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Vinous publishes Antonio Galloni’s Bordeaux 2023 scores 

  • Vinous has published Antonio Galloni’s Bordeaux 2023 scores and tasting notes. 
  • He awarded his top score, a barrel range of 98-100, to Château Suduiraut and Château Palmer. 
  • The critic named Saint-Estèphe, Margaux and Sauternes as ‘standouts’. 

Vintage overview

According to Antonio Galloni (Vinous), while 2023 ‘is not a great vintage across board, many of the wines merit serious attention.’ The best of them are ‘intensely aromatic and perfumed, marked by bright acids, red-toned fruit and linear, vibrant tannins. The less successful wines, however, ‘can feel light and/or vegetal’.  

The variation in the quality of the wines this vintage cannot be solely explained by weather conditions. Rather, says Galloni, ‘Bordeaux is increasingly defined by the haves and have-nots’. Châteaux with ‘the financial resources and the willingness to put in the extra effort when challenging conditions present themselves’ inevitably fared better.  

The relatively high yields that have given rise to wines exhibiting ‘very fine, almost classical, balance’, for example, were enjoyed largely by ‘the more prestigious appellations.  

Galloni highlights ‘the move towards smaller fermentation tanks’, which allow ‘vineyard managers to pick with greater precision’, as ‘one of the most significant evolutions in Bordeaux’. In a year marked by mildew and heavy rain, green harvesting and careful selection was fundamental to producing quality wine. The Châteaux that have had the capital required to improve their cellars in recent years and had the smaller tanks ready were, therefore, at an advantage. 

Though avoiding generalisations, Galloni does ‘give a slight edge to the Left Bank this year’, since Merlot was more heavily impacted by mildew and dilution than Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. He was particularly impressed by the ‘high level of quality and consistency’ of wines from Saint- Estèphe and Margaux but adds that ‘there are plenty of stars on the Right Bank too’.  

The critic called 2023 ‘an epic vintage’ for Sauternes and Barsac. While he considers the dry whites a ‘mixed bag’, he believes ‘many of the dry whites from Sauternes this year are truly exceptional’.  

It will not be an easy decision, says Galloni, for Châteaux to drop prices, despite pressure from négociants and the broader market. ‘If prices are too high’, says Galloni, ‘sales might be disappointing’, but ‘a significant reduction will kill 2021 and possibly other vintages in the market’. Châteaux will have a difficult time trying to ‘capture as big a slice as they can’ of the pie available for the 2023’s without ‘causing consumers to think they have overpaid for several recent vintages.’ 

Antonio Galloni’s top-scoring wines

Galloni awarded his top score, a barrel range of 98-100 points, to only two wines, Château Suduiraut and Château Palmer.  

He called the 2023 Suduiraut a ‘real stunner’, describing it as ‘light on its feet yet wonderfully deep’. Effusive in his praise for the 2023 Palmer, Galloni called the wine ‘breathtaking’, praising its ‘mind-blowing’ balance and ‘stunning aromatic intensity’.  

The critic ranks the ‘exceptionally polished’ Château Margaux third with a score of 97-100 points, followed by Château Mouton Rothschild and Le Pin with 96-99 points each.  

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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