BORDEAUX EN PRIMEUR

Bordeaux En Primeur

Vintage Wine Bottle Size Unit of sale Qty of unit Qty of btl Btl price (HKD) Score Location
2021 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion 750 OWC3 40 120 800 WA91-93+ EP
2022 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion 750 OWC12 10 120 800 - EP
2022 Chateau Beychevelle 750 OWC6 8 48 750 WA92-94 EP
2021 Chateau Canon 750 OWC6 2 12 950 WA94-96 EP
2021 Chateau Cheval Blanc 750 OWC3 3 9 4,500 WA95-97 EP
2022 Chateau Cheval Blanc 750 OWC6 2 12 4,800 WA97-99 EP
2022 Chateau Cheval Blanc 750 Bottle 6 6 4,800 WA97-99 EP
2021 Chateau Cheval Blanc - Le Petit Cheval Blanc 750 OWC3 6 18 1,280 - EP
2021 Chateau Haut Brion 750 OWC6 6 36 4,250 WA96-98 EP
2022 Chateau Haut Brion 750 OWC6 12 72 4,800 WA95-97 EP
2023 Chateau Haut Brion 750 OWC6 6 36 3,100 WA95-97 EP
2022 Chateau La Conseillante 750 OWC6 14 84 2,180 WA97-100 EP
2021 Chateau Lafite Rothschild 750 OWC3 1 3 5,500 WA95-97 EP
2022 Chateau Lafite Rothschild 750 Bottle 5 5 5,500 WA95-97 EP
2022 Chateau Lafite Rothschild 750 OWC6 2 12 5,500 WA95-97 EP
2023 Chateau Lafite Rothschild 750 OWC6 4 24 4,100 WA97-99 EP
2022 Chateau Lafite Rothschild - 'Carruades de Lafite' 750 OWC6 4 24 1,950 WA91-93 EP
2023 Chateau Lafite Rothschild - 'Carruades de Lafite' 750 OWC6 4 24 1,500 WA92-94 EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur 750 OWC3 10.67 32 8,000 WA96-98 EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur 1500 OWC1 12 12 17,000 WA96-98 EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur 6000 OWC1 2 2 85,000 WA96-98 EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red 750 Bottle 120 120 280 WA92-94 EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red 1500 Bottle 120 120 650 WA92-94 EP
2022 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red 750 OC6 20 120 280 WA92-94 EP
2022 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red 1500 OC3 40 120 650 WA92-94 EP
2021 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion
750 ml OWC3 EP HKD 800 / BTL 40 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
40
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
800
Score
WA91-93+
Location
EP
2022 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion
750 ml OWC12 EP HKD 800 / BTL 10 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
10
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
800
Score
-
Location
EP
2022 Chateau Beychevelle
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 750 / BTL 8 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
8
Qty of btl
48
Btl price (HKD)
750
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Canon
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 950 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
12
Btl price (HKD)
950
Score
WA94-96
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Cheval Blanc
750 ml OWC3 EP HKD 4,500 / BTL 3 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
3
Qty of btl
9
Btl price (HKD)
4,500
Score
WA95-97
Location
EP
2022 Chateau Cheval Blanc
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 4,800 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
12
Btl price (HKD)
4,800
Score
WA97-99
Location
EP
2022 Chateau Cheval Blanc
750 ml Bottle EP HKD 4,800 / BTL 6 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
6
Qty of btl
6
Btl price (HKD)
4,800
Score
WA97-99
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Cheval Blanc - Le Petit Cheval Blanc
750 ml OWC3 EP HKD 1,280 / BTL 6 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
6
Qty of btl
18
Btl price (HKD)
1,280
Score
-
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Haut Brion
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 4,250 / BTL 6 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
6
Qty of btl
36
Btl price (HKD)
4,250
Score
WA96-98
Location
EP
2022 Chateau Haut Brion
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 4,800 / BTL 12 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
12
Qty of btl
72
Btl price (HKD)
4,800
Score
WA95-97
Location
EP
2023 Chateau Haut Brion
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 3,100 / BTL 6 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
6
Qty of btl
36
Btl price (HKD)
3,100
Score
WA95-97
Location
EP
2022 Chateau La Conseillante
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 2,180 / BTL 14 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
14
Qty of btl
84
Btl price (HKD)
2,180
Score
WA97-100
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
750 ml OWC3 EP HKD 5,500 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
3
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
WA95-97
Location
EP
2022 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
750 ml Bottle EP HKD 5,500 / BTL 5 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
5
Qty of btl
5
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
WA95-97
Location
EP
2022 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 5,500 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
12
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
WA95-97
Location
EP
2023 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 4,100 / BTL 4 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
4
Qty of btl
24
Btl price (HKD)
4,100
Score
WA97-99
Location
EP
2022 Chateau Lafite Rothschild - 'Carruades de Lafite'
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 1,950 / BTL 4 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
4
Qty of btl
24
Btl price (HKD)
1,950
Score
WA91-93
Location
EP
2023 Chateau Lafite Rothschild - 'Carruades de Lafite'
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 1,500 / BTL 4 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
4
Qty of btl
24
Btl price (HKD)
1,500
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur
750 ml OWC3 EP HKD 8,000 / BTL 10.67 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
10.67
Qty of btl
32
Btl price (HKD)
8,000
Score
WA96-98
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur
1500 ml OWC1 EP HKD 17,000 / BTL 12 case available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
12
Qty of btl
12
Btl price (HKD)
17,000
Score
WA96-98
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur
6000 ml OWC1 EP HKD 85,000 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
6000
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
85,000
Score
WA96-98
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red
750 ml Bottle EP HKD 280 / BTL 120 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
120
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
280
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red
1500 ml Bottle EP HKD 650 / BTL 120 case available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
120
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
650
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
2022 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red
750 ml OC6 EP HKD 280 / BTL 20 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
20
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
280
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
2022 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red
1500 ml OC3 EP HKD 650 / BTL 40 case available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
40
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
650
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
Under the law of Hong Kong, intoxicating liquor must not be sold or supplied to a minor in the course of business. 根據香港法律,不得在業務過程中,向未成年人售賣或供應令人醺醉的酒類。 The wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. Title to all wine remains with The Fine Wine Experience until paid for in full.提供的货物仍有待售。 货物所有权只在收到全额付款到The Fine Wine Experience的帐户後转移。
HK / HK storage; ready for delivery within 1-2 business days.
HK-Shop / available for in-store purchase in Sai Ying Pun.
HK Pre-arrival wines in transit to Hong Kong. Please contact us for arrival estimate.
En-Primeur / wines still in chateau; will arrange delivery to once wine is received in HK

2023 Bordeaux – The Vintage and The Wines

The Vintage Château Lafleur’s Omri Ram seemed to sum up 2023 best when he said to me last week “it was an extreme vintage with no extremes.” How can we unravel that paradox? The first extreme refers to the sheer amount of work required to get to the finish line in the right shape. A warm year overall, it was also a wet one, making preventative care against mildew and such like essential. “For everyone working in the vineyard it as very tough, high octane, I was never so tired as I was after winemaking in 2023.” But it was also a year that lacked the heatwaves, or drought that has become a common feature of late. With healthy fruit in the vat, 2023 delivers an even temperament, not blockbuster, not weedy. Straight, classic. The downside? A more regular sort of year delivers fewer benchmarks or blockbusters. Not a single wine in 2023 stopped me in my tracks and made me go ‘wow!’, not one did I taste that felt truly exceptional, of the type that stands in decades to come as a true legend. These wines usually come in the more extreme vintages, where either frost, poor flowering, or some other crop-reducing factor combines with a hot summer to produce – when a knife’s edge balance comes right – a wine that thrills. 2023 is not a thrilling vintage. It does what it says on the label – Bordeaux. (For an excellent overview of the vintage weather patterns, see Gavin Quinney’s free report).

For me, and all who really love Bordeaux, that’s actually the upside to 2023. It’s moderate qualities offer a chance for terroirs to shine, and those teams that worked smarter and harder to step out in front, if not dramatically. The vintage plays a supporting role in these cases, not a leading one. Grape variety blends were easy to spot, soil types too. If that sounds like your kind of wine, then 2023 is not to be ignored. And isn’t that a sound reason to buy Bordeaux, rather than one of the many successful global incarnations of its key grape varieties, and blends?

The penny dropped for me at Latour. Tasting ‘23s château to château, it’s easy to become inured to the character of the vintage because that’s the one constant you face all day, sample to sample. The vintage’s personality is hidden in plain sight because all the wines tasted are from the same one. It’s hard, at times, to step back. But at Latour they always show the three wines of the vintage (2023 Latour, Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac), and also these same three labels from their current ex-Château releases  – in this case 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively. (Latour exited the primeurs system years ago, but still takes the opportunity to show the new wines). Both 2019 and 2018 seemed positively sweet next to 2023 (and for that matter, 2017). Discussing the style of ’23 with Jean Garandeau at Latour he said it reminds him of 2001. I smiled. 2001 was one of those moderate sorts of vintages that produced some lovely wines, some stars even, and very true to Bordeaux style. But 2001 was overshadowed by the widely acclaimed success of 2000, hyped by Robert Parker to his readers, and to a wide audience via a 60 Minutes TV interview, and with something of the “millennium bump” helping sales too. 2001 followed without fanfare. But it is much admired by connoisseurs of Bordeaux.

But there is a limit to looking so far back in time. 2001 predates the watershed vintage of 2003, when heatwaves and drought produced wines of a style not seen before. Many vintages that have followed have produced variants of the very warm to hot vintage expression, and nature, farming, and the vignerons involved have adjusted. If we were to go back in time to the 1990s or 1980s, and slotted 2023 in, it would seem quite ripe. Indeed, I suspect it would be hailed as a great vintage.

What really strikes me about 2023 is that I tasted very little that seemed overripe, and I tasted very little that seemed underripe, and with almost all wines showing very nice freshness on the nose and palate. The style is what I would call fresh-ripe, like a fruit that you’ve picked from the bush yourself that is perfectly ripe to eat. Will I want some in my cellar? Absolutely. I really like this style. You’ll note though that my scores are a little more clustered than in some other years – they are more moderate, reflecting the vintage – fewer big disappointments, and fewer standout thrillers. But make no mistake, if you like Bordeaux, you will want these in your cellar.

To buy 2023 en primeur?
The big question though is when to buy them? The Bordeaux system drives for that to be now. It is important to remember that when you buy en primeur, you are not buying wine, you are buying the promise of wine that is still in barrel at the château. You pay us up front for that promise, we pay the négocient in Bordeaux, and they pay the châteaux. Once the wine is bottled, packed and shipped, the châteaux send the wines to the négocient, and we consolidate, ship, and deliver them to you in Hong Kong. You are providing cashflow to the châteaux. What is your upside for doing so? The upside is if you judge the price we are offering the ‘23s at to be sufficiently advantageous compared to what you anticipate* you might pay in two years’ time when physical stock is on the market. Sometimes that works out well. The 2019s offered in the uncertain times at the beginning of the pandemic proved good bets. (*guess).

But not every offer is like that. On the eve of the campaign this year Colin Hay wrote in the Drinks Business of the woes of the Bordeaux négocients with unsold inventories of 2022s and 2021s, and rising interest rates to finance them. Hay wrote of a Bordeaux system at a financial ‘breaking point’, and speculated that large discounts on 2023 prices compared to 2022s would be needed create a successful campaign.

As the campaign gets underway – early and fast this year, as Bordeaux is keen to create some buzz – indications so far are positive on price. Highly acclaimed wines from 2023 are being offered at big discounts to what the 2022s were offered at – Lêoville Las Cases (-40%) and Lafite-Rothschild (-31%), and Mouton-Rothschild (-34%). There is one wrinkle in this ‘discount’ to work out however. How much and how fast have en primeur prices risen in recent years. Some châteaux have been modest, some have been… ambitious. To muddy the waters further, some have improved also, more than others. In the end you’ll have to work this part out for yourself. But as a rule of thumb, I’d say, do a quick comparison to what it would cost you to buy the same wine from a good recent vintage – say, 2017. Chances are the 2023 is a better wine, perhaps substantially so. But do your research.

Of course there are other benefits to buying en primeur. FOMO is dealt with the moment the order is confirmed, you enter the purchase in your spreadsheet or on Cellartracker, and have that pleasure of ownership and anticipation right away, you can request special bottling formats, and if 2023 was the year you got married, or had a kid, you want to get the right wines secured from the beginning. And you’ll never have to be concerned about provenance.

THE RATINGS

DRY WHITES

 

 Aile d’Argent

(89-91)

 Château Carbonnieux Blanc

(89-91)

 L’Esperit de Chevalier Blanc

(87-88)

 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

(93-94)

 Pagodes de Cos Blanc

(NOT RATED)

 Château Cos d’Estournel Blanc

(90-93)

 Château Malartic Lagraviere

(90-92)

 La Clarté de Haut-Brion

(89-90)

 Château La Louviere Blanc

(90-92)

 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc

(92-94)

 Château Haut-Brion Blanc

(91-93+)

 Château Latour Martillac Blanc

(90-91)

 Château Pape Clement Blanc

(92-94)

 Les Hauts de Smith Blanc

(90-91)

 Château Smith Haut Lafitte

(93-95)

 Château La Tour Carnet Blanc

(89-90)

 

 

POMEROL

 

 Château Beauregard

(92-94)

 Château Le Bon Pasteur

(87-91)

 Château Clinet

(92-94+)

 Château La Conseillante

(95-96)

 Château La Croix de Gay

(88-90)

 Château Le Gay

(92-94)

 Château Gazin

(91-93)

 Château Montviel

(89-91)

 Château Nenin

(90-91)

 Château Petit Village

(88-90)

 Château La Pointe

(86-88)

 Château La Violette

(92-94)

 Vieux Château Certan

(95-96)

 Château Vray Croix de Gay

(91-92)

 

 

ST EMILION

 

 Carillon d’Angelus

(92-94)

 Château Angelus

(95-96+)

 Chapelle d’Ausone

(91-93)

 Château Ausone

(93-95)

 Château Berliquet

(93-94)

 Château Canon

(95-97)

 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière

(88-90)

 Château Clos Fourtet

(93-95)

 Château Figeac

(92-94)

 Cheval Blanc

(94-96)

 Petit Cheval Blanc

(91-94)

 Château La Clotte

(92-94)

 Château du Fonbel

(89-91)

 Château Larmande

(90-92)

 Château Moulin St Georges

(92-94)

 Château Le Prieuré

(90-91)

 Château Quinault L’Enclos

(92-94)

 Château Simard

(91-93)

 Château Soutard

(89-91)

 Mondot

(90-91)

 Château Troplong Mondot

(95-97)

 Château Valandraud

(92-94)

 Château Villemaurine

(90-92)

 

 

GRAVES

 

 Château Carbonnieux

(91-92)

 ‘C’ de Carmes Haut-Brion

(91-93)

 Château Carmes Haut-Brion

(94-95)

 L’Esperit de Chevalier

(86-88)

 Domaine de Chevalier

(NOT RATED)

 Château Haut Bailly II

(90-93)

 Château Haut Bailly

(94-96)

 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion

(90-92)

 Château Haut-Brion

(94-96)

 Château Larrivet Haut-Brion

(88-90)

 Château Latour Martillac

(90-92)

 Château La Louviere

(89-91)

 Château Malartic-Lagraviere

(91-92)

 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion

(91-93)

 Château La Mission Haut-Brion

(94-96)

 Château Pape Clement

(92-93)

 Château Smith Haut Lafitte

(94-96)

 Château de Thil

(91-92)

 

 

MÉDOC

 

 Château Potensac

(89-91)

 

 

HAUT-MÉDOC

 

 Château La Tour Carnet

(89-91)

 

 

MARGAUX

 

 Château Angludet

(88-90)

 Château Cantenac Brown

(91-92)

 Château Giscours

(90-91)

 Blason d’Issan

(86-89)

 Château d’Issan

(90-92)

 Château Kirwan

(87-91?)

 Château Labégorce

(91-92)

 Château Lascombes

(90-92)

 Château Marquis d’Alesme Becker

(91-93)

 Château Marquis de Terme

(90-91+)

 Château Rauzan Gassies

(NOT RATED)

 Château du Tertre

(85-90?)

 

 

ST JULIEN

 

 Clos du Marquis

(91-93)

 Château Léoville Las Cases

(94-96)

 

 

PAUILLAC

 

 Château d’Armailhac

(91-93)

 Pastourelle de Clerc Milon

(87-89)

 Château Clerc Milon

(93-95)

 Moulin de Duhart

(89-91)

 Château Duhart Milon

(91-93)

 Carruades Lafite

(91-93)

 Château Lafite-Rothschild

(95-97+)

 Pauillac

(89-90)

 Les Forts de Latour

(93-95)

 Château Latour

(94-96)

 Le Petit Mouton

(87-89)

 Château Mouton-Rothschild

(94-96)

 Château Pontet Canet

(94-95)

 

 

SAUTERNES

 

 Château Clos Haut Peyraguey

(92-94)

 Château Coutet

(93-95)

115 wines tasted – a foreshortened report

My report this year is the product of three and a half days’ of visits and tastings on the ground at châteaux in Bordeaux. The day after the paulée-style Gala Dinner that concluded the two weeks of The Fine Wine Experience Burghound Symposium I flew to Paris, took the train to Bordeaux and got straight into the primeurs. But that was already a late start. That, and some unexpected logistical challenges, meant that I missed the UGC St.-Julien, Pauillac and St.-Estèphe tastings entirely, as well as the chance to visit a number of top châteaux. Nonetheless, the days were intensive (thank you Manu and Pierre), and I got the chance to discuss the vintage with a number of châteaux, and I offer my 115 tasting notes and ratings* below. (The Guinaudeau family wines, including Lafleur, and the Jean family’s Couvent des Jacobins and Calicem I exclude from this report as we represent them, and I will write to you about them separately).

As always, I suggest you read widely what your favourite critics have written – not just the scores – but to see if they are describing wines you would like to drink some day. If, like me, you want to taste a fine, fresh, pure expressions of great terroir, then you will want some 2023s in your cellar.

Favourites?
Too much was missed for me to conclude like usual, at least comparatively. But if you want the skip skimming my notes for the top results, here are my top-rated wines…
2023 Château Lafite-Rothschild, 95-97+
2023 Château Canon, 95-97
2023 Château Troplong Mondot, 95-97
2023 Château Angelus, 95-96+
2023 Château La Conseillante, 95-96
2023 Vieux Château Certan, 95-96
2023 Château Haut Bailly, 94-96
2023 Château Montrose, 94-96
2023 Château Smith Haut Lafitte, 94-96
2023 Château Léoville Las Cases, 94-96
2023 Château La Mission Haut-Brion, 94-96
2023 Château Haut Brion, 94-96
2023 Château Cheval Blanc, 94-96
2023 Château Mouton-Rothschild, 94-96
2023 Château Latour, 94-96 …and one or two that stood out in the value range…
2023 Château Clerc Milon, 93-95
2023 Château Berliquet, 93-94
2023 Carillon d’Angelus, 92-94
2023 Château Beauregard, 92-94
2023 Château La Clotte, 92-94
2023 La Dame de Montrose, 92-94
2023 Château Moulin St Georges, 92-94
2023 Château Quinault L’Enclos, 92-94

But again, I missed much this year, so no ‘Top Ten’ tables.