dark fruit, violet and mocha build into the resonant finish.”

95-97pts AG Vinous


Château Palmer 2023

GBP 1440 per 6 IB

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There are few chateaux that deserve consideration amongst the apex of Bordeaux’s entrenched hierarchy quite like Chateau Palmer. As they themselves are keen to point out, in 1855 the estate was undergoing a period of transition, Charles Palmer having sold his holdings to the Pereire family just a decade earlier. So during those years upon which the classification was determined the new owners were busy replanting vines and building a chateau – their lowly 3rd Growth ranking therefore not doing full justice to their true potential. A shame for the proprietors, no doubt, but a boon for the canny consumer who bought (arguably) 1st Growth quality wines for the price of a 3rd.

And the 2023 provides yet more evidence to put forward for the defence, proving not only that Palmer is worthy of a classification upgrade, but that it is very much vying with the Medoc’s most prestigious addresses for a place at the top table. Indeed, given its track record over recent years, who would stand in the witness stand to argue against?

We were all utterly entranced by Palmer’s inimitable charms this year – sumptuous purity and intense minerality framed by the most luxuriant tannins – if there’s one wine from Margaux we would recommend, aside from their top table neighbours, it would undoubtedly be this.

Tasting Notes

“A breathtaking wine, the 2023 Palmer is sensational. Inky, rich and explosive, the 2023 is a real head-turner. Readers will find an extroverted, dense Palmer that is immediately captivating. Here, too, the balance is mind-blowing. Ample and resonant, the 2023 is striking in its beauty. Waves of layered fruit rush out first, building through to the back end with stunning aromatic intensity. There is no other wine like Palmer in Bordeaux. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of a great Pomerol, as heretical as that might sound! If I could pick only one wine to own from the 2023 vintage, Palmer might very well be it.”

98-100pts Antonio Galloni

“What a Palmer in 2023! Crazy aromatics, full and bright, packed with intense scents of pink and purple flowers, damson fruit - clearly ripe no doubt, but no overt heat with some graphite and liquorice on the nose too and the dried herb Cabernet notes. Rich, layered and voluptuous, one you could use the word opulent to describe, full of flavour and really fruit forward. Not as overtly juicy as some, more harmonious and balanced, the tannins are perfectly integrated with the fruit and acidity with the added plushness that the Merlot gives to the blend. Powered and structured, but less serious than some with great energy, generosity and charm on show in terms of texture but it’s focussed too with a long length. Something very captivating about this. Lots of cool classicism on the finish with a salty, mineral, oyster shell undercurrent. 55% new oak for the first year in barrel then one year in 30hl foudre. 3.75pH. 13% press. 32hl/ha yield.”

98pts Georgie Hindle, Decanter

“The 2023 Palmer represents two-thirds of the crop this year, raised in barrel (50% new) until July, then racked into 3,000-liter foudres for another 12 months. My sample was representative of the new oak ratio. The nose is very intense, as normal, loaded with blackberry, boysenberry, violet and veins of blood orange in the background. Powerful, though not in the same way as the barnstorming 2022, it manages to retain focus. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grip on the entry. This is quite a deep Palmer with touches of licorice-tinged black fruit. It’s more opulent than almost all other Margaux wines this vintage, furnished with black pepper and allspice on the finish. It will require several years in bottle. The 2023 Palmer is one of the most long-term, serious wines on the Left Bank.”

95-97pts Neal Martin

Château Pichon Lalande 2023

GBP 660 per 6 IB

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One of the Medoc’s most storied chateaux, Pichon, as it is affectionally abbreviated, traces its birth back to 1850 when, upon the death of Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville, his large estate was split into two separate entities. His daughter Virginie, who married the Comte de Lalande, became the eponymous Comtesse de Lalande, inheriting the land neighbouring Chateau Latour, while her brother, Raoul, inherited the barony and the property across the road.

Today Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is one of the Medoc’s most desirable addresses and, amongst the 2nd Growths, also one of its highly-prized. The 2023 vintage is General Manager Nicolas Glumineau’s twelfth in charge, during which time he has built upon the enviable legacy of May Eliane de Lencquesaing and taken the property to new levels of quality.

This year’s iteration is yet another pukka Pichon that every adherent to its inimitable charms will want to own. With a greater than average percentage of sleek, energy-infused Pauillac Cabernet Sauvignon at its heart, it sings of its terroir and breeding in equal measure – oh what a beautiful wine this is!

Tasting Notes

“Intense and luxurious, with wonderful balance and grip, has the old school feel of a powerful, structured but effortlessly drinkable Pauillac with the precison and sculpted fruit quality of recent vintages at this exceptional estate. A gorgeous mix of cassis, cocoa bean, espresso, squid ink, graphite, pencil lead and gunsmoke. A wine you will want to drink and share, and one that is fully at the top of the vintage. 14.7% press wine, 60% new oak, final year of conversion to organics. Nicolas Glumineau director. Tasted twice.”

98pts Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

“This smells divine, lovely lush blackcurrant and black cherry characters on the nose with pencil led, graphite, liquorice and menthol elements - very Pauillac on the nose. Gorgeous weight, supple and agile, great movement and energy to this. Acidity makes this buzzy, tangy and bright but not over the top, this keeps its structure and retains a serious directness from start to finish. Generous licks of minerality adds some cool classicism to it. Sleek and refined, precise and very drinkable. One of a number of brilliant Pauillac wines in 2023. Winemaker Nicolas Glumineau wants it to be racy and it’s certainly racy. 50% grand vin production, 50% second. 3.67pH, 14.7% press wine only Cabernet. Ageing 19 months, 60-65% new oak and then one wine barrels.”

98pts Georgie Hindle, Decanter

Château Branaire-Ducru 2023

GBP 386 per 12 IB

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One of the talking points during the EP tasting week was the Maroteaux family’s smart new vat room, installed in time to vinify the 2023 harvest last year. Designed and built by a local architect practice and construction company, the state-of-the-art facility allows plot-by-plot vinification, giving more identity to each vineyard parcel’s unique expression and greater precision to the resulting wine overall.

The 2023 vintage is classic Branaire, combining the inimitable perfumes of its pedigreed St-Julien heritage with the classical freshness that claret-lovers around the world so adore. And the chateau’s new vinification tool-kit affords this year’s iteration an extra dimension of elegance alongside more noticeable weight on the classy finish. If your tastes veer towards fine, classical claret with a new-found depth of flavour, you’d do worse than add a few boxes of this graceful elixir to your cellar.

Tasting Notes

“Located just across from Château Beychevelle, the 2023 Château Branaire-Ducru reveals a dense ruby/purple hue as well as absolute classic notes of red and blue fruits, spring flowers, sappy, and cedarwood. It's medium to full-bodied, has a supple, layered, elegant mouthfeel, remarkable purity, and ultra-fine tannins. It's one hell of a classy, balanced 2023 that will have 20+ years of prime drinking.”

93-95pts Jeb Dunnuck

“Bright fruits, slate tannins, peony florals, black tea, tobacco and tons of St Julien finesse. Cabernet dominant in aroamtics and fruit character, a delicious Branaire. 53hl/ha yields.”

94pts Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

FRIDAY 24th MAY 2024

Château Laroque 2023

GBP 240 per 12 IB

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Today we are pleased to offer the new release of Chateau Laroque at £240 per dozen. Always one of BI’s most popular wines sold en primeur over recent years, it’s a St-Emilion Grand Cru Classé that is hard to beat for both price and quality.

This historic chateau’s 61 hectares are perched up at one of St-Emilion’s highest points, neighbouring Chateau Troplong Mondot, and on a plateau rich in red and blue clays over a limestone substratum. Only 40 hectares are classified as Grand Cru Classé, however, and of those just 27 are dedicated to the production of the estate’s Grand Vin. Old vines, low yields, meticulous viticulture, strict selections, small parcel vinification and gentle extractions have seen Chateau Laroque starting to fulfil the true potential of its extraordinary terroir.

Tasting Notes

“Medium intensity ruby, this is a little reserved at first, in the best way, in that it has the hidden depths that are just so promising during En Primeur, real sense of sapidity, squid ink, violet reflections, extremely vibrant, really like this, blueberry, sage, slate, lift on the finish, delicious. Beaumartin family, David Suire winemaker.”

95pts Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

“Really perfumed nose, highly scented with purple flowers and dark ripe fruit - blackcurrant, damson plum and black cherry. Deep aromatics with lots of tobacco and clove spice on the nose. It’s heady, strongly scented and alive. Cool and crisp on the palate, smooth, so silky, really effortless in the tannin presentation. Juicy and clean, so bright, but not sour or tart, just the right side, so it’s lifted but not overly austere. Once the acidity calms down in comes the salty, mineral base giving lots of liquorice, wet stone and graphite tones, putting you squarely on limestone. Fruit is ripe and there is the softest chew to the expression but it keeps a relatively sleek frame. A bit minty. I would have thought there was more Cabernet in the blend than there is. It’s not so layered, but it’s certainly finessed and graceful on the palate with lots of precision and movement from start to finish. One that makes you want another sip straight away. 3.42pH. A great wine from winemaker David Suire. A yield of 46hl/ha. Ageing 50% new oak.”

95pts Georgina Hindle, Decanter

“The 2023 Laroque has an outstanding bouquet that shades many of its peers. It conveys transparency and mineralité at a higher level and leaves you wanting more. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins that frame the pure black cherry and raspberry fruit. There is structure here, and the finish is notably longer than other wines of its class. This is very impressive, and I can imagine it aging with style.”

94-96pts Neal Martin, Vinous

THURSDAY 23rd MAY 2024

Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2023

GBP 273 per 6 IB

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If we were forced to pick a “most popular Pauillac” then Grand-Puy-Lacoste would be right up there. A Bordeaux Index favourite and one of the most consistently over-performing estates in the whole of Bordeaux. Their 2023 has been released at GBP 546 per dozen and it will – as ever – appeal to lovers of this most gloriously traditional, terroir-expressive Pauillac.

Tasting Notes

“Some clear Cabernet notes on the nose, herbal elements, blackcurrant leaf and cranberry fruit. Smells ripe and cool with gorgeous milk chocolate elements. Energy is the first thing that springs to mind. There’s power here but there’s precision and velvety tannins to this too which gives both structure and brightness. Excellent harmony, this has roundness and depth, not too lean, with crunchy and really present chalky, wet stone tannins. Cranberry and strawberry with blueberry. Still lean, it’s straight but finessed with long, lingering flavours. It’s not as soft and plush as Giscours can be, not as naturally sexy, it’s more serious, but there’s suaveness here. Excellent effort. 3.75pH. Ageing 50% new oak. 70% grand vin production.”

95pts Georgina Hindle, Decanter

“We are in classic Grand Puy Lacoste territory here, great balance, good freshness, Pauillac typicity, less concentration than 2022, showing instead bright cassis and blackberry fruits, salted cracker edge, liquorice, graphite, spiced cocoa beans, and flashes of fresher redcurrants on the close of play. Great quality, and you can see the fine ageing potential stretching ahead. 75% new oak, rest one year old, around 60% of production in this 1st wine (this is similar each year, as here the vineyard footprint has not changed since 1855). Harvest September 11 to 28.”

94pts Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

Bordeaux Index En Primeur 2023

Château Cantenac Brown 2023

GBP 195 per 6 IB

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Château Cantenac Brown was founded over 200 years ago by John Lewis Brown, a visionary Scotsman whose passion for wine spurred him to seek out some of the best vineyard plots in the Médoc. Constructing a now-iconic, Tudor-style château on the Cantenac plateau – a testament to his Scottish ancestry – Brown enriched the estate with several rare species of trees, which continue to provide a sanctuary of biodiversity. Today, Château Cantenac Brown is owned by the Le Lous family, who, like the Browns, have a direct and active involvement in the estate’s management. Tristan Le Lous, an agronomist with a passion for oenology, works closely with the château’s Director, José Sanfins, sharing the same pursuit of a perfect balance between nature and cultivation.

Tasting Notes

“2023 is the first vintage produced in the new, state-of-the-art gravity cellars, which really made a difference this year. Sporting a dark hue, the intense aromatic profile shoots out its blackberry, espresso, flowers, cherries, and truffle with only a single swirl. On the palate, the wine is opulent, powerful, rich, and intense, yet, it is also light on its feet due to its complementing acidities. The finish is long, intense, energetic, and rich, with layers of sweet, polished, luscious fruits, with just a hint of spice, and peppery cocoa on the back end. The wine is a blend of 71.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, and 1.5% Petit Verdot. 13.6% ABV, 3.64 pH. The Grand Vin was produced using only 52% of the harvest. Picking took place September 7 - October 6, making this the longest harvest in the history of the estate. Drink from 2029-2055."

94-96pts Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider

“The 2023 Cantenac Brown is concentrated, ample and generous right out of the gate. Blackberry, incense, new leather, tobacco, menthol and chocolate are all amplified to the maximum. As is often the case, Cantenac Brown is one of the more extroverted wines in Margaux. It's a style that works so well. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2023 needs time to shed some of its baby fat.”

93-96pts Antonio Galloni, Vinous

La Gaffeliere 2023

GBP 270 per 6 IB

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La Gaffeliere is St Emilion’s primary rising star and their 2023 is released today at GBP 540 per 12. This is a property that has been attracting a lot of attention in recent years and the 2023 release is a worthy successor. This was a year where the warm, late September weather resulted in particularly distinctive Cabernet Franc which comprises a full 40% of the blend.

Tasting Notes

“The 2023 La Gaffeliere is deep garnet-purple in color. It slowly emerges from the glass with fragrant scents of boysenberries, fresh juicy plums, and black raspberries opening out to hints of lilacs, Sichuan pepper, fragrant soil, and cardamom. The medium to full-bodied palate is exquisitely knit with filigree layers of black and red berries and floral accents, supported by plush tannins and wonderful tension, finishing long and perfumed. Wow! The blend is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, with pH 3.50.”

96-98pts LPB, The Wine Independent

“One of the stars of the vintage, the 2023 Château La Gaffelière checks in as 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc resting in 50% new barrels. Cassis, smoked black fruits, graphite, and crushed stone all define the aromatics, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a pure, layered, concentrated mouthfeel, plenty of tannins, and a great finish. It has a lot of oak but but more than enough fruit and texture. It's serious stuff.”

94-97pts Jeb Dunnuck

Lagrange 2023

GBP 186 per 6 IB

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A classic St Julien which is again reaching the peak of its once-great powers is Lagrange and their 2023 has been released this morning at GBP 372. This property has cemented its place as a value-buy over the past years with a number of excellent scores. The estate is run by Matthieu Bordes (previously at Cheval Blanc) who regularly holds blind tastings of the Lagrange wines against other classed growths at the estate – the results are always surprising and demonstrate the level of improvements and precision now achieved at the estate and by winemaker Benjamin Vimal.

Tasting Notes

“This is very much in the character of Lagrange over the past few years, showing precision and confidence in its construction, finessed and elegant, with St Julien balance and reserved power. Will absolutely deliver for fans of classical Left Bank Bordeaux with its slate tannins, savoury Cabernet black and blue fruits, fresh leaf tea, tobacco, raspberry leaf, spiced sage and luscious mouthwatering signoff. 51hl/ha yield.”

95pts Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

“Another great vintage from Lagrange. Strongly scented, lots of Cabernet markers, liquorice, toast, cedar, tobacco, some dark chocolate and dark bramble fruit - blackcurrants and blueberries with perfumed accents too. Smooth and supple, almost velvety on the palate, this has a thickness of fine tannins, and plump fruit with a great juiciness. A touch of bitterness on the finish - some iodine notes, oyster shell salinity and some oak toast. I like the plump, almost fleshy aspect, balancing the acidity with a hint of sweetness.”

95pts Georgina Hindle, Decanter

CHÂTEAU Larrivet Haut-Brion 2023

GBP 293 per 12 IB

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For the last few vintages, it is clear that this estate has really found its rhythm. Jane Anson writes, ‘this is definitely an estate to keep an eye on’ since the Gervoson family took ownership in 1987. At 72.5ha the property is one of the largest of the appellation, and one that has benefitted greatly from continued investment from its new owners. Working with Michel Rolland as consultant since 1993, and Stephane Derenoncourt since 2015 the estate manager is Bruno Lemoine (of Ch. Montrose fame), and all three have been instrumental in bringing this property into the spotlight.

Tasting Notes

“A wine of stature and pure breeding, the 2023 Larrivet Haut-Brion is superb. Its vertical energy is compelling right out of the gate. Dark red-toned fruit, gravel, incense, licorice, spice, rose petal and tobacco build effortlessly in a deep, layered Pessac-Léognan that hits all the right notes. The blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot, done with a touch of stem inclusion and aged in 92% French oak and 8% amphora. Superb. Tasted three times.”

93-95pts Antonio Galloni, Vinous

“I continue to love this estate, and their 2023 Château Larrivet Haut-Brion looks to be terrific. Sporting a deep ruby/purple hue as well as gorgeous aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, scorched earth, graphite, and smoky tobacco, it’s medium-bodied, beautifully pure, and flawlessly balanced, with integrated acidity and tannins. It's going to need just a few years of bottle age and evolve for 15 years or more. Tasted twice. The 2023 is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Merlot, aging in 92% new barrels and 8% in amphora.”

92-94pts Jeb Dunnuck


CHÂTEAU Léoville Poyferré 2023

GBP 337 per 6 IB

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Is there a wine that can do no wrong? A (very) few come to mind, but a front-runner in that list – for us at least – is undoubtedly Léoville Poyferré, a wine that brings both immediate and long-term joy, the exuberance of which makes it quite impossible not to fall in love with. That said, under new General Manager, Sara Lecompte Cuvelier, we are seeing a subtle shift in direction towards a fresher, slightly more linear style – achieved, for example, through earlier picking (historically LP were the latest pickers in Saint-Julien) and through more precise subdivision of plots for vinification. This newfound focus supplies the perfect counterbalance to the natural opulence and richness of the estate’s terroir.

Tasting Notes

“The 2023 Léoville-Poyferré was picked from September 14 until October 5 at 52.78hL/ha and aged in slightly less new oak than usual, simply because of the large volume. In fact, some of the lots commenced their malolactic fermentation in vat rather than barrel. This has an intense bouquet with black cherries and iodine, becoming more floral with aeration. The palate opens with a medium body and pliant tannins, fleshy and ripe, dovetailing into a dense and multi-tiered mid-palate. Typical Poyferré in style, blood orange and light graphite notes are embroidered into the ripe black fruit, and there is noticeable glycerol on the finish. It is perhaps the most opulent of the three Léovilles, and yet it arrives with a modest 13.1% alcohol. This is a contender for the best Saint-Julien in show.”

95-97pts Neal Martin, Vinous

“Brilliant Poyferré, deep ruby colour, setting the scene for ink, campfire, espresso, mint, cassis and damson. Concentrated but with a delicious balance, this feels effortless and is truly a wine for Bordeaux lovers to seek out. Harvest September 14 to October 5. 80% new oak, 52hl/h yields, biggest since 2004, with more 1st wine than usual because the old Cabernet Sauvignon plots gave quality and quantity (after three low quantity years). Alix Combes new vineyard manager, replacing long time manager Bruno Clenet.”

98pts Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux



GBP 420 per case 6 IB

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This year we had the pleasure of spending a little more time with Matthieu Cuvelier (and his dog Pixie!) for a tasting at the property, a walk around the seemingly endless underground cellars, as well as a lunch featuring some impressive older vintages. Simply put, the wines coming from this address should not be missed – they find the perfect balance between power and precision, showing all the signatures of Merlot on limestone.

Set at a strategic location just at the entrance to St Emilion, this is one of the most ancient properties of the town, originally starting life known as ‘Campfourtet’ as a military fort in the Middle Ages. Visiting the estate, you have a real sense of the history of St Emilion – the vines of the property rub up against the sole remaining walls of the 13th century Couvent des Dominicains which was largely destroyed in the French Revolution. Equally as impressive though, is what is found below the estate in the extensive network of caves and tunnels spanning a total of 13ha.

Tasting Notes

“The 2023 Clos Fourtet is deep garnet-purple in color. It requires quite a lot of swirling to coax out fragrant notes of redcurrant jelly, kirsch, wild blueberries, and violets followed by hints of cinnamon stick, star anise, cumin seed, and fallen leaves. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers intense, vibrant red berry and baking spice flavors, supported by fine-grained tannins and jaw-dropping tension, finishing with great length and poise. This is a real head-turner. The blend is 87% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, with pH 3.50.”

95-97pts LPB, The Wine Independent

“Checking in as 87% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, raised in 50-60% new oak, the 2023 Château Clos Fourtet has a beautiful limestone-driven style in its red and blue fruits as well as floral and chalky nuances that emerge with time in the glass. Medium-bodied, incredibly well-balanced, and elegant on the palate, it has fine tannins and outstanding length, as well as a gorgeous limestone character. It's a beautiful wine from this family estate that readers will love to have in their cellars.”

94-96pts Jeb Dunnuck

CHÂTEAU Mondotte 2023

GBP 647 per 6 IB

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La Mondotte is a 4.5ha vineyard planted to Merlot (75%) and Cabernet Franc (25%), on average 60 years’ old, high up on Saint-Emilion’s clay-limestone plateau, next door to Pavie and around the corner from Le Tertre Roteboeuf. The first vintage in 1996 had one clearly defined aim: to compete with the new wave garagistes who were pulling in the big scores with their big wines. Boasting 100% new oak, 100% Merlot and maximum extraction, La Mondotte built a reputation for size (Robert Parker likened the 1996 to Fonseca’s 1994 Vintage Port while suggesting the 2000 be consumed with a spoon!) – and sizeable scores – from the get-go. It instantly appealed to the Zeitgeist and to new buyers, but it was not long until the market grew tired of this trend, and it soon became an anachronism…

Fast forward some twenty years and it’s no coincidence that Bordeaux’s most fashionable proprietor, Count Stephan von Neipperg, has responded to the new appetite – which we hope is more than a passing trend – for more elegant wines, which favour infusion over extraction (“infusion” arguably being the latest buzzword in Bordeaux, but one which we prefer to extraction…). You might go back to the Count’s delicious 2014 (which was also the first vintage certified organic) to pinpoint his moment of conversion. The new vintage of La Mondotte holds true to this now not-so-new stylistic direction and delivers a wine which, to borrow from Jeff Leve, shows “an understated sense of elegance that becomes apparent as the wine expands.” This is still a full-bodied and concentrated wine, yes, but one which marries its undoubted power with freshness and carefully sculpted tannins. The 2023 is a stunner.

Tasting Notes

“Incense, flowers, black cherries, cigar box, plums, and spice are easy to spot in the perfume. On the palate, texturally, the fruits are as lush, as they are bright, and fresh. There is an understated sense of elegance that becomes apparent as the wine expands, and lingers on your palate. The lengthy finish continues gaining in intensity and complexity. The wine blends 80% Merlot with 20% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% ABV. The harvest took place September 19-30. 2029-2060”

96-98pts Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider

“The 2023 La Mondotte is fabulous. In fact, the 2023 is one of the best Mondottes I can remember tasting. A wine of vertical, explosive energy, La Mondotte dazzles from the very first taste. Inky dark fruit, mocha, lavender, new leather, spice and dried herbs build as this dynamic, complex Saint-Émilion shows off its compelling personality. Superb.”

95-97pts Antonio Galloni, Vinous


CHÂTEAU Beychevelle 2023

GBP 360 per 6 IB

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Beychevelle is a château which has come a long way in recent years; their new winery is furnished with sufficient tanks that they can pick and ferment on a micro-plot level, thereby delivering more detail and terroir precision than ever before.

Beychevelle is always one of our earliest tasting appointments during the en primeur week, and it has quickly become one of our favourite wines to taste even at this early stage. The estate famously has a higher proportion of Merlot in the blend compared to its neighbours which always helps to bring out a sense of creaminess and fleshiness on the mid-palate with alluring floral aromatics.

Tasting Notes

“The 2023 Beychevelle is fabulous. As always, Beychevelle includes quite a bit more Merlot than most wines in the appellation, but the Cabernet is especially high here. Inky dark fruit, crème de cassis, mocha, licorice and lavender build in the glass. This juicy, extroverted Saint-Julien has a ton to offer. The combination of fruit intensity, acid and supporting structure is superb. The 2023 is showy, but not at all overdone. Beychevelle remains one of the most distinctive wines in all of Bordeaux. It is especially classy in this edition. Tasted two times."

94-96pts Antonio Galloni, Vinous

“Black, red, and blue fruit, with a hint of chocolate, flowers, and espresso jump from the nose. The palate is packed with layers of supple, black cherries, vibrant black currants, cocoa, spice, black raspberries, and espresso. Energetic, medium-bodied, long, and intense, with purity, and lift, this is going to offer fabulous drinking with just a few years in the cellar. The key to the vintage this year was patience, which was to find the perfect moment to harvest. The wine blends 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot. This is the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon ever used in the blend! 13.3% ABV, pH 3.67. The harvest took place September 13 - October 6. This is the longest harvest on record. 50% of the harvest was placed into the Grand Vin. Drink from 2029-2060.”

94-96pts Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider

Bordeaux Index En Primeur Chateau Beychevelle