I am pleased to present my Bordeaux 2022 En Primeur report. After two separate packed trips to the region in April and May, tasting well over 450 wines, I am pleased to confirm that it is an exceptional vintage, the best since 2016 and – other than that – very possibly the best since 2005.
Fears that the headline-generating heatwave that spread across all of France, and most of Europe, during the summer of 2022 might replicate the conditions of such hot years as 2003 have proved unfounded. For a variety of reasons, the wines have a freshness and moderation of alcohol which is as delightful as it is surprising. The flavours are ripe without being over opulent. It appears that the vines are able, somehow instinctively, to cope with the impacts of climate change rather more successfully than we humans are.
Nevertheless, and unlike 2016 where everything was great, there were the occasional issues of high pH in the must and this may impact if not the appeal, then the longevity of some of the wines. This only really applies to lower estates, and of those only where people were unable to change their winery regime to suit the character of the arriving fruit. Where extraction was kept to a minimum, temperature was kept under control, and care was taken, the wines are on the whole breathtakingly good.
After several years of dramatic instability due to the global situation, the En Primeur system as a whole seems also to have re-awoken and this fine vintage is already making a stir in the market, with some ambitions price increases, and allocations rapidly selling out.
The report features tasting notes and scores for over 400 of the top wines of Bordeaux in 2022, as well as commentary and notes on the vintage, dozens of photographs, and a recap of the century of vintages so far. I hope you enjoy it.
Roderick Smith MW