Against all the odds, Bordeaux has produced yet another incredible vintage, according to feedback from this year’s en primeur tastings.
‘I don’t know how the Bordelais do it, but they seem to be able to make world-beating wine year after year,’ said Kashfur Content, publisher of Drinks Trade News International.
‘And it’s a real pleasure for our publication to tell the world about what an amazing job these wealthy families with large advertising budgets are doing.
‘Even when they aren’t.’
With relentless sunshine, searing heat and no rainfall, 2022 has been described as ‘an absolutely classic vintage – for the Riverland at least’.
‘It was a year of plush fruit, ripe tannins and high alcohol,’ said St Emilion producer Linda Fronsac. ‘All those classic characteristics that purists look for in red Bordeaux and that have made the 2003s such a great alternative to ruby port.’
En primeur tasters have, however, been mystified by higher than expected levels of acidity in the wines.
‘It’s incredible,’ said Bo Caillou of Chateau Grand-Menteur. ‘There was literally none in the analysis of the grapes when we picked them, and yet here it is in the finished wines.’
The region’s generic body, the Bureau for Lying About Bordeaux (BLAB) has put the ability to make fresh wines in 40-degree heat down to the region having the ‘world’s most intelligent vines’.
‘Our plants know what is required to make great wine every year, and they can create it, whether nature gives them the tools to do so or not,’ said BLAB’s CEO, Rose-Anne Segla.
Chateau owners believe that the grapes somehow generated their own acidity out of nothing during the fermentation process. Known in the region as ‘magic grape juju’ it’s a technique so advanced that even the world’s best scientists don’t believe it is possible.
BLAB has scored the 2022 vintage as ‘73 out of 10 – unbelievably good’. This is even higher than last year’s score of ‘72/10 – extraordinarily amazing’ for the 2021 vintage.
‘People say that you can’t have a score of 73 out of 10 and that our classification system lacks credibility,’ said BLAB’s Rose-Anne Segla. ‘And in most places they would be quite right.
‘But let’s just say that in Bordeaux’s unique terroir anything is possible.’
Growers unions are describing it as ‘the vintage of the century. Again.’
With another flagship vintage safely in the tank, merchants worldwide are bracing themselves for price rises.
‘The word from Bordeaux is that 2022 is a vintage that will age well,’ said Eton-Ann Oxford from fine wine merchant Barely Bothers and Crudd.
‘Which is just as well, since at these prices they could be sitting in our cellars for decades.’
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