Tasting notes 2023 Bordeaux (barrel samples)

Thanks Alex for posting your notes.

Based on your tastings what are your key takeaways on this vintage? I noticed the big guns on both the left and right banks, received the highest ratings (4.5 stars) though the Latour score was missing. From some comments in your notes I got the impression you had somewhat mixed feelings about these wines? How were the ABVs on the left and right banks?
Thanks for your message Ian.

I think that what we have here is a good vintage, let's say a good average vintage.
To be simplistic, I was generally more impressed with the Right Bank rather than the Left.

Alcohol levels did not, on the whole, seem to be an issue.
I'm referring here not to the laboratory analysis, but the sensory one.

Mildew was a big problem, but I was expected to believe that ti attacked the leaves and not the fruit....
That having been said, I did not notice any off-flavor that I might attribute to mildew.

Thanks for telling me about Latour. I'll have to fix that.
On my personal scale, that would be 4 to 4/12.
It's all personal, isn't it?

It is very daunting to visit the greatest estates and do your best to evaluate the wine objectively.
Nowhere was this more evident to me than at Château Margaux.
I felt as though the emperor had no clothes on! There we were, a dozen people from half a dozen countries sampling the wine, and as much as I love Margaux, I felt it was uncharacteristly thin.
Of course, I didn't say anthing, and my score gives the estate the benefit of the doubt, which it certainly deserves from its track record.

Tasting en primeur is full of pitfalls, and it's really a tiring thing to do, especially as the top estates make you go visit (rather than submit samples to group tastings).
So, you find yourself racing around the countryside keeping to a strict schedule.
But it's a tremendous way to keep up to date with all the changes, meet people, and further your knowledge.

In my opinion, the tastings should take place later in the year, ideally just before the harvest, but that's not likely to happen.

All the best,