En Primeur Bordeaux 2023

St Emilion - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Angelus St Emilion £1,560 6x75cl 94-96 97-98 95-96 96 94-96 93-96
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The 2023 Angélus is elegant and polished right out of the gate. Floral top notes and bright acids bring out the more refined side of Angélus. The 2023 shows how much Angélus has evolved in recent years. Bright red-toned fruit, blood orange, mint and rose petal lend notable verve. The blend is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. About half of the Franc is being raised in foudre. All the elements are so well integrated for a young wine. It is one of the best recent vintages I have tasted.

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

The transparency of fruit and the finesse is really something here. There’s depth and beauty to the pristine, fresh fruit. Full-bodied and muscular with wonderful tannins that provide tension and form. Subtle and weightless, this is a thought-provoking young wine. 60% merlot and 40% cabernet franc.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A classic blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the 2023 Angélus reflects this estate's continuing evolution with regard to ripeness, extraction and élevage choices, offering up attractive aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with hints of mint, potpourri, rose petals, vine smoke and orange zest. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and supple, with a velvety attack that segues into a core of pure, pillowy fruit framed by supple, powdery tannins, it's cool and harmonious, concluding with a long, perfumed finish. This is a terrific effort that foregrounds the vintage and the terroir at their best.

Score: 95 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Cocoa bean, liquorice, pomegranate, smoked earth, sage, anis, fennel, slate tannins, this combines nuanced and sinewy tannins with a generous supple expansion through the palate, building in power and impact. Beautifully fragrant, measured and skilful. 50% in foudres for Cabernet Franc, 50% new oak for the Merlot. Harvest September 14 through to October 1, Benjamin Laforest winemaker, Stephane de Boüard-Rivoal owner.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2030-2050

The 2023 Angélus is the traditional blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. It aged for 20 months in new oak with just over half the Cabernet Franc aged in foudres (the Merlot is apparently less receptive to this larger vessel). It has a crisp and precise bouquet, not powerful, a light marine influence coming through with background scents of oyster shell. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. There’s a pleasant saline edge to this Angélus, perhaps a little more compact on the mid-palate than usual, with touches of white pepper toward the finish. It needs a little more persistency on the aftertaste. This will deserve five of six years in bottle.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2060

The 2023 Château Angélus is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc that’s fermented in its individual parcels and isn't blended until very late. It's very much in the more fresh, focused, precise style of this château and has a beautiful nose of ripe black raspberries, cassis, spicy wood, melted crayons, and tobacco. This carries to a medium to full-bodied Angélus with remarkable purity, ultra-fine tannins, and beautiful overall balance. It's certainly not the biggest or richest Angélus, but it has incredible purity, focus, and elegance.

Score: 93 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to waiting list] Ausone St Emilion £2,640 6x75cl Sold Out 96-98 98-99 95-97 97 96-98 -
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The 2023 Ausone is a powerful, heady wine. Dark, layered and explosive, the 2023 possesses tremendous depth and tons of sheer resonance, something that becomes increasingly apparent with time in the glass. Strong saline notes frame a core of dark-toned fruit, mocha, spice, new leather, pencil shavings and lavender. The savory, mineral-drenched finish is eternal. All the 2023 needs is time. Readers lucky enough to own it should be thrilled.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2033-2073

I don't think I have tasted an Ausone like this. The purity of fruit and fluidity is so primary, like perfectly picked grapes with their juice. Then there is citrus freshness. It's muscular, with toned tannins that caress the palate and give a seamless finish. This really could push the boundaries for the character of Ausone, in the way of finesse with structure. Watch it. 60% cabernet franc and 40% merlot.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2023 Ausone reveals an incipient bouquet of violet, smoke, dark wild berries, spices and cherries, all beautifully interwoven with creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with a rich chassis of tannin, it has a vibrant core of fruit and a long, mineral, vanillin-inflected finish. At 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, this ranks alongside the 2014 vintage as one of the most Cabernet-dominant Ausone vintages of recent years, and it will mature for 20 months in new oak barrels. - Tasted by Yohan Castaing

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

Density and well-cushioned fruit, another stunning vintage of a wine that somehow manages to make an effortless impression, edges of cloves and grilled sandalwood, full of nuance and capturing the aromatics depths and heights of the vintage, gorgeous. 100% new oak. Philippe Baillarguet cellar master, Vauthier family owners, organic certified in the vineyard.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2032-2050

The 2023 Ausone was picked September 14 to 30 and matured for a planned 20 months. It has a wonderful bouquet that is very floral in style and perfectly controlled, perhaps more refined than the 2022 (which incidentally had a degree more in alcohol). The palate is medium-bodied with a silky smooth entry, finely tuned with impressive mineralité. It just gently "rolls out" on the languorous finish. This is a more understated Ausone compared to recent vintages, but it exudes sophistication and could easily surpass the Vauthiers' 2022.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2060

[Add to shopping basket] Barde Haut St Emilion £147 6x75cl 91-93 97-98 - 95 92-94 91-93
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The 2023 Barde-Haut is a powerful, dense wine from Saint-Émilion's Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes sector. Ample and resonant, the 2023 wraps the palate in blue/purplish berry fruit, mocha, spice and new leather. There's terrific breadth here.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2043

A linear wine with fine tannins, red and black currants and minerals. Medium body. Salty, with tight fruit concentration and a pretty finish. Beautifully structured. 3.4 pH and 14% alcohol. 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc. One of the best I have had from this chateau.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

All about tannins and texture, extremely well assembled with grip and personality. Smoky grilled coffee bean, gorgeous depth of fruit, liquorice root and freshly cut herbs, clear intensity set against floral fragrance, mouthwatering finish. 50% new french oak 3.4ph, 45hl/h yield, harvest September 14 to 29.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2029-2042

The 2023 Barde-Haut is a blend from the entire property that was picked from September 14 to 28, vinified without SO2 until just before bottling in order to preserve aromas. This has an intense, attention-grabbing bouquet with layers of black plum and wild strawberry fruit, cohering with aeration after five minutes. The palate is medium-bodied with quite plush tannins, plenty of grip in the mouth. A finish with layers of blackcurrant and blueberry fruit with a liberal sprinkling of black pepper complete a fine and quite Rubenesque Saint-Émilion.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2045

The 2023 Château Barde-Haut is another healthy purple-hued 2023, and it has gorgeous aromatics of cassis, mulberries, spicey herbs, and spicy wood, with a hint of espresso. I love its purity, and it's medium to full-bodied, with fine tannins and terrific overall balance.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Beausejour St Emilion £624 6x75cl 94-96 95-96 96-98 92 92-95 93-95
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The 2023 Beauséjour-Duffau is a powerful, resonant wine. In this early tasting, it does not feel totally put-together, but this sample shows good depth and plenty of potential. The 2023 is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, more Franc than in the past. That choice lends gorgeous aromatic presence, but also more structure. This is going to be a fascinating wine to follow.

Score: 92 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2053

The purity of fruit is impressive here, with raspberry, blueberry and mineral character. It’s so precise and focused with medium body and lovely length.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Joséphine Duffau Lagarrosse's third vintage at this terrific hillside terroir is her most impressive to date. The 2023 Beauséjour (Duffau Lagarrosse) offers up aromas of black raspberries, mulberries, violets, spices and incense, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered palate that's seamless, suave and concentrated, with lively acids, beautiful purity of fruit and a long, mineral, gently balsamic finish. It's a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, picked on nine days between September 13 and October 3. Duffau Lagarrosse's work on oak selection (she favors Burgundy's cooperage Cadus, among others) has delivered much more seamless integration at this early stage, and her attentive approach to extraction is already bearing fruit in the form of tannins that are more polished and refined than was formerly the case at this address. It's a brilliant effort from a property with almost limitless potential.

Score: 96 - 98 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Enticingly rich raspberry and red cherry fruits on the opening, supple and welcoming without sacrificing precision and an effortless balance of red liqourice, saffron, lemongrass and pumice stone. A delicious 2nd wine. 46hl/h yield, 40% new oak.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2027-2040

The 2023 Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse was picked from September 13 to 29 for the Merlot and October 2 and 3 for the Cabernet Franc at 46h:/ha. It matured in 61% new oak. This is the last vintage to be made in the old vat room, the new one due to be completed in July. Allowing the barrel sample five minutes to open, it has a very succinct bouquet, predominantly red fruit with light loamy and crushed stone aromas, a touch of wilted rose petal in the background. The palate is very fresh on the entry with finely chiseled tannins. There is a lot of mineralité here deriving from the vineyard's limestone terroir, and the tongue tingles in the mouth (not unlike actually licking limestone!) Quite linear, chalky and tensile toward the finish, this is a finely tuned and complex wine that is in the similar style of, say, Canon. It's not as audacious as the previous vintage, but potentially more cerebral.

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

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Beausejour Becot St Emilion £258 6x75cl 92-94 96-97 96-98 95 95-98 -
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The 2023 Beau-Séjour Bécot is fabulous. Rich, opulent and explosive to the core, the 2023 offers up a heady mélange of dark red/purplish fruit, spice, lavender, rose petal, blood orange and bright saline notes. As always, Cabernet Franc plays an important role in shaping the aromatic and flavor profile. The 2023 is an absolute stunner. It’s the first vintage made in the new cellar. That's of course not enough of a track record to make any definitive assessments, but in the 2023, I see a wine with more aromatic presence, greater precision and more refined tannins than any recent vintage I can recall. In a word: magnificent. Tasted two times.

Score: 95 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2053

A wine with very bright and al-dente fruit. Aromas and flavors of redcurrants and minerals with lavender and chalk. Medium to full body and a solid core of tannins integrated with the dark fruit. Toned-muscle quality to the tannins. Fresh and vibrant at the end. Pure fruit. Energy. 77% merlot and 23% cabernet franc.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The first vintage produced in the estate's highly functional new winery, the 2023 Beau-Séjour Bécot has turned out beautifully and looks likely to rival or surpass the brilliant 2022. Unfurling in the glass with notes of raspberries, dark berries and minty cherries mingled with notions of iris, wisteria and lilac, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and velvety, with a suave attack that prefaces a cool, complete core of fruit that's pure, perfumed and mineral, concluding with a long, saline finish. It's a blend of 77% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc that was harvested from September 7 to October 4, sub-block by sub-block.

Score: 96 - 98 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Ruby red, glass staining, peony and violet flowers on the aromatics, plush velvety tannins that cushion plump damson and pomegranate fruits through to a juicy salinity on the finish. Estate identity in full effect here, shot through with the sheer pleasure of limestone, harvest September 7 to 28 for the Merlot, with Cabernet Franc through to October 4. 39hl/h yield. 55% new oak for ageing. First year in the new cellar, Jean de Cournuaud technical director.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2030-2045

The 2023 Beau-Séjour Bécot has the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc to date after the introduction of vines planted with a north-south orientation eight years ago, from a massal selection. The Merlot was picked from September 7 until October 4, a long harvest. It underwent a ten-day cold pre-fermentation to fix the aromatics and enhance volume, then it was matured in 55% new oak—25% one-year old and 20% foudres. It has a crisp, well-defined bouquet with lifted red cherry, wild strawberry and crushed limestone aromas. This is classy and complex. The palate is medium-bodied with sapid red fruit, fine acidity and moderate grip. The texture is slightly chalky and reminds me of Troplong Mondot, which is no surprise given the similarities in their respective terroirs. Just a touch of salinity surfaces on the finish. This is a sophisticated and quite cerebral Saint-Émilion that should age with style.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2050

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