En Primeur Bordeaux 2023

Dry Whites - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Blanc de Lynch Bages Dry Whites £255 6x75cl 87-89 - - 92 92 -
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The 2023 Blanc de Lynch-Bages, just bottled a week before this tasting, is terrific. Bright citrus peel, dried flowers, almond, lime and crushed rocks lend quite a bit of nuance. A dollop of Muscadelle adds tropical flair without overpowering the balance. This is very nicely proportioned.

Score: 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2029

White peach and pear, green apple and citrus here, reserved but with plenty of grilled cumin and sage spice, and this is a wine that tends to deepen over the year following bottling (it is already in bottle but to be released in September 2024). 3.12ph, 50% new oak, aged on lees.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2024-2034

The 2023 Blanc de Lynch-Bages has a fresh, orchard-fruit-scented bouquet, maybe a bit constrained since it was only bottled two weeks prior to my visit. The palate is well balanced with more complexity than the aromatics at the moment—pear and white peach, with almond shavings toward the finish. Fine.

Score: 87 - 89 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2028

[Add to shopping basket] Carbonnieux Blanc Dry Whites £147 6x75cl - 93-94 90-92 94 87-88 -
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The 2023 Carbonnieux Blanc is bright, chiseled and full of Sauvignon Blanc character. I find it a bit austere in feel, though. It lacks just that little bit of mid-palate texture that could take it to the next level.

Score: 87 - 88 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2030

Very bright and mineral with lively citrus-fruit, ginger, white-flower and crushed-stone character. A hint of seashell, too. It’s medium-bodied, fresh and focused with tense acidity and a firm, lightly phenolic finish.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Sémillon, the 2023 Carbonnieux Blanc exhibits elegant aromas of pear, white peach, spring flowers and herbs, followed by a medium-bodied, satiny and long texture enhanced by bright acids and a lively mid-palate. It concludes with a long, delicate, mouthwateringly mordant finish, making it a classic white wine from this estate. - Tasted by Yohan Castaing

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Gunsmoke, stone fruits, elderflower, cold ash, oyster shell, spice. As it opens thorugh the palate, creamy stone fruits add depth, grip and lift. Great quality, precise and with huge persistency. Excellent quality from this always consistent estate.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2025-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Clarte de Haut Brion Dry Whites £390 6x75cl 88-90 93-94 - 93 90-92 -
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The 2023 La Clarté de Haut-Brion is the second white wine from La Mission and Haut-Brion. It offers terrific cut and focus. Citrus peel, white flowers, mint, crushed rocks, white pepper and a touch of reduction lend notable energy to this airy, sculpted dry white. Time in the glass reveals its lovely mid-palate texture, rounding things out. The 2023 is a fine Clarté.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2033

A tight and focused second wine of La Mission and Haut Brion with a classy texture and beautiful length and focus. Medium body, fresh acidity and a crunchy finish. 56.3% sauvignon blanc and 43.7% semillon.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Effortless, well balanced, white peach, juicy pear, delicious, sculpted and extremely easy to love. 3.2ph, 40% new oak. A test with shade cloths to provide cover for the berries on a small part of the white vineyard is underway, as the team under Jean-Philippe Delmas reacts to the changing conditions.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2025-2035

The 2023 La Clarté de Haut-Brion has quite an intense and lively bouquet: Granny Smith apples, pear and light, slate-like aromas. The palate is fresh on the entry with fine depth, perhaps needing a little more tension on the mid-palate, but this feels long and tender. It will drink after just one or two years.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2032

[Add to shopping basket] Cos d'Estournel Blanc Dry Whites £720 6x75cl 92-94 97-98 - 95 91-93 95-97
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The 2023 Cos d'Estournel Blanc is quite powerful and not especially aromatic today. At this stage, it is mostly the wine's body that makes an impression. The 2023 has good depth, but it is clearly not expressive today. It will be interesting to see what time brings.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2033

This shows real precision and sophistication. Tight and dense palate that is concentrated but not heavy, with intensity and minerality. Sea salt and white pepper at the end. This is really at the top level of dry white Bordeaux now. 70% sauvignon blanc and 30% semillon.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Green gold, well balanced, slate and pummice stone, rises through the palate from the first sip, lemongrass and lime, showing structure, depth, purity and sculpted citrus and sage. Excellent concentrated flavours, steely and mouthwatering, gets the balance exactly right between steel and flesh. 7% new oak (with barrels used only for the Sémillon). Harvest September 5 to 15. 10ha of white for the Estournel wines, 18 years on from its first vintage in 2005.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2025-2038

The 2023 Cos d'Estournel Blanc, a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon, offers slightly more tropical notes on the nose than Les Pagodes, with a touch more depth–hints of orange blossom and honeysuckle. The palate is well balanced with tangerine and lime, fine acidity, notable focus and a bright and tensile finish. This is another delicious white. It will be difficult to resist in its youth.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2040

The 2023 Château Cos D'Estournel Blanc includes slightly more Semillon and checks in as 70% Sauvignon and 30% Semillon, raised in just 7% new French oak, with the rest in once-used barrels. A selection made mostly in the cellar, it has a vivid gold hue as well as a stunning nose of ripe lemon, honeyed flowers, mint, crushed stone, and subtle hints of toast. Gorgeously textured, medium to full-bodied, and balanced, with the bright, almost racy acidity of the vintage, it's pure class.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Dry Whites £455 6x75cl 94-96 97-98 94-96 96 94-96 -
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The 2023 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is one of the best dry whites of the year. Creamy and expansive, with terrific brightness, this exudes balance. Citrus confit, white pepper, mint, almond, pear and crushed rocks are some of the notes that build as the 2023 shows off its pedigree. I expect it will offer exceptional drinking for the next several decades. What else is new?

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2053

This is layered and complex with an impressive mineral tension and depth. Medium- to full-bodied, very long and persistent. It has oyster shell, crushed stone and citrus peel character with racy acidity coming through, adding to its length and tension. Very long and firm at the end with a backbone of fine tannins for a white. 70% sauvignon blanc and 30% semillon.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A perfumed, complex bouquet of pear, white peach, hazelnuts, lime tree leaves and spring flowers prefaces the 2023 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, a medium to full-bodied, fleshy and concentrated wine with racy acids, chalky, structuring dry extract, and a bright, vibrant profile that's rare in this vintage. This is a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon. - Tasted by Yohan Castaing

Score: 94 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Got to be the most consisent of all Pessac Léognan whites, sets out its stall immediately with fresh acidities and fennel spice, giving a kick and lift, classically nuanced and structured. White pear, sage, liqourice root, savoury as all hell, and so moriesh. Working with Stéphane Derenocourt since 2018 on the whites (longer on the reds).

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2025-2040

The 2023 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc was picked from August 28 to September 6 at 45hL/ha. It’s a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon. This has wonderful purity on the nose, revealing scents of lime, green apple and crushed stone—one of the most precise I have encountered at this early stage. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity that lends this white Pessac-Léognan superb focus. There’s real intensity here, building with a sense of nascent confidence toward the mineral, almost slate-like finish. Very long and tender, this is a white Domaine de Chevalier from the top drawer.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2050

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