All wine ratings for the Bordeaux Primeur 2023, or: “And the groundhog greets us daily”

As always, we have a very good year, if not the second best. But seriously, it can’t be the best, because the price drop in this year’s primeur campaign is unparalleled. With up to minus 40%, they are trying to get buyers back on board. Completely detached from the price discussion are the assessments of the honored wine critics, who do the hard work for us and on whom we can rely year after year. You can read an analysis of the Bordeaux 2023 price reduction here

We summarize some of the best ratings. And if you read all the way to the end of the report, you will find Adrian van Velsen’s top value list. Smart buys, for smart people.

Adrian van Velsen top score Bordeaux 2023

In terms of style, 2023 is a contemporary-classic vintage. Contemporary because the Cabernets were able to fully mature once again, not least due to climate change, and in many cases the wines have fine, ripe tannins, as we know them from warmer vintages (2023 was similarly warm as 2022, only with much less sun and light).

However, the wines are classic in expression, have moderate alcohol levels and radiate an incredible freshness. However, “classic” should not be confused with “unripe”, as green, drying tannins are not found in the good, very good and excellent 2023 wines. Many wines will therefore be a pleasure to drink early on, but still have great ageing potential.

Janes Auston’s top score Bordaux 2023

The 2023 vintage may not have the “wow factor of the 2022”, but Jane Anson believes that it “reminds us that Bordeaux is characterized by effortless construction and produces balanced wines that are enjoyable over the long term”. Anson welcomes “a return to a more nuanced, terroir- and estate-based” approach, adding that “the right and left banks are much more pronounced in their respective characters” than last year.

All four of Anson’s potential 100-point wines are from the Left Bank, making it clear that 2023 is a year of Cabernet Sauvignon.” She notes that while “you don’t have to wait too long for these wines to finish, many have the structure to age for a long time.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown top score Bordeaux 2023

Perrotti-Brown can be briefly summarized as follows: Mildew, late heat waves and harvest decisions, were the key words that mattered and made the difference between mediocrity and greatness. The wineries that were able to cope adequately with the pitfalls of the growing season and that waited for the grapes to ripen produced excellent wines.

“Some classically styled wines at the pinnacle of greatness have emerged”

Perrotti-Brown recommends the 2023 vintage to buyers of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. Merlot and Cabernet Franc, which ripen earlier, coped better with the weather conditions of the 2023 vintage. However, “on both banks of the estuary”, “some wines show a thinness in the middle of the palate and a short finish”. According to Perrotti-Brown, this is “ultimately due to excessive cultivation and dilution by rain”. Nevertheless, the critic has noticed wines of “true greatness” in the Médoc and Pessac-Léognan.

Antonio Galloni’s top score Bordeaux 2023

According to Antonio Galloni (Vinous), the 2023 vintage is “not a great vintage across the board, but many of the wines deserve a lot of attention”. Those who have the money to make the necessary investments and pay for the extra work have been able to produce great wines.

Galloni highlights “the development towards smaller fermentation tanks”, which “enable vineyard managers to harvest with greater precision”, as “one of the most significant developments in Bordeaux”.

While avoiding generalizations, Galloni gives “the left bank a slight advantage this year”, as Merlot was more affected by mildew and dilution than Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. He was particularly impressed by the “high level of quality and consistency” of the wines from Saint-Estèphe and Margaux.

The critic described 2023 as an “epic vintage” for Sauternes and Barsac.

Neil Martin’s top score Bordeaux 2023

Neal Martin (Vinous), who describes the 2023 vintage as a “Dalmatian vintage”, reports an “inconsistent” quality that depends primarily on viticultural decisions.

He also sees the handling (surprisingly) of mildew as key. Martin also points to a “quality gap”, but is nevertheless of the opinion that the 2023 vintage “shines with a series of enchanting wines, and with this primeur”, says Martin, “it is essential to separate quality from price”. Wines of “astonishing quality” are scattered across the châteaux. However, the ‘shortcomings’ are equally diverse and ‘include some of the most famous names in Bordeaux’.

Martin also describes the 2023 vintage as a “clearly great” vintage for dry white wines. This vintage of dry Sauternes is the best he has ever experienced”. But sweet wines are also doing well. This is because the conditions for mildew are the same as for noble rot.

Wine Advocate top score Bordeaux 2023

Kelley described the 2023 vintage as a “fascinating paradox”. This paradox, according to Kelley, is reflected in the nature of the wines and will also be reflected in the prices at which they come to market. A warm growing season has meant that the best 2023s have “fully ripe tannins and the soft, seamless mouthfeel of a sunny vintage like 2019”, while the lack of sunshine has allowed for “vibrant aromas and flavors reminiscent of fresh fruit and flowers that are more indicative of a cooler year”.

Adrian van Velsens top value Bordeaux 2023

And last but not least, as discussed, the value list from Adrian van Velsen. Of course, you could argue that a Haut-Brion for 360 is a top value. But we have decided to include wines here that will probably not exceed CHF 100.