Home Industry News Releases Adaptability and Precision Were Key Elements in 2023 Bordeaux en Primeur

Adaptability and Precision Were Key Elements in 2023 Bordeaux en Primeur

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New York – May 8, 2024 – FINE+RARE Group – the leading international marketplace for the world’s most prestigious wine cellars, distinguished cellars, and renowned producers – has released its official report for the 2023 Bordeaux Wine Vintage. The FINE+RARE platform was created for oenophiles and collectors, as well as an esteemed network of producers and suppliers, allowing the burgeoning wine marketplace to work hand-in-hand with estates across Bordeaux and deliver impressive wines to collectors for 2023.

Looking into the 2023 report, the FINE+RARE group highlights that this was the year for estates and producers who work “correctly;” those able to react and adapt to the ongoing changing conditions and learn from previous years resulted in fewer losses. 

Patrick O’Connor, CEO, FINE+RARE Group: “While many of our finest producers experienced hardships from an unusually warm spring this year, the 2023 wines are impressive.  Based on pre-order levels – which are similar to last year – collectors already appear motivated, and early pricing suggests chateaux are too.”

Forecasting on what has been released, the 25%-30% softening vs 2022 trend is likely to continue. What part of this is macro-economic and what is vintage related will probably define the next 5 years of EP and maybe beyond. The vintage has produced outstanding wines, some to match 2022. So the math looks skewed towards a revision on 22’ prices and the macro-economic situation. The best wines were hard won – producers wouldn’t feel great about it.”

What are the 2023 wines like: 

  • While new challenges in weather patterns and sodden soil threatened to impact this season’s vintage, 2023 laid the ground for high yields overall. Investors and buyers can look forward to a thoroughly modern fruit expression, featuring fresh acidities and modest alcohols (averaging 14%), and more traditional with earthy, savory, and mineral tones. Overall, they are “classically Bordeaux.”
  • Left Bank: Results here are more varied than the Right Bank, but overall a strong consistency in quality. Alcohols are largely around 13%, often with pHs that sit between 3.6-3.75 – classically structured wines that can vibrate with energy. 
  • Right Bank: The Right Bank is singing this year – especially in Pomerol, where appellation as a whole thrived in 2023. The recent Belle-Brise release reinforces this view, with the palate delivering concentrated fruit, ripe tannins, and vivid acidity bringing great freshness.  One of the rarest wines on today’s marketplace, the vast majority of liquid never reaches private clients as it is snapped up by some of France’s finest three-Michelin-starred restaurants and those in star addresses in over 25 countries. Beyond these locations, private clients can only source Belle-Brise through FINE+RARE Group. 

A look at the 2023 growing season: 

  • The vineyards most impacted were those that make entry-level Bordeaux – with reports of some estates entirely wiped out in Entre-Deux-Mers. Producers with estates in satellite appellations saw these differences first-hand; with  L’Hêtre losing over 50% of its Castillon estate and Teyssier choosing not to release en primeur as the yields were low. 
  • The dry, warm weather in August and September provided an Indian summer and ideal harvesting conditions, giving producers time to pick with little-to-no risk of disease. The harvests were the longest-ever at several estates.
  • The first whites were picked from August 21, with the Semillon suffering a little more in the heat. On both Banks, producers started picking Merlot beginning September 4, with the harvest stretching October 10 for the last Cabernet Sauvignon. On both banks, producers noted having to do multiple passes – the homogeneity found at flowering not having carried through to the harvest date.
  • Overall, for producers who have struggled with low yields over the past three vintages (losses of up to 40% in 2022, up to 50% in 2021 and up to 30% in 2020), the 2023 vintage was a success.

How producers handled the 2023 vintage in the winery 

  • Producers were mixed across sorting methods – preferring sorting by hand or a combination of both densimetric sorting and optical sorting. The latter of which is used at Les Carmes Haut-Brion, where the producers estimate they sorted almost 10% of the crop. 
  • With the high yields, some estates felt saignée – bleeding off of the juice to further concentrate it – was essential. The Barton family bled off half their vats, while Brane-Cantenac bled off their Merlot only, and Ausone did saignée for practically everything.
  • Press wine was also a point of conversation – as with 2022. Lafite used more, while estates like Mouton opted for less, but there’s no pattern in relation to the end result.

FINE+RARE Group’s 2023 En Primeur Wine Vintage report is available to view here

About FINE+RARE Group: 

Founded in 1994, the FINE+RARE Group is the leading international marketplace for the world’s most prestigious wine cellars, distinguished collections, and renowned producers. Created for Oenophiles and collectors as well as an esteemed network of producers, suppliers, private clients, and more, FINE+RARE Group has become a global tour de force with burgeoning operations in the UK, US, Asia, and Europe, and circa $750 million assets under management worldwide. Across the single digital technology platform designed mainly for collectors who buy, store, and sell their luxury portfolio, all products are full of flavor and collectable prestige. 

FINE+RARE Group also hosts a series of events and experiences throughout the year allowing potential buyers and collectors to discover the world’s most renowned wine and spirit brands. Each event offers a chance to understand these producers’ style, philosophy, history, greatest collections, and special releases. 

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