The Critics on 2022

William Kelley, Wine Advocate

"Everyone who has tasted the wines will agree that the quality and character of the 2022 vintage in Bordeaux is a surprise. How did conditions so extreme deliver wines of such aromatic range and freshness? How can wines of such density and structure exhibit such textural refinement and charm?"

"At its best, this is a vintage of remarkable concentration, energy and harmony; but far from forgiving mistakes, 2022 punished them, and the less-successful wines are jammy, astringent and rustic."

"It is also worth noting that the quality of second wines is especially high: so high that some estates such as Cheval Blanc, Giscours and Corbin elected not to produce them. Others did so more to preserve existing distribution than out of any real necessity. The best second wines in 2022 often exhibit similar structure and texture to their grand vin counterparts, something that isn’t always the case, and they merit more serious consideration than usual this year."

William Kelley's Wines to Look for En Primeur:


Branaire Ducru
Dame de Montrose
Langoa Barton
Larrivet Haut Brion

William Kelley's Wines of the Vintage

Carmes Haut brion
Leoville Lascases
Troplong Mondot
La Conseillante
Cheval Blanc
Pichon Lalande
Vieux Chateau Certan
Mouton Rothschild
Beausejour Becot

For more information, read William Kelley's article on

James Suckling

This is the 40th year I have tasted barrel samples in Bordeaux, but I have never come across anything like the 2022 vintage.

It was one of the hottest and driest growing seasons in the history of France’s most famous wine region, yet it produced thousands of opulent and structured but still fresh and balanced wines.

For me personally, it sets a new benchmark for Bordeaux after my first reference vintage for the region from barrel, 1982. The 2022 shows that the vineyards of the region are resilient and adaptive enough to counterbalance the obvious effects of climate change.

It’s fascinating to think that even a decade ago Bordeaux producers were still searching for bold ripeness, but today they are doing the complete opposite because of the growing heat and dryness.

Some winemakers say that one of the key factors in 2022 was the extensive rain in June and two days of showers in August.

Indeed, it appears that most people making wine in Bordeaux in 2022 didn’t make anything close to the 2003. Their 2022 wines can be flamboyant, fruity and tannic, yet they have a freshness and form that give them energy and vitality.

In all, I rated more than 1,100 wines with Associate Editor Andrii Stetsiuk. It was a massive tasting over three weeks.

I have to admit that it was demanding, but it was a joyous and fascinating experience to taste so many special wines. And there was high quality from top to bottom.

The 2022 is not the same as 1982, but its wines share some of the attractive youthful character, even though strong tannins are hidden under the fruit.

It’s the same old story with pricing of en primeur: the market will decide.

The quality of the wines in 2022, however, is exceptional.

Excerpts from the article "Bordeaux En Primeur Report: ‘Astonishing’ 2022 Sets a New Benchmark" published 19th April 2023 on

James Suckling's Wines of the Vintage

Cheval Blanc
Leoville Lascases
Pontet Canet
La Conseillante
Cos d'Estournel

Domaine de Chevalier Rouge
Haut Brion


"The most common word to describe these embryonic 2022s? ‘Surprising’.

The dry season translated into small grapes with thick skins, therefore berries that were unusually high not just in fermentable sugar from the heat but also in colouring matter, flavour and the tannins that ensure longevity. All that was missing in them was acidity that was exceptionally low after record high temperatures. So how come the resulting wines have such amazing freshness?

I put this question to many a wine producer and most of them just laughed – but laughed delightedly.

I heard Rémi Edange, who has been managing the Domaine de Chevalier estate for years, offering an explanation to some wine merchants as he poured them a sample of his 2022 at the Union des Grands Crus presentation of Pessac-Léognans citing Bordeaux’s modern winemaking godfather. ‘Professor Émile Peynaud always told me not to worry about ripe musts because the fermentation will create acidity. And that’s what happened in 2022. We have to be humble.’

So winemakers have learnt from previous hot vintages such as 2003 and 2018 what to do and what not to do, but so, it seems, have the vines themselves. Unlike some previous years, in 2022 the leaves on the vines stayed green and healthy – right through to November in some cases.

Bordeaux lovers, brace yourselves!"

For the full article, click here

The Right Bank - Jancis Robinson

"Deep-coloured and voluptuous in the extreme but with no shortage of tannins for a long life lurking below the alluring surface. Merlot seemed to produce wines that were every bit as concentrated and noble as the revered Cabernet Sauvignon."

The Left Bank - James Lawther MW

"All in all, I found the characteristics of most of the appellations respected. Pauillac and St-Estèphe exuded power and concentration and St-Julien mellow fruit and a certain distinction. Margaux, as is often the case, was more varied, the terroir and winemaking playing a part, but also the higher alcohol, which provided more power."

Excerpts from (Free for all)

Jeb Dunnuck, 

"First and foremost, 2022 is an incredible, singular vintage for Bordeaux. It may not be as consistent as 2019 or 2020 style-wise, but there are brilliant wines from throughout the region, and the peaks of 2022 are certain to be legendary wines.

With a vintage like 2022, it’s essential to understand that style and quality are separate. The extreme growing season resulted in wildly divergent styles between the regions and the terroirs, yet taking a step back, quality is still incredibly high. In addition, the combination of richness and opulence paired with considerable structure give the 2022s a singular profile, even if there are dramatically different styles in the vintage.

At a very high level, 2022 doesn’t dramatically favor any appellation, and there are incredible wines from both Banks. However, Pomerol (and to a lesser extent, the Graves region) are the most erratic, and Saint-Emilion and the Médoc genuinely shine."