This looks to be the key line…
“Having tasted around 400 wines (though with a few more still to come), I am now utterly convinced that this is the very best vintage that I have had the privilege and honour to taste en primeur.”
Though ‘Miraculous Majesty’ can seamlessly merge with the 'Bordeaux 2022 EP Hype thread! Deary me.
“It would be wrong to call Bordeaux 2022 heterogeneous but perhaps only because all generalisations are too simple…”
Started this article and soon came upon the above which seems to me to be rather nonsensical, so for the moment I’ve given up. Maybe later.
I’m in Bordeaux this coming weekend attempting to “get” Bordeaux as it’s just not a wine I’m into for various reasons. I look forward to laughing at what the vinerons there tell us about the 2022 vintage.
Oh I think I can summarise succinctly: This vintage is simultaneously homogenous and heterogenous across various holistic criteria, and indeed displays superb and notably sublime homogeneity of heterogeneity in its consistently coherent cohesiveness, or not, as well as being universally extra-terrestrially amazing everywhere, but I needed another 5000 words of copy so I’ll go through every appellation in its unique amazingness anyway - but sneak in a tiny qualifier somewhere harmless so it doesn’t appear like I just got ChatGPT to do it; and whilst I decry awarding everything 98+ points across the board, because that totally invalidates any such points-based system, I’ll also and indeed simultaneously defend doing so because otherwise no Chateau will let me taste their wine again and no publication will publish me because they will lose advertising.
Love this circus. And yes, I will still buy because I also love good Bordeaux!
Vintage of the day then.
No, for those of us who are true cognoscenti of Bordeaux hype, the joy is not in the ridiculous superlatives on the more positive vintages, but the extraordinary ways in which a bad vintage can be described in a more positive light.
“Whilst over-stated reports of the zombie apocalypse might have affected other areas, our vineyards were amongst the least trampled by the undead hordes within our appellation. We are confident that the trampling effect of the hooves of the four horsemen of the apocalypse will have produced a forward-looking freshness to this vintage”
I’m more than fascinated about members’ replies to these types of report as what ‘exactly’ do you believe? I would imagine TWS buyers will be on a similar stream. Being the age of 71, I will buy one case of something and hope for the best to at least get to try a bottle when approaching some sort of maturity. Bring on the superlatives!!
I may get a Bordeaux Old Favourites case again as it provides just three each of four estates I know I like and can afford. Usually Cantermerle, Angludet, Batailley and Langoa Barton. But only may; I managed to stick to my guns and skipped '21 completely.
I believe this was a good vintage - hot, concentrated, hopefully balanced. All the rest is gumph. Would be refreshing if they just said ‘We made really good wine this year. Better than last year - sold most of that in bulk, pretty green and thin, but that can happen in regions that are warm enough to ripen grapes most years but not so hot that they turn out fruit soup every year. 2022 was nice for us - ripe, healthy, all good. It will give great pleasure in ten years’. That’s all I need.
Not totally gushing though. Some interesting notes of caution, including this:
A second factor is closely related. It pains me to draw attention to it, but I must. It is the simple financial pressure that comes from consecutive recent vintages in which yields have been low and the cost of production rising. This, again, is a pressure that is highly unevenly distributed. But it is not difficult to imagine the conversation in a number of properties between the wine-making team on the one hand and the actionnaires (or share-holders) on the other. It is quite clear to me that in certain properties and even at the highest level the latter (the actionnaires) require a certain volume of production – a target yield.
Below, let’s say, 30 to 35 hl/ha the return on their investment either does not cover the investment or, more credibly perhaps, give them the financial yield they are seeking. Where that is the case, it generates an additional pressure when it comes to the assemblage. In short, those constructing the blend do not have the same liberty as their qualitative peers to exclude parcels that do not really belong in the grand vin in their view. We will never really know for sure, but I suspect that this is a factor in a number of cases in this vintage.
Two words should be in the back of everyone’s minds before the credit card comes out
(( that’s just one word ))
“Colin Hay, reflects on the quality of this complex but ultimately exceptional vintage”
Colin, is actually reflecting upon the quality of hype, and the ultimately exceptional pricing.
20 to 25 % apparently !!! I don’t think so.
Hmm… Nope, I’m giving this a miss. There are plenty of decent 18/19/20’s around for reasonable prices.
Which are years closer to being drinkable!!
I’ll be completing my vertical of Leoville Barton if possible. I’ve only really started it in the last couple of years but it’s a release I always look to for personal reasons.
My Grandad was a close friend of Anthony Barton and regularly would spend time over at the estate. Sadly, my Grandad passed away in January from Covid and has joined Anthony in the heavens. Where I am fairly sure there will be an amazing vertical tasting going on!!!
I might also get some Beycheville too. But that’ll be it for me!
Reduced yields, big price rises…is this Bordeaux or Burgundy?
The eulogising contains enough equivocation (without naming names, of course) for him to say he was right, no matter what happens.
I wouldn’t say I’m out, but if it’s really 2020 quality at 20-35% price increases, anything I buy will be very selective. His point that Bordeaux is still cheaper than Burgundy, Napa etc at the top end is valid, but those are chunky increases for wines that are already well into three figures per bottle.
I bought a fair amount of 2020 EP by my modest standards, so if it’s really such a price rise, I’d be looking at a few specific wines and then buying more 16, 18, 19 on the open market. The ease of buying EP from TWS and sending to reserves is attractive, but not at any price.
Just had the first 2022 offer through on email from Honest Grapes. Ch Senejac 12 bottle case for £142, up from £122 last year according to my records. A sign of things to come, roughly 17% increase.
Wow. I know it’s eight vintages later, but I think my 2014s were £85 for a dozen.