2022 Bordeaux En Primeur - The Verdict!!

As you may know, Peter and James travelled to Bordeaux for the En Primeur tastings. Over the 3 days they spent in Bordeaux, they visited 29 different Chateaux and tasted nearly 200 different wines. Yes, it's a hard job, but somebody has to do it. Thankfully their palettes survived the ordeal, and they returned very optimistic, like so many other wine merchants that they met on their travels.

By all reports, the general consensus is that 2022 will indeed go down as an exceptional vintage. There is much more optimism this year, but a smaller crop than usual will significantly reduce allocations. We have a list of wines that appealed to them the most and tasting notes for each. The report has taken a little while to compile, so thank you for your patience. Separately, they also compiled a list of the wines we will invest in for the shop.

If you are interested in any of the wines or any from another Chateau, please let us know, and we will endeavour to meet all your requirements. Due to the success of the wines and the reduction in yields, early ordering is advised. We will not support exaggerated price increases, but they are likely to be roughly 10% higher than last year, and we will advise as prices are released.


1. Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan.
Blend. 40% Cabernet Franc,26% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon.

This wine was vinified using whole bunches and stems. Good deep colour in the glass, a nose of almonds and a slight taste of pepper on the finish. The tannins are well structured.

2. Chateau Haut-Bailly, Grand Cru Classé de Graves.
Blend. 37% Merlot, 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc

Nose completely open with delicious red fruit aromas. Great balance acidity with well-honed tannins. One benefit here is that they practise sustainable viticulture and have preserved the old vineyards. In extreme conditions, this allows the vines in the good maintained soil to go deep for water.

3. Domaine de Chevalier, Grand Cru Classé de Graves.
Blend. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.

A rich dark colour in the glass from gentle extraction. Good balance of acidity with soft tannins. Great length. Flavours of almonds & hazelnuts on the palate.


4. Chateau Smith Haut-Lafitte, Grand Cru Classé, Pessac Léognan.
Blend. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot

Initially the nose is closed but soon opens up to give notes of red fruits & spices. After a while in the glass, you get flavours of cherry & raspberry and then blackberry with a finish of liquorice. Very well-crafted tannins leading to a long finish on the
palate. Grapes were destemmed and regular punching down for gentle extraction. Aged for 18 months in barrel.

5. Chateau de Fieuzal, Grand Cru Classé de Graves.
Blend. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon,45% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot.

This Chateau is owned by Irish man Lochlann Quinn & now overseen by his Son Daragh. The improvements at the Chateau over the last 20 years are now paying dividends. Work has taken place in both the vineyard & cellar. Stephen Carrier is the
winemaker. At our tasting we got a mouthful of ripe fruit with balanced acidity & refined tannins. Very drinkable even at this early stage. With 50% of Cabernet in the blend though, it will age gracefully.


6. Chateau Margaux, Margaux.
Blend. 92% Cabernet Sauvignon. 6% Merlot. 2% Cabernet Franc.

Once again, the high temperatures had an effect on the growing season and even here with a 1st. Growth the Cabernet Sauvignon was 35% smaller in size than standard years, thus reducing yields. However, the wine shows pure freshness with delicious red fruit flavours. Well-balanced acidity. The nose is both fruity & floral.
The alcohol level is 14.5 degrees.

7. Chateau Giscours, Margaux.
Blend. 64% Cabernet Sauvignon. 30% Merlot. 3% Petit Verdot. 3% Cabernet Franc.

The older vines at this estate gave the wine its freshness & fine tannins. The wine was made in a mixture of cement & stainless-steel tanks and then transferred to French barrels of which 50% were new oak. It was aged for 17 months. Ruby red colour in the glass with a hint of spice on the palate. Long lingering taste with great depth.

8. Chateau Palmer, Margaux.
Blend. 45% Merlot. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon. 4% Petit Verdot.

The average age of the vines at Chateau Palmer are 40 years, which was a factor in the quality of the wine in this great vintage. My first visit to Chateau Palmer was in 1985, and it still holds that unique charm. The wine is even more expressive than
usual. Big, powerful, with loads of fresh fruit to the fore. This vintage bears the promise of a memorable wine.

9. Chateau Brane-Cantenac, Margaux.
Blend. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon. 26% Merlot. 2% Cabernet Franc.1% Petit Verdot. 1% Carmenere.

A deep red ruby colour in the glass that opens up quite quickly to give a fresh well-
balanced wine with restrained acidity & soft tannins. The addition of 1% Carmenere
gives the wine a silky feel on the palate.

10. Vieux Chateau Certan, Pomerol.
Blend. 75% Merlot. 20% Cabernet Franc. 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The old vines here at Vieux Chateau Certan produced a wine of incredibly deep colour, suave, concentrated & balanced. The merlot, which dominates the blend, is delicious, ripe, and silky and gives a roundness to the wine. In the glass, there is a deep
garnet hue with subtle floral aromas and a velvety texture. A wine to age.

11. Chateau L’Evangile, Pomerol.
Blend. 82% Merlot. 17.5% Cabernet Franc. .5%Cabernet Sauvignon.

From the owners of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, this wine is both full-bodied and elegant, showing finesse on the finish. I tasted this wine early in the morning, and it took a while to open, but when it did, the dominant merlot shone through to show a deep ruby colour with a soft mouthfeel. Well-balanced acidity with a lingering long finish on the palate.

12. Chateau L’Eglise Clinet, Pomerol.
Blend. 90% Merlot. 10% Cabernet Franc.

An excellent open nose with loads of ripe fruit showing through. 85% new oak was used, and the tannins are soft and restrained. Flavours of truffle, hazelnut and blackberries on the palate. The wine is silky in the mouth with incredible length.

13. Chateau Leoville Las Cases, Saint-Julien
Blend. 83.5% Cabernet Sauvignon. 10.5% Cabernet Franc. 6% Merlot.

Violet colour in the glass, very open nose of black fruit notes. Dominant cabernet sauvignon having been aged in 84% new barrels leaves the tannins soft but with great structure. A powerful wine even though the alcohol is showing 14.25 degrees.

14. Chateau Figeac, 1er.Grand Cru Classé “A”, Saint-Émilion.
Blend. 35% Merlot. 34% Cabernet Franc. 31% Cabernet Sauvignon.

A purple colour in the glass, bright & luminous. Floral aromas on the nose with delicate touches of spice on the palate from the 34% Cabernet Franc. The cabernet sauvignon gives us flavours of blackcurrants with hints of peppermint. Finally, the merlot gives us flavour of raspberries. The Merlot overall gives us a velvetiness on the palate with a long finish and a hint of mint.

15. Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Émilion
Blend. 53% Merlot. 46% Cabernet Franc. 1% Cabernet Sauvignon.

An intense & complex nose which opens up to floral notes from the 46% cabernet franc. The precise tannins are perfectly integrated giving a rich & silky mid-palate. In the mouth, there is balanced acidity with a great expression of the fruit flavours.

16. Chateau Le Pin, Pomerol.
Blend. 100% Merlot

This is the first time I have had the opportunity to taste this iconic wine. Made with 100% Merlot, the wine is aromatic, elegant, and balanced with a freshness that comes from the very special terroir, comprising of sandy gravel with iron oxide, pebbles on a bed of deep clay. Small production which will be hotly sought after. Allocations are minuscule.

17. Chateau Troplong-Mondot, Saint-Émilion
Blend. 90% Merlot. 10% Cabernet Franc.

Initially, the nose was slightly closed but soon opened to show aromas of rich-flavoured red fruits. There was a crispness on the palate owing to the richness of the flavours. The tannins were soft, and the flavour of the wine lingered in the
mouth. An excellent Saint-Émilion.

18. Chateau Ausone, Saint-Émilion.
Blend. 50% Merlot. 50% Cabernet Franc.

This wine was fermented in large wooden vats, followed by 20 months in French oak barrels. The vineyard is located on the hill in Saint-Émilion facing East-South-East. The soil is a mixture of limestone & calcareous clay. The average age of the vines are 54 years which helped greatly for this warm vintage. Farmed organically with great attention to detail. Apart from tasting a well-balanced wine I came away with a memorable taste of chocolate.

19. Chateau Beau Sejour Becot, Saint-Émilion
Blend. 80% Merlot. 20% Cabernet Franc.

Nose fully opened showing freshness and well-balanced acidity. The red fruits are lively soft on the palate with great structure. The tannins are well integrated. Great ageing potential.

20. Chateau Canon, 1er.Grand Cru Classé, Saint-Émilion.
Blend. 75% Merlot. 25% Cabernet Franc.

Fermented in stainless steel vats, followed by 18 months in 50% new oak barrels. I tasted this wine from barrel from 3 different wood compositions. The 1st. was from a one-year-old barrel that offered full flavours and freshness. The second was from new oak barrel that showed no harsh tannins whatsoever. The 3rd. was also from new oak but from a different supplier. There was that hint of vanilla on the palate. Then from the bottle after the assemblage. Initial nose was closed but soon opened to offer ripe fruit flavours with a gentle softness on the palate. A wonderful experience to see how the winemaker blends his different plots.

21. Chateau Fonplegade, Grand Cru Classé, Saint-Emilion
Blend. 85% Merlot. 15% Cabernet Franc.

 This vineyard is owned by an American couple Denise & Stephen Adams. The average age of the vines are over 30 years and they have farmed organically since 2013 and biodynamically since 2020. The wine has a brilliant ruby red colour with an intense nose of red fruits followed by sweet spices. There is a finesse in the tannins accompanied by a touch of black fruits. Also, Denise’s chocolate cookies are

22. Chateau Pavie, 1er.Grand Cru Classé “A”, Saint-Émilion.
Blend. 52% Merlot. 30% Cabernet Franc. 18% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The terroir at Pavie is composed of sand-sandy/clay & sandy gravel. The vineyards are 55 metres up from the Dordogne River and south facing. A big powerful wine showing 14.47% alcohol. The flavours lingered long after we left. A wine for the

23. Chateau Montrose, Saint Estephe.
Blend. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon. 37% Merlot. 8% Cabernet Franc.1% Petit Verdot.

A dense purple colour in the glass. Aromatics of blackberries. The tannins are well integrated with a fine balance of acidity. A big powerful wine.

24. Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac.
Blend. 79% Cabernet Sauvignon. 21% Merlot

The wine shows a red/purple colour in the glass. The bouquet is of violets with a hint of spice very ripe fruits such as blackberries. On the palate it is smooth, dense & complex. Great freshness with melted tannins.

25. Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac.
Blend. 82% Cabernet Sauvignon. 16% Merlot. 2% Cabernet Franc.

A dark colour with a purple tint in the glass. Elegant nose offering blackberry aromas. A hint of liquorice with creamy tannins, a long finish concludes a remarkable balanced wine.

26. Chateau Pichon Baron, Pauillac.
Blend. 81% Cabernet Sauvignon. 19% Merlot

This wine is dense, powerful and expressive but with remarkable freshness and an outstanding balance of acidity and structured tannins. Inky in the glass with fresh red berry fruit aromas that open up immediately. Excellent length on the palate.

27. Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac
Blend. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon. 17% Merlot. 5% Cabernet Franc.

The nose was closed and unlike other wines I tasted previously it didn’t open up to any great extent. The flavour of black fruit was big in the mouth. I’m sure when the tannins soften the fruit will show through to give a better expression of the wine. I believe this wine could be a “sleeper” and would like to taste it again in 6/12 months as I believe it could be a true classic.

28. Chateau Lynch Bages, Pauillac.
Blend. 66% Cabernet Sauvignon. 28% Merlot. 3% Cabernet Franc.3% Petit Verdot

Raspberry in colour with a mixture of red fruit aromas. The tannins were evident but constrained to show well balanced acidity. Overall the wine is generous and ideal for

29. Chateau Pontet- Canet, Pauillac.
Blend. 57% Cabernet Sauvignon. 35% Merlot.4% Cabernet Franc.4% Petit Verdot

Deep ruby colour in the glass, and the nose is entirely open, showing the freshness of red fruit and giving a fine balance of acidity. The tannins are well structured, showing elegance in the glass.

Our Wish List!!

  • – Chateau Haut-Brion
    – Chateau Lafite-Rothschild
    – Chateau Margaux
    – Chateau Mouton-Rothschild
    – Chateau Petrus
    – Chateau Beychevelle
    – Chateau Calon-Segur
    – Chateau Cos d’Estournel
    – Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou
    – Chateau Duhart-Milon Rothschild
    – Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste
    – Chateau Gruaud Larose
    – Chateau Haut-Bailly
    – Chateau Léoville-Barton
    – Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases
    – Chateau Léoville-Poyferré
    – Chateau Lynch-Bages
    – Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion
    – Chateau Montrose
    – Chateau Palmer
    – Chateau Pape-Clément
    – Chateau Pichon-Longueville, Baron
    – Chateau Pontet-Canet
    – Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte Pessac-Léognan
    – Chateau Angelus
    – Chateau Clinet
    – Chateau Clos Fourtet
    – Chateau La Conseillante
    – Chateau l’Eglise-Clinet
    – Chateau La Fleur-Pétrus Pomerol
    – Chateau Pavie
    – Chateau Troplong Mondot Vieux
    – Chateau Certan
    – Chateau Ausone
    – Chateau Cheval-Blanc
    – Carruades de Lafite
    – Clarence Haut Brion
    – Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux
    – Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild
    – Chateau Figeac
    – Chateau Canon

Early ordering is advised. Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us!