En Primeur Bordeaux 2022

Margaux - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to waiting list] Alter Ego de Palmer (2nd wine of Palmer) Margaux £402 6x75cl Sold Out 90-92 96-97 91-93 92 93-95 93-95
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The 2022 Alter Ego is a total pleasure bomb. Ripe and sensual, with caressing tannins, the 2022 is exceptionally beautiful. Floral and spice top notes lend tons of aromatic presence. More than anything, though, I am so impressed with the wine’s exceptional balance. Especially the tannins. Nothing in particular stands out, as the wine’s balance is nothing short of magnificent. The 2022 is pure and total sensuality.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2042

The minerality and intensity to this wine is very impressive with blackberry and blue berry aromas and flavors. Salt and pepper. It’s full and linear with a brightness and freshness. Compacted center palate.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, the 2022 Alter Ego de Palmer offers up aromas of cherries, wild berries and plums mingled with vine smoke and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, deep and brooding, with a layered core of fruit, lively acids and rich, powdery tannins, it's a gourmand, voluptuous wine that will offer a broad drinking window.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Dense fruits, violet reflections, with a hit of iris, peony and roses. This is a serious wine, with intense phenolics and full extraction that just walks the line, edges of ripe cassis, fig, saffran spice, cocoa bean, grilled campfire notes, dark bitter chocolate and fennel. High drama, maintains estate signature, keeping its own imprint and personality. Harvest September 7 right through to October 5. Blend done by December, yield 23hl/h. 3.73ph. Thomas Duroux director.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2027-2042

The 2022 Alter Ego is a deep limpid purple in color. It has a huge bouquet as if someone has shoved a bunch of violets in your face and said "Smell that". It just doesn't hold back. The palate is medium-bodied, with a sweet, ripe entry. Quite dense, structured and grippy, with a slightly briny finish.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2050

I always love the second wine from this estate, and their 2022 Altar Ego De Palmer should be terrific. Based on 61% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot, aged in 25% new oak, it's a deeply hued Margaux with lots of ripe red and blue fruits, some classic chalky minerality, and floral notes. It shows the vintage's powerful, concentrated style and is full-bodied, with terrific balance.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Brane Cantenac Margaux £360 6x75cl Low Stock 96-98 96-97 95-97 98 95-97 96-98
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The 2022 Brane-Cantenac is captivating. Aromatic, savory and layered, the 2022 is so alluring from the outset. The natural radiance of the year is very much on display, and yet there is nothing that is overdone about the 2022. Hints of blood orange, spice, rose petal and minerals open over time, offering stunning contrast to the sheer intensity of the fruit shaped by low yields and tiny berries. Brane-Cantenac is, in my view, one of the most under-the-radar wines on the Left Bank. The 2022 is a stunner.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2052

A long and very linear red for Margaux with intense freshness and energy. The cabernet sauvignon shows real clarity with blackcurrants and flowers. Crushed stone. Firm and racy with lots of lemon rind and intensity. 74% cabernet sauvignon, 23% merlot, 1% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot and 1% carmenere.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc, Carmenère and Petit Verdot, the 2022 Brane-Cantenac unwinds in the glass with aromas of dark berries, crème de cassis, black truffles, loamy soil, burning embers and violets. Medium to full-bodied, deep and velvety, with a fleshy core of fruit, terrific concentration and lively acids, it concludes with a long, perfumed finish. This is a terrific 2022 that may rival or even surpass the 2019 if it realizes all its potential in bottle.

Score: 95 - 97 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Easily one of the best wines of the appellation. Red rose petal fragrance, damp earth, rosemary, baking spice, sandalwood, incense, graphite and slate. Exceptional balance, deep chocolate and mint character, with lush damson and cassis fruits. Crushed violet flowers and salted cracker salinity, extremely impressive. Owner Henri Lurton has experience of making wine overseas, in Baja California, which may have given insights into viticultural techniques n the heat, but the real key here is the old vine Cabernet Sauvignon planted in the 1950s and 1960s by his late father Lucien Lurton. 100% new oak, from 8 coopers, and the meticulous approach to oak ageing care of technical director Christophe Capdeville is also important. 42% of production in the 1st wine. All the young vines, even when co-planted in the same rows were picked separately also this year.

Score: 98 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2030-2050

The 2022 Brane-Cantenac, as usual, is a wine that you must sit and contemplate before words gush forth. It was picked from 7 September to 10 October (their tiny plot of Carmenère) at 31.5hL/ha and contains 16% vin de presse from the Cabernet Sauvignon. It is well-defined and fresh, a very subtle Margaux, precise with blackberry, wild strawberry, cedar and tobacco scents. As previous vintages have proven, there's a kind of "hidden depth" that will become apparent post-bottling. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, very elegant and unashamedly classic in style. This is blessed with haunting poise, composed and detailed on the finish. This Margaux is not a show stopper, which in any case, is not really Henri Lurton/Brane Cantenac’s signature style. Instead, it is a wine that 15 to 20 years down the road, you are going to treasure.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2065

I was absolutely blown away by the 2022 Château Brane-Cantenac, which looks to be a reference point vintage for this château. Based on 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, and Petit Verdot, it sports a deep purple hue to go with incredible aromatics of crème de cassis, lead pencil, sandalwood, and spring flowers. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it shines for its purity of fruit, has ultra-fine tannins, a great mid-palate, and one heck of a finish. It hit 14.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.6, and like many estates today, they utilized quite a bit of press wine (15%) in the final blend. This is clearly up with the finest wines from the appellation and is well worth seeking out.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Cantenac Brown Margaux £243 6x75cl 94-96 93-94 94-96 95 90-93 93-95
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The 2022 Cantenac Brown is a powerhouse. Dense and massively constituted, the 2022 stains the palate with inky black fruit, leather, dark chocolate, cloves and licorice. In this tasting, Cantenac Brown comes across as rather monolithic, with the radiance and very low yields of the year very much on display.

Score: 90 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2047

A solid Margaux with creamy and fine tannins that spread across the palate. Medium-bodied, layered and already delicious. Hints of dried citrus at the end.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A few years ago, this estate purchased 22 additional hectares in the heart of the plateau of Margaux, including old vine Cabernet Sauvignon that is now making an appreciable contribution to the blend, and that helps to explain why the 2022 Cantenac Brown is so good. Unwinding in the glass with notes of dark berries, plums, charcoal, pencil shavings and violets, it's medium to full-bodied, rich and elegantly muscular, with a layered core, refined tannins and a penetrating finish. The finest wine that José Sanfins has produced to date, the 2022 only improved during the several weeks I spent in Bordeaux. It's a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon and 31% Merlot.

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

A real golden patch for the Cantenac Brown team, with ever increasing confidence in extraction and expression, plenty of floral edges with inky plum and a vibrant violet rim. Things are pretty intense, with aromatics that are highly charged, with fresh acidities, intense violet and plum, good quality, rich and ripped texture. This is a good quality wine with heavy tannin imprint on the finish, and decades ahead of it. Fingerprints of the vintage, delivered with deft precision. 60% new oak barrels, 40% one vintage barrels for ageing.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2030-2046

The 2022 Cantenac Brown has an elegant nose, showing pure black cherry, wild strawberry, blackcurrant pastilles and cedar aromas. I appreciate the mineralité here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple but firm tannins, nicely structured. There's a crescendo of fruit toward the mineral-driven finish. Cohesive and full of character, this is another superb Margaux from an estate in the ascendant under winemaker José Sanfins.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2070

The dense purple-hued 2022 Château Cantenac Brown is based on 69% Cabernet Sauvignon and 31% Merlot. A beautiful Margaux, it offers lots of smoky red and black fruits intermixed with violets, graphite, and lead pencil-like nuances. With medium to full-bodied richness, a vibrant spine of acidity, and nicely integrated tannins, it plays in the more focused, elegant, pretty end of the spectrum. It's going to reward a solid 5-7 years of bottle age.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Durfort Vivens Margaux £330 6x75cl - 96-97 93-96 95 92-94 94-96
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The 2022 Durfort-Vivens is a wild, exotic wine that very much shows the natural opulence of the year. Super-ripe dark red/purplish fruit, pomegranate and sweet spice are front and center. There’s a bit more Merlot in this year’s blend, and that seems to come through in the wine’s overall fruit intensity. The final blend is project to be 70% new oak and 30% amphora, but the sample I tasted was only taken from oak components, as the wine had only been racked into amphora shortly prior to this tasting.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2052

The quality of the tannins are pure velvet yet so, so fine in texture. Medium to full body with a weightless presence and beautiful heart. Rose stem and other flowers. 84% cabernet sauvignon and 16% merlot. From biodynamically grown grapes. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot, the 2022 Durfort Vivens is a lovely wine that wafts from the glass with aromas of minty dark berries, sweet plums, licorice and burning embers. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and layered, it's rich and concentrated, with a deep and lively core of fruit framed by sweet, powdery tannins.

Score: 93 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Great balance, this has the spice and exoticism of the vintage, with pomegranate, cardamom and turmeric spice, along with creamy cappuccino and damson fruits. Feels effortless and balanced, step by step building in juice, enjoyment and pleasure. It's ripe and concentrated, with the structure for long ageing. 30hl/h. Owned by Gonzague Lurton, owner also of Acaibo in Sonoma, which has had its own challenges in terms of extreme temperatures. 70% new oak, 30% amphora for ageing. Harvest from September 1 to October 12, got to be one of the longest in terms of red grapes picking in the vintage.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2030-2044

Proprietor Gonzague Lurton decided not to show me the Durfort-Vivens from barrel, though he welcomed others. That is his prerogative, and it is one that I respect.

Score: - Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 0-0

The 2022 Château Durfort-Vivens showed brilliantly and is a seriously good wine in the making. Vinified at Brane-Cantenac and aging in 60% new oak, with 40% in amphora, it has a pure, focused, medium to full-bodied style as well as both red and black fruits, some violet and floral nuances, nicely integrated oak, and a great finish. This is one of those wines that builds with time in the glass, and it should clearly be outstanding, if not truly exceptional.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Ferriere Margaux £201 6x75cl 92-94 95-96 92-94 93 90-92 89-91
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The 2022 Ferrière is deep, inky and quite potent, but at the same time there is some aggressiveness, especially in the tannins. Some of that starts to dissipate with aeration, but the 2022 remains a bit forbidding in feel. I am cautiously optimistic, mostly based on how strong recent vintages have been, but the 2022 is not an easy wine to taste at this stage. This sample is 70% amphora and 30% new oak prepared for the en primeur tastings, but the finished wine is expected to be composed of lots aged in new oak (40%), once-used oak (40%) and amphora/concrete (20%).

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2042

A wine that shows wonderful fruit with a ripeness and freshness at the same time. Medium to full body. Velvety and open. Blackcurrant, orange peel, and lovely fruit. Energy. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Given the young average age of this estate's vineyards, its well-draining soils and the extreme vintage, I was a little apprehensive; but the technical team evidently took the conditions in their stride, harvesting the east-facing side of the vines (which sees the A blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2022 Ferrière offers up aromas of dark berries, plums and sweet soil tones, followed by a medium to full-bodied, rich and layered palate that's suave, elegantly muscular and lively. From biodynamically farmed clay-rich gravels, this 18-hectare estate (formerly leased to Château Lascombes) possesses an unusually high proportion of old vines, with fully one-third of their vineyards over 70 years of age.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Tobacco leaf, raspberry puree, there is an appealing earthy freshness that really works alongside the concentration of the year. Ripe black fruits, balanced by mint leaf, avoids the baked fruit notes that are pretty widespread in the vintage, maintains lift and juice. Harvest September 12 to 30, 24hl/h yield. 35% new oak, 35% barrels of one wine, 20% in concrete eggs, 10% amphora for ageing.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2028-2044

The 2022 Ferrière was cropped at 24hL/ha between 12 and 23 September with 13.7% alcohol. Aged in 35% new oak, 35% one-year-old, 20% concrete and 10% amphorae, this has an expressive bouquet with black cherries, cassis and crushed violet scents that explode from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with great depth, smoothness and gentle grip. This is fairly plush, keeping with the style of the vintage, and has a persistent finish. This represents one of the best wines from Ferrière that I have tasted in a bloomin' long time.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2048

Another delicious, up-front, textured Margaux in the vintage, the 2022 Château Ferrière boasts a deep purple hue as well as red, blue, and black fruits, some leather, smoked meat, and leafy herb nuances, medium to full body, and just a charming, round, mouth-filling style that's going to drink well right out of the gate.

Score: 89 - 91 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

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