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Jane Anson publishes her Bordeaux 2023 scores

  • Jane Anson has published her Bordeaux 2023 scores and tasting notes.  
  • She awarded her top score, a potentially perfect barrel range of 98-100 points, to four Left-Bank wines. 
  • The 2023 vintage is a ‘reminder that Bordeaux excels in effortless construction and producing well balanced wines that are made to delight over the long term’ 

Vintage overview

While the 2023 vintage doesn’t have ‘the wow factor of the 2022’, Jane Anson believes it serves as a ‘reminder that Bordeaux excels in effortless construction and producing well balanced wines that are made to delight over the long term’. Anson welcomes ‘a return to a more nuanced, terroir and estate-driven’ approach, adding that ‘right and left bank are far more distinctive in their respective character’ than last year.  

‘In many ways’, says Anson, ‘the 2023 vintage is the vintage that 2021 desperately wished to be’.  The wines of this vintage, particularly those from the Cabernet-dominant Left Bank are characterised by well-balanced alcohol. While this is true of wines from the 2021 vintage, they ‘lacked structure and were in some cases dilute’. This year, ‘the long ripening gave beautifully ripe fruits, plenty of density through the palate and firm tannic architecture allowing for wines that will undoubtedly age well’.  

Not all wines achieved high quality this year. Rather, ‘there is a big difference between those that have succeeded, and those who have struggled’. According to Anson, after fruit set, ‘the gap began to widen between those who were able to manage the risks, and those who weren’t’. Those who didn’t discard berries impacted by mildew early on suffered. Nevertheless, ‘there are hundreds of bottles that are worth tracking down’.  

In her discussion of the Right-Bank wines, Anson noted that some suffered ‘dips or dilutions’ evident through the mid palates, likely caused by picking Merlot at the wrong time. While the Merlot-dominant Right Bank inevitably suffered more than the Left, challenging conditions have led to the creation of ‘a few wonderful if unusual wines’.  

All four of Anson’s potential 100-point wines hail from the Left Bank, ‘making it clear that [she] feels 2023 is a Cabernet Sauvignon year’. She notes that while there will be ‘no need to wait too long for these to be ready, many have the structure to go the distance in terms of aging’. According to Anson, buyers will find ‘an excellent crop of wines’ in Pauillac this year – an appellation less affected by mildew than other surrounding areas.  

Though Anson says this year is not ‘a blockbuster white vintage’, there are some ‘utterly compelling’ dry and sweet examples. She found the ‘consistency across the whites thoroughly enjoyable this year’, with their balanced alcohols giving ‘huge scope for nuanced wines with excellent aromatics’.  

Regardless of predicted price drops, Anson ‘[does not] think this year will be a huge commercial success’. Having reservations over both the 2022 and 2023 vintages, she hopes that we have yet to see ‘the vintage of the decade’. Even so, she thinks the 2023 is a vintage ‘people will keep rediscovering’; one that ‘will bring the kind of pleasure that vintages like 2001 have done over the decades’.  

Jane Anson’s top-scoring wines

Anson gave her top score, a potentially perfect barrel range of 98-100 points to four wines, led by the ‘exceptional’ Château Haut-Brion. She described the wine as ‘generous but restrained’, and having ‘the building blocks of a truly great Left Bank wine’.  

According to Anson, this vintage of Château Lafite Rothschild has ‘hidden power, where nothing is too much and yet everything is concentrated’. She names both Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Pontet-Canet as ‘wines of the vintage’.  

Notably, Château Haut-Brion’s Blanc has also earned a rank among Anson’s top 10. She comments that it ‘captures the contrasting freshness and intensity of a great white wine’.  

Our Bordeaux En Primeur 2023 page contains everything you need to know about this year’s campaign. You can also sign up for our daily En Primeur email alerts using the form below.  

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