View all newsletters
Receive our weekly newsletter - World Of Fine Wine Weekly

Bordeaux 2022 tasting notes: Right Bank part II

By Simon Field MW

Simon Field MW concludes his coverage of the Bordeaux 2022 vintage with tasting notes on the wines of Pomerol, Lalande de Pomerol, Côtes de Bourg, Bordeaux, and Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux.

Bordeaux 2022: Something new under the sun—Catch 22

Bordeaux 2022 tasting notes: Left Bank part I

Bordeaux 2022 tasting notes: Left Bank part II

Bordeaux 2022 tasting notes: Sauternes

Bordeaux 2022 tasting notes: Right Bank part I—St-Emilion

POMEROL

Content from our partners
Top Marques Monaco 2023: A Record-breaking Year
Champagne Cattier Clos du Moulin

Château Beauregard
(67% M, 27% CF, 6% CS)
Organic viticulture, newish generous ownership (the Moulin family from Galeries Lafayette in Paris) and far from negligible yields in an otherwise somewhat parsimonious year (36hl/ha). Most important, however, is the inclusion, for the first time, of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, from a plot of seven-year-old vines, cosseted in gravel, just in front of the property. This, allied to the significant dollop of Cabernet Franc, gives the Beauregard a slightly different feel, more cerebral maybe, and certainly more concentrated. The dark fruit is tempered by aromatics of flowers and spice; black tea, too. The tannins are significantly more assertive than those of the Benjamin, yet their grip is peremptory only in the name of benevolence and the underwriting of inherent harmony. 94–95

Benjamin de Beauregard
(
90% M, 10% CF)
A delightfully named second wine, and, as it turns, out a delightful wine, site-specific and with slightly sandier soils than its elder brother. 14 months in 20 % new oak will ensue. The nose is floral, spicy, and approachable; crushed raspberry and plum fruit is then evidenced, and an elegant and composed cloak of tannin, benevolent for more-than-happy mid-term drinking. 91

Bordeaux 2022 Field notes: St-Estèphe’s northern belles

Château Le Bon Pasteur
(80% M, 20% CF)
Deep color, hinting at a generous extraction and a modern style. The nose broods a little, graphite and woodsmoke, a hint of parma violet behind. Aeration encourages the floral character, vying slightly awkwardly with hints of petrichor. The palate is impressive, however, with tight-knit tannins, the dark fruit eloquent and measured, the wood assertive but not overly so. Potential writ large. 92–93

Château Certan de May
(60% M, 30% CF, 10% CS)
Dense color, with a distinctly purple rim; charming, spicy nose; spice, tapenade, cassis, all gracefully entwined. The Cabernets comes through nicely, stern spectators to the lovely sucrosity on display; gentle indulgence for those who like to be indulged. For those of a more Puritan disposition, there is a grip on the finish (the rigor of Cabernet Sauvignon, maybe) and fine, harmonious definition. 93–94

Château Clinet
(80% M, 20% CS)
Owner Ronan’s 20th vintage and, it seems, his best. The DNA of the old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon is key here and, coincidentally, provides a nice counterpoint with the Lecuyer, where it is down to the Cabernet Franc to provide the seasoning. This is an archetypical Clinet; velvety power, almost liqueur like, dark cherries to the fore, a voluptuous creaminess and yet, and yet, there is a firmness to the palate which gainsays intimations of overindulgence; dark chocolate, hints of herbs and tobacco, a powerful, tightly wound finish. Those who feel that Clinet can be a parody of Pomerol had better think again. Think old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon, for a start… 94–95

Clos de L’Eglise
(70% M, 30% CF)
Located on the west side of the plateau, and contiguous with Clinet and L’Eglise-Clinet (they all used to be part of the same estate, as the names suggest), Clos de L’Eglise is a homogeneous 14.5-acre (5.9ha) plot, of which 10.8 acres (4.37ha) are currently in production. The distinctive terroir—clay, quite a lot of gravel, and “crasse de fer” (an iron residue)—invites breadth and generosity on the palate, all the more so in a year such as 2022. The oak, which was prominent in 2021, is far better integrated this time around, although the finish is still firm. The aromatics have a herbal, savory note, a little unexpected. The fruit, dark and plush, reclaims its territory on the palate, and with no lack of vigor. 93–94

Bordeaux 2021
Vieux Château Certan’s proprietor, Alexandre Thienpont. The 2022 VCC is “silky and perfumed, but not lacking for depth or complexity.” Photography by Alexandre James Rocca-Serra

Château La Conseillante
(87% M, 13% CF)
A truly outstanding Conseillante, the best of the eight hitherto made by Marielle Cazaux. She cites grace and power, the two far form mutually exclusive, the secret in the tannic management, which she sees as more successful than in 2020. Not trying too hard is but part of the secret. The rest is down to gentle extraction and attention to detail in the vineyard. The aromatic is seductive and discreet at the same time, offering a little spice from the Cabernet and plenty of soft plummy fruit from the Merlot. The 70% new barrique is worn effortlessly; a nuanced silky texture would not presume to a velvet lush, for all the sweet potential of the vintage. The finish is magisterial, signaled by the pinpoint definition of the tannins, invigorating yet subtle. More to give for sure, but already scaling the heights in a vertiginously exciting fashion, an intangible luminosity seen through the glass darkly. 98–99

Château du Domaine de L’Eglise
(98% M, 2% CF)
Only 2% of Cabernet Franc, forsaken in 2021, somehow making quite a difference, the warmer vintage notwithstanding. Cellar master Valerio Mortari advises that the classic plateau blue clay coped well with the heat, and he, for his part, ensured that the fermentation temperatures were kept low, at no more than 77oF (25oC), and that the must was treated to a cold soak. The result is a considerable step up from their Croix du Casse Pomerol (more clay and sand), and has firm, robust tannins, rich and matted fruit, and a hint of spice (cinnamon), in this instance at the back. Valerio describes it as “croquant,” and I am sure that it will be just that, once the oak has loosened its grip a little. 91–92

Bordeaux 2022 Field notes: Epoustouflant (adj)—staggering, mind-blowing

Château L’Eglise-Clinet
(90% M, 10% CF)
Wonderfully expressive; flowers (violet, iris, and rose petal) cascading behind the pure and finely delineated fruit; cassis, loganberry, sloe, plum… one could go on. Complexity and precision conspire in a wonderfully paradoxical expression of finely tailored generosity. The tannin management is key here, and, as so often at this address, is mastered with extreme sensitivity to the challenges of the vintage while not for a moment overlooking its soaring potential. 96–97

Château La Fleur-Pétrus
(96.5% M, 3% CF, 0.5% PV)
There is deep gravel here as well as clay; the grapes had to work hard in the heat of high summer. Just rewards from this famous site, hard fought and well won. There is more grip here, a benchmark seam of acidity highlighting the luminous precision and ensuring potential. Blue fruit, a hint of white pepper, and a tight, rather peremptory finish at the moment, courtesy, some may say, of the 0.5 % Petit Verdot, which is welcome nonetheless. A slow burn, enigmatic, but with a robust yet composed constitution and a fine, salty finish. 94–95

Château Gazin
(93% M, 3.5% CF, 3.5% CS)Pedigree is writ large on this year’s Gazin, the restored (and restorative) Cabernets adding structure and very fine pointed acidity, without in any way threatening the delicacy (an odd word, I know) of the finely powdered tannins. Nicolas de Bailliencourt bemoans only the fact that the yields have been reduced (65,000 bottles rather than 80,000). Everything else is perfect; from the refined nose (just a hint of spice behind the fruit), all the way through to the finish, which is gently lifted by a hint of eucalypt. The fruit is supple and discreet, its power all latent and patient; an archetype of blue-clay Pomerol, in other words. Blue-blooded and dignified. 94–95

Château La Grave
(89% M, 11% CF)Closed, reticent, a touch oily; eucalypt oil noted, while the palate has notes of compote and raspberry, beyond the eponymous stony subtext. Slightly anomalous in the company of all the big hitters from Moueix, but pleasingly different, for all that, and certainly not without charm, albeit more linear and stricter than we have come to expect from this, the most generous of Pomerol vintages. 90–91

Château Lafleur
(51% Bouchet; 49% M)
Sustainable viticulture provides a backdrop to the fruits of this wonderful “garden vineyard,” which, despite its size (9.3 acres [3.75ha]) marries three distinct terroirs: sandy clay, gravel, and clay. The genetic heritage of the Bouchet (Cabernet Franc) is key, too; its 51% higher than sometimes. It lifts the wine and lifts the spirit; the gentle spritz on our (finished) sample, does not seem out of place, redolent as it is of energy and vigor. It blows off quickly, however, and one is left with a symphonic masterclass in the virtues of the Pomerol plateau when it coincides with a great vintage; generous restraint and such complexity that can only be born of the simplicity of non-interventionist respect for nature’s gift. 96–97

Les Pensées de Lafleur
(57% M; 43% Bouchet)
Created in 1987 by Sylvie and Jacques Guinaudeau, this small (2.2-acre [0.87ha]) cigar-shaped oasis of Pomerol clay is located in the middle of the otherwise gravel-dominated Lafleur vineyard. Geographical juxtaposition clearly provides little by way of impediment to stylistic variety, and this most definitely is not a second wine. The descriptors are those of an enrapt taster: peonies, roses, cigar wrapper, violets, mineral, camphor, and a substratum of dark blue fruit, lifted and regal at the finish. One sometimes cannot help oneself in the face of such joyous complexity, and all from such a small plot! 95–96

Château Lafleur-Gazin
(100% M)
More powerful than anticipated, gregarious, too, with violets, eucalypt, and a cushioned softness; the mid-palate bristles, intent writ large, still with a chalky precocity, a texture born of a complex terroir (gravel, clay, and alluvial sand). The finish is a chronicle of dark fruit foretold, brooding for the moment, the promise of a sweeter dénouement signaled nonetheless. 91–92

Château Lagrange
(100% M)Tight blackberry-myrtle. Focused; flint and wet stone pave the fruit, with a lovely undercurrent of soft spice, hints of orchard fruit, lifted, chalky tannins enrobing the ensemble. Overall, this is very pure and impressive. A definitive statement of high-quality Merlot not having to try too hard in a high-quality vintage. Timeless. 93–94

Château Latour-à-Pomerol
(100% M)
An attractive aroma of roses, peony even, blueberry, and herbs. A Merlot of all seasons, refreshing yet generous, plump yet refined. Black cherry and sloe on the palate, quick to please, its darker side still luminous in the name of a generous and succulent vintage. A hint of dark chocolate on the finish; plush tannins, refined, cleansing acidity and a beautifully rounded finish. 93–94

Château Lecuyer
(75% M, 25% CF)
A new project for owner Ronan Laborde: 6 acres (2.5ha), some of it with old vines, located over four autonomous plots within Pomerol. Ronan admits that some of the very best old Merlot went into the Clinet itself, and he now seeks a little more mid-palate depth in this wine. It does not appear overly bereft… Overall, a great success, very much made to the Clinet recipe, which focuses on bright plush and velvety accessibility; exponential virtues curated by ripeness. 92–93

Château Nénin
(64% M, 36% CF)
An elegant and harmonious Nénin, with black cherry and crushed strawberries providing the mainstay of the fruit, and overall, a lifted, dancing personality, its tannins gentle and poised. The new oak has increased a little this year, to 39%, and there is, unsurprisingly, more weight, but not enough to gainsay the wispish elegance that is Nénin’s calling card. 93–94

Bordeaux 2022 Field notes: Fear no more the heat o’ the sun

Château Petit-Village
(65% M, 28% CF, 7% CS)

Guillaume is not too concerned about the relatively high pH of 3.85 here; it is always higher in Pomerol than St-Emilion, he tells me. More important was not to be over-phased by the ripeness and ensuing concentration. Any fears of over-indulgence of any kind are assuaged by the precision of the tannic structure, their granular character intrusive only in acknowledgement of youth, their density presaging a happy evolution. Flowers and dark fruit are accompanied by hints of licorice and laurel; the freshness on the finish is persuasive too. A very grand Petit Village, to borrow a phrase that will get a lot of outings this year. 94–95

Le Petit de Petit-Village
(92% M, 8% CF)
A slightly whimsical updating, in terms of nomenclature at least, of the former Jardin de Petit-Village, Le Petit de Petit is certainly “une grande réussite.” An eloquent demonstration, ’ere demonstration was required, of just how silky and pure Merlot can be in a stellar vintage. Hard to resist, although should one feel inclined to do so, maybe the resistance should be relatively brief. 92–93

Petrus
(100% M)

50% new wood, MLF in tank, a gentle, extended cuvaison with moderate temperatures, no cold soak for a brief aromatic hit… Petrus today and Petrus in 1995 when, as technical director Olivier Berrouet observes, with a smile, many changed tack, for whatever reason. Not to imply anything like complacency; attention to detail is key; pick too early, and there will be green tannins, too late and the sucrosity will take over, all the more in a hot year like 2022. Olivier describes the light kiss of tannin, its gentle chalky texture caressing and pure. Nothing aggressive or overworked here. “We don’t want to see bone poking through the flesh,” is his rather graphic analogy. Cherries, raspberries, pepper, cardamom, and a hint of fig. The aromas are complex. The mouth is generous and inviting, the texture recalling satin and silk, behind which is a compelling architectural integrity. Ethereal of temperament, with the wood apparently absent, yet at the same time unfailingly and persuasively persistent, infinitely rewarding. 97–98

Bordeaux 2022 Petrus
Petrus. The 2022 is “unfailingly and persuasively persistent, infinitely rewarding.” Photography by Shutterstock.

Le Pin
(100% M)Jacques Thienpont is, with some reason, very pleased with this “exceptional” vintage; the comparison with their St-Emilion cuvée L’If is instructive; the Cabernet Sauvignon in L’If makes for a leaner, maybe more linear, style, but when it comes to breadth and intensity, nothing can trump this outstanding Merlot, generous in its aromatic, with plums and raspberries vying with more exotic notes; incense, truffle, and the like. The texture is symphonic, cascading layers of luxury still somehow failing to ignore the rigors of the structural imperative that locks everything tightly within a casket of near perfection. 97–98

Château Trotanoy
(96% M, 4% CF)Deep, assertive color; imperious. The nose is severe, smoky, even a touch leafy at first; air nourishes a more generous inclination, with a fanfare of dark fruit and slow-burn, spicy dexterity. The palate is marked by energy, tension, and a joyous lift; an ode to joy in a joyful vintage. A big, brooding beast, for sure, yet apparently benevolent, its weight worn lightly. The aftertaste lingers, with blueberry and chalky, disciplined tannins for the moment. Genuine excitement here, born of generosity and complexity, not always the happiest of bedfellows. Here they rejoice together! 95–96

Vieux Château Certan
(75% M, 20% CF, 5% CS) An outstanding VCC; open, generous, and full. Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont remind us that in French, the term “sucrosité”can refer to the sensation of sweetness in something dry… and here we have it; the ripeness is all. The Cabernet Franc adds a subtle herbal minerality and the Cabernet Sauvignon, absent last year, perfume and grip. All three come together harmoniously, effortlessly; silky and perfumed, but not lacking for depth or complexity. Quite the reverse. 97–98

LALANDE DE POMEROL

Château La Fleur du Boüard
(80% M, 15% CS, 5% CF)
Oily, dark fruit, creamy vanillin discreetly hidden behind a tannic robe of modesty. Crushed raspberry and plums. Gentle, chalky tannins, a restraint that one does not associate with this property. Slightly pinched on the finish, salinity and pencil sharpening. More promising on the attack than the finish; forward, therefore, and definitely one to woo the crowds. 90–91

Le Plus de La Fleur du Boüard
(90% M, 10% CS) Dark, minty chocolate, spice, a broad-textured mid-palate, damsons and very ripe plums… the oak sitting a little uncomfortably at the moment. More capacious and broad-shouldered than the simple, florid Fleur, more plush, more ambitious. A touch severe and then dry on the finish. Time required for this one. 90–91

Bordeaux 2022 Field Notes: Carmes before the storm

CÔTES DE BOURG

Roc de Cambes 
(80% M, 20% CF)From the Right-Bank slope that overlooks the river and guards the estuary, with a significantly higher proportion of limestone and a change of identity for the supporting grape. Less overtly approachable than its sibling, with a dark, serious nose, prunes and wild strawberries, roses and incense; the Cabernet Franc adds what Henri (Mitjavile, son of François) describes as “peps of spice,” invigorating the Merlot and holding it back at the same time! A pleasing paradox, decadence never too far away. The licorice on the back-palate is noticeable, the finish cleansing and full. 92–93

BORDEAUX

Domaine de Cambes
(80% M, 20% CS)Too humble even for the Cote de Bourg AOC, this is a superb generic Bordeaux, made by the charismatic François Mitjavile of Tetre Roteboeuf. The clay soils, close to the river, have yielded a delicious, perfumed 2022, crushed raspberry, quince, and roses to the fore, with sweet blue fruit thereafter, soft chalky tannins, and a succulent mid-palate balanced by an energetic thrust of acidity. Terrific value: to be approached in the shorter term and then held for three or four years. 91–92

Château Les Champs Libres
(100% SB)
An eloquent demonstration of how massal-selection Sauvignon Blanc (some ex-Sancerre) can fare well in a warm vintage, aided by the clay-limestone soils of the plateau of Ambeau. Depth, texture, and freshness back up a characteristically vigorous Sauvignon nose with bittersweet lemon and soft quince on a flinty bedrock. Impressive grip and length. 92–93

Château Grand Village Blanc
(70% SB, 30% SM)
Enigmatic, in that the Semillon appears to be in the ascendant, despite its lower proportion of the blend. Waxy, with limes, quince, and a hint of bitter almond, this is a highly successful example. Bâtonnage has added texture but has not stolen the energetic freshness from the Sauvignon Blanc. 93–94

Château Grand Village Rouge
(80% M, 20% Bouchet)A 25-acre (10ha) limestone familial property just outside Fronsac. Rather unusually, the wine matures for nine months in new barrels that are then used at Lafleur itself. Rigid and tight at first, maybe unsurprisingly, the wine opens with air, offering dark fruits and flowers, and an impressive structure, with ripe, gently beguiling tannins. 93–94

Les Perrières
(50% Bouchet, 50% M)
Closer to the Dordogne, but with a mother-rock of limestone only 12 inches (30cm) from the surface, this plateau at an altitude of 260ft (80m) is prone to windy incursions (but not, therefore, frost) and succeeds especially well in 2022, the linear limestone grip shadowed by a floral geniality, hints of dark pepper, and a bittersweet finish, in itself most attractive. 94–95

Bordeaux 2022 Field notes: St-Emilion—the view from Clos Fourtet

CASTILLON-CÔTES DE BORDEAUX

Château d’Aiguilhe
(90% M, 10% CF)An approachable, finely woven d’Aiguilhe, the limestone lending longevity and crisp acidity to the ripe Merlot fruit. The modest, slightly sappy texture is supported by fine, well-integrated tannins and a hint of spice on the finish. A commendable illustration of what can be done in a less well-known appellation. 92–93

Le Blanc d’Aiguilhe
(100% SB)
A fascinating Castillon from the Neippergs at Canon La Gaffelière. The color is almost clear, the aromatic subtle, softly citric but no more. On the palate it becomes clear that this is the antidote to some of the richly oaked white wines from Pessac-Léognan (described by Stephan as tasting of “brioche”). It relies entirely on the aromatic of limestone Sauvignon, therefore a subtle peppery aromatic, and a far cry from both New Zealand and Sancerre. And then there is the winemaking, which focuses on a firm press and a relatively inert élevage; the oak is a 500-litrer foudre, even if some of it is new. Phenols, verbena, tobacco… an intriguing and rather pleasing wine. 92–93

Château d’Arce
(90% M, 10% CF)An 11-acre (4.4ha) property in the enclave of St-Genèse, virtually all limestone. Owned by the Garcin family of Clos de l’Eglise, the wine shares a generosity and robustness of structure, bright of color and forward of inclination. Matured in cuve only, yet not lacking for structural complexity, bright acidity, or a generous dark-fruit personality, this is a worthy younger sibling and a useful introduction to a demonstrative house style. 91–92

Clos Lunelles
(80% M, 10% CS, 10% CF)This Perse property nearly 4 miles (6km) downstream from Pavie in Castillon is located at a similar altitude, a vertiginous 280ft (85m) up on the Plateau de Colombe. Half of the barrels are new and aging will last 15 months. In its precocious state, it is foursquare and a little heavy on the palate, with hints of prune and woodsmoke evidenced, while the tannins are quite “chewy.” On the day of tasting, it was the least attractive of the Perse quartet, and certainly in need of time to unwind. 89–90

Château Joanin Bécot
(80% M, 20% CF)Owned by Juliette Bécot and located in some of the most fashionable terroir in Bordeaux, Joanin Bécot is located just a little higher than Beau-Séjour itself, with a similar swathe of limestone soil. The ’22 Joanin is marked by its sheer vivacity, from the bright yet somber color, running all the way down the palate, its acidity vital and energetic yet in no way overwhelming the delicious dark heart of fruit. A conspicuously successful and exciting Joanin. 93–94

Topics in this article :
Select and enter your email address For award-winning content from the world’s most respected and intellectually satisfying wine magazine, sign up to our newsletter here
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Websites in our network