The following five just published and related Forbes articles highlight wine vintage 2023—based on tasting over 200 Bordeaux wines. The wine tasting notes that follow complement these articles by providing additional information not included in those articles.

The winemaking team from Chateau Le Virou in Blaye, Bordeaux

Vintage 2023 – Nature Delivered What Consumers Desired

Vintage 2023 – Right Bank Bright Creamy Wines

Vintage 2023 – Left Bank Dark Dense Flavors

Vintage 2023 – Entre-Deux-Mers Good Value Red Wines

Vintage 2023 – White Wines Showcase Bright Acidity

Not all tasting notes are includes in those articles. Many are included below, and are linked to this site.



Château Tour Prignac. Médoc. Cru Bourgeois. 2023. 93 points.

Linear aromas of young red fruit as well as some hickory and cedar. Mid palate somewhat tannic but well integrated with fruit.

Château La Tour de By. Médoc. 2023. 93 points.

From the Marc Pagès family. A full bodied 60/35/5 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot. Creamy well integrated and layered aromas of red fruit, chocolate, figs, blackberry. Bright and peppery mid palate with a medley of hearty flavors that lean toward roast chestnuts and biltong. Swimming acidity with cumin and tannins on the finish.

Clos Manou. Medoc. 2023. 93 points.

A 70/22/8 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot. Calm and tranquil aromas of sliced peaches, red cherries, light fudge and even apple juice. Deliciously subtle and balanced attack and mid palate includes chewy tannins and black licorice; bright strawberries on the finish bathed in juicy acidity.

Château Beauvillage. Cru Bourgeois. Médoc. 93 points.

55/45 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon. Balanced aromas of black pepper, allspice, prunes and dark plums. Balsamic notes mid palate. Burly, but with chewy attractive merit. Well-toned though feisty tannins and sleek acidity. Consider pairing with bulgur and soy.

Château Lousteauneuf. Médoc. 2023. 92 points.

80/20 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot. Perky aromas followed by bright bulbous and delicious acidity that carries dark chocolate flavors mid palate. Accentuated tannins.

Château Vernous. Médoc. 2023. 91-92 points.

A 60/30/10 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot. Aromas of red plums, gorse, green tea and licorice. Slightly oxidized. Striking acidity and freshness with pronounced flavors of raspberries and blackberries mid palate and textured tannins.

Château Vernous 2023 sample from Médoc


Le Corsaire de Laffitte Carcasset. Saint-Estèphe. 2023. 95-96 points.

70/30 Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend that ages 12 months in steel tanks. Snappy, feisty, fresh aromas with an acidic edge. Blueberry muffins, carrot cake and spice cake. A light and easy drinking mid bodied red with flavors of crunchy chocolate, raspberry juice and some fudge on the finish. Fun, bright, well balanced with excellent fruit/acidity/tannin integration. Consider pairing with a souffle or an orange cake.

Château Tour de Pez. Saint-Estephe. 2023. 90 points.

69/27/4 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc aged in barrels 14 months. A medley of red fruit and cumin, rosemary and black pepper. Clean acidity, fresh fruit. Linear but enjoyable. Pair with cheeses and saucisson.

Château Lilian Ladouys. Saint-Estephe. 2023.

Young fresh bramble bush with crisp aromas of wild strawberries and raspberries. Soft tannins. Flavors include red plums and strawberries.

Château Bel-Air Ortet. Germaine. Saint-Estephe. 2023. 92 points.

50/35/15 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot age in new oak. Red fruit aromas include raspberries, cherry pie, oranges, black berries, sultanas. Gentle tannins with mid palate flavors of dark and blue fruit, black licorice, figs and Frys chocolate. Luscious and coherent flavors. Slightly tannic finish.


Prélude à Grand-Puy Ducasse. Pauillac. 2023. 93-94 points.

64/31/5 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot to be aged 18 months in French oak. A meaty set of aromas that include cedar, black berries, raspberry juice, some eucalyptus and gorse. A gripping attack with textured tannins and licorice followed by a fine set of mid palate flavors including dark berries, hummus, balsamic. Slightly acidic still.

Guillaume Chanfreau, co-owner of Château Lestage in Listrac-Médoc


Château Granins Grand Poujeaux. Moulis-en-Médoc. 2023. 93 points.

A 55/40/5 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot. Crinckled crunchy spry aromas first nose, followed by a raspberry patch and spring flowers and a country hedgerow buzzing with life. Engaging mouthful of dark licorice, red cherries and even caramel on the finish. A well-made, well-balanced wine somewhat linear still but approachable and attractive with well-integrated tannins and tannins that buoy the mid palate. Consider pairing with an orange sorbet dessert or a pork cutlet glazed with honey.

Château Caroline. Moulis-en-Médoc. 2023. 91-92 points.

95/5 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Young, frothing, perky aromas that include walnuts and raspberries. Mild tannins, bright fruit and a mid palate of oranges and gingerbread. Soft finish. Pair perhaps with pumpkin soup.

Audrey Ricordi, Maitre de Chai at Château Pedesclaux, Pauillac, Bordeaux


De Siran. Margaux. 2023. 94 points.

62.5/31/6.5 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot that ages 12 months in oak. Creamy tannins, soft fruits that include black and blue berries and shining acidity. Neat and compact and well-integrated. Pair with charcuterie or pasta with truffle flakes.


Château Arnauld. Haut-Médoc. 2023. 94 points.

13.5% alcohol from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot. Jumpy aromas or red spring fruit and some open country agricultural fields. A blast of raspberries and red currants on the attack followed by a fine light package of red fruit with some dark licorice and crisp tannins mid palate. Exceedingly pleasurable acidity/red fruit integration that will make you want to pair it with food right away—consider a poultry paella or pasta with chunks of mozzarella and drops of balsamic.

Château D’Arcins. Haut-Médoc. Cru Bourgeois. 2023. 93+ points.

Aromas of juicy red fruit that includes raspberries. Powerful attack followed by flavors of brownies, cocoa cake and anise mid palate and some eucalyptus on a delicious finish. Layered and enjoyable with firm but quiet tannins.

Château Larose-Trintaudon. Haut-Médoc. 2023. 91 points.

45/44/11 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot aged in barrels one year. A combination of young and mature red fruit flavors, clear acidity and calm tannins. Consider pairing with flatbread and hummus or with a cherry parfait dessert.

Château Larose Perganson. Haut-Médoc. 2023. 90 points.

70/30 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend aged 14 months in barrels. 14% alcohol. A slightly smoky set of aromas that include young red fruits. Sleek acidity, fresh fruits. Linear but a pleasing afternoon opener to a barbecue.

Spring strawberry dessert in Bordeaux


La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion. Pessac-Léognan. 2023. 95 points.

Approximately a 48/40/12 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc aged in 21% new oak. Zesty, balanced, poised white wine with bright and dazzling tropical flavors and acidity. Salinity as well as sweetness enfolded into a complex and optimistic wine. 1,000 cases produced.


Chateau Ferrande. Graves. 2023. 93 points.

50/50 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of brandy, sage, gorse and red currants. Light summer fare with a creamy profile and hint of hickory and cumin mid palate and some blueberry parfait on the finish. Supple tannins. Lively acidity compared to their 2021. Fresh and singing with balance and ready for drinking.

Château Pellot. Graves. 2023.

70/30 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon aged in new and used oak. Snappy aromas of tar and cooked figs. Robust fruit, quite extracted, sleek generous acidity and burly tannins. Hefty shouldered mid palate of red and dark plums, some black licorice.

Château Barre Gentillet. Inspiration. Graves de Vayres. 2023. 92 points.

80/20 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc that includes parcel selected grapes from some old vines. Aged in 100% new oak. Snappy red fruit aromas including strawberries, raspberries, red plums, cassis, tobacco, tar and some menthol. Fresh and young acidity; nicely vibrant length.

Château Barre Gentillot. Vielles Vignes. Graves de Vayres. 2023. 91+ points.

80/25/15 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon aged 50/50 in concrete and barrels. Light, tart aromas and bright acidity.

Château Face. Graves de Vayres. Grand Vin de Bordeaux. 2023. 89 points.

65/25/5/5 blend of Merlot/Cabernet/Petit Verdot/Malbec. Aromas of fresh cut wood, moss, dark plums, light wild strawberries. Tight tannins, some eucalyptus and black currant juice mid palate. Somewhat chalky.

Tasting not only 2023, but older vintages from Château La Conseillante


Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux

Château Bourdieu. Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux. 2023. 94 points.

A Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc blend. Medium purple color. Perky fresh aromas that include red and black cherries, soot, gorse and orange peels. Especially deft and delicate and tannins this vintage, with rounded polished fruit mid palate and acidity that has you asking for another glass. Creamy integration. Lovely wine.

Château Bourdieu. No. 1. Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux. 2023. 94+ points.

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend. Fresh, zesty springtime aromas that include not only raspberries and cassis but some melon and menthol. A juicy, rounded full fruit throttle mid palate with soft tannins but an edgy finish. Light, approachable now. Pair with spaghetti with pomodoro sauce and sage or a caramel chocolate dessert. Better integrated than previous vintages.

Château Les Clottiers. Blaye Cótes de Bordeaux. 2023. 92-93 points.

Another Merlot/Cabernet blend from the Schweitzer family. Dark fruit aromas accentuating plums, cassis and some graphite. Creamy tannins and fruit mid palate. Slight menthol on the finish. Well made for easy drinking now, but will also keep. This has the darkness of a Malbec achieved without using that regional grape.

Château de La Chapelle. Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux. 2023. 92 points.

This 14.5% alcohol Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Luc Schweitzer and sons has a deep purple color. Young aromas of dark plums and forest. A fresh mouthful of bursting fruit with subtle and suave tannins. Dense and compact flavors and simmering acidity. Pair with roast duck or charcuterie. Linear but deep flavors.

Tasting with Pauline Gentet, Maitre de Chai at Château Virou, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux

Côtes de Bourg

Fronsac / Canon-Fronsac

Château de Carles. Fronsac. 2023. 95 points.

A 93/4/3 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec that will spend 14 months in steel. Light first nose followed by subtle aromas of raspberries, wild strawberries, red cherries as well as slight graphite and sage brush. Firm tannins, delicate acidity, a compact delivery of crushed red fruit, some mocha and bouquet garni mid palate. Sleek acidity. A well balanced and statured wine, again making Chateau de Carles a valued ambassador of Fronsac.

Château Plain Point. Fronsac. Grand Vin de Bordeaux. 2023. 94 points.

A Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend from Plain Point, who finally created a new label that shows they may want to distinguish their excellence. Calm and almost indistinct aromas. Then some lava chocolate cake and fudge trickle out. A juicy, integrated package that includes some tension and well-rounded tannins as well as red plums, raspberries mid palate and slivers of oranges on the finish. Pair with rigatoni pasta, roma tomatoes and black pepper or a carrot cake dessert.

Château Beauséjour. Cuvée Prestige. Fronsac. 2023. 94 points.

Approximately a 70/30 Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend from 45 year old vines and aged 14 months in oak. Aromas of roses, chestnuts, chalk, cherries and slight tar. A crisp and well integrated package with flavors of textured red peppers and quinoa and black berries. Taut and smooth tannins. A hit of biltong dried beef on the finish.


Benjamin de Beauregard. Pomerol. 2023. 95 points.

This second wine of Beauregard is made from both old and young vines grown over sandier soil plots at the base of inclines. A 90/10 Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend. Initially reserved aromas blossom in minutes to reveal cassis, red cherries, myrtle and even tar. Smooth, luscious, deep dark flavors of blueberries, slight black licorice and some tarragon. Forthright acidity, textured tannins. Well balanced.

Clos Bel Air. Pomerol. 2023. 95 points.

96/2/2 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon. Quiet initial aromas of angel cake, lemon tart, red plums and strawberries as well as tar and garrigue. A light mouthful of plush fruits and orange sherbet as well as creamy tannins and brisk acidity. Fully integrated taut package of flavor and texture, with an exceedingly suave finish that includes slight honey and crunchy chocolate bar.

Château Maillet. Pomerol. 2023. 95 points.

80/20 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc. Sleek and clean and precise aromas that include a crushed mélange of nuts, some treacle and tar, sandalwood and eucalyptus. A bright, coherent, velvety, luscious mouthful filled with dark flavors reminiscent of vintage 2018—cassis, dorp licorice, roasted chestnuts, Asian spices and slight red pepper. Creamy tannins melded with a main course of flavors and elevated by supporting acidity. Consider paring with juicy lamb or a vegetarian souffle that includes vinegar/soy. Pomerol seduction. Same eucalyptus lilt as the 2019 vintage from Maillet, similar spiciness as the 2018 vintage but with creamier tannins.

Château Clos Beausejour. Pomerol. 2023. 94+ points.

Redolent red fruit aromas. Light bright red fruit attack followed by a mid-palate with juicy acidity and shining expressions of cassis, dark plums, even some fudge. On the finish—raspberries and some mint. A buoyant and attractive wine for conversation and play. Can drink now but will age well for decades.

Château Fayat. Pomerol. 2023. 94 points.

From a 14 hectare planting of the Clément Fayat family, this 90/10 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend includes a supernova explosion of bright aromas that include raspberries, red and black cherries, cassis. Crisp and crinkling acidity, though tannins are not yet well integrated. Blackberries mid palate. Luscious fruit flavors mid palate that include cassis blend well with the acidity that will help keep this wine vibrant for decades.

Pond at night, Château Beauregard, Pomerol, Bordeaux


Chateau du Rosaire. Lalande de Pomerol. 2023. 94 points.

An 80/20 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend from the De Boüard family of wines. Aromas include some earth, red and dark plums and mint with a wide range of mid palate flavors that include cherries, balsamic, black licorice and toast. Delicious and varied. Easy drinking. Pair with a stir fry that includes bell peppers, quinoa and soy.

Château Pavillon Beauregard. Lalande de Pomerol. 2023. 94 points.

Made from a 75/25 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc grapes picked in Lalande and trucked two miles to vinification facilities in Pomerol, then aged for 12 months in 30% new oak. Harmonious aromas of juicy red cherries, raspberries, black berries as well as some cedar and eucalyptus. Perky acidity and flavors not only of dark fruit but also roasted chestnuts and hickory. Exemplary for easy drinking.

Château Tournefeuille. La Cure. Lalande-de-Pomerol. 2023. 93-94 points.

70/30 Merlot/Cabernet Franc from the Petit family. Includes aromas of young red fruit. Lovely fruit elegant tannin integration in the mouth with bright acidity and deft tannins. Creamy mid palate with bright red cherries and some licorice and eucalyptus/ lemongrass on the finish. Prime acidity—deliciously drinkable now! 6,000 bottles produced. A bargain.

Chateau Sergant. Lalande de Pomerol. 2023. 93-94 points.

100% Merlot aged in new and used oak barrels. Young aromas with fleck of chocolate chips. An easy entry attack with spry red fruit flavors that include raspberries. Beefy to heavy weight mid palate with flavors that include dark plums, hickory and dorp salted licorice. Engaging finish with acidity that beckons for a second glass. Pair with goulash that includes bay leaf and herbs.

From Pomerol—Château La Conseillante


Château du Paradis. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2023. 95-96 points.

A blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon. Nutty dark fruit licorice set of aromas, although not forthcoming. Stellar composition of balance in the mouth with flavors of black licorice, black berries, cumin, dark plums, oranges and black pepper that are expressive, balanced, harmonious. This is an old sailboat on the beautiful label that is in balance. Poised, elegant, dark and mysteriously complex. Pair with Szechuan beef and/or slices of poppyseed chala bread dunked in balsamic.

Château Laroze. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé. 95-96 points.

A 60/40 Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend aged in new oak and clay amphorae. From the Meslin family. Quiet aromas followed by a layered mid palate—black pepper, spices, mocha, chocolate and dark plums and cassis. Soft tannins, bright fruit that includes blueberries. Beautifully juicy acidity. A bright and beautiful wine. Consider pairing with blueberry muffins for dessert or a main course of a tenderloin steak with roast potatoes dusted in sage.

Fontfleurie. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 95-96 points.

Quite the butterfly label—electric, diaphanous, inviting. Pale purple-pink color. Succulent aromas leaning toward acidity with fresh young red fruit. A perky and lovely integrated package in the mouth—strawberries and tannins with the softness of a creamy éclair, as well as some candy corn and black cherries on the finish. Well integrated, well-made balanced wine with multiple layers. Wonka levels of excellence here.

Château de Pressac. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé. 2023. 95-96 points.

A blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon/Carménère/Malbec/Petit Verdot from Jean-François and Dominique Quenin – aged 18 months in new and used oak barrels and clay amphorae. Spry aromas—think tangerine tajine, orange slices pulled from sangria, strawberries and shortbread. A linear attack followed by a three course mid palate including cassis, chocolate and red cherries on the finish. Bright acidity that tingles the tongue and an unobtrusive set of tannins. Pair with mirepoix and cous cous, or a mushroom casserole. More integrated than the 2019 vintage and as complex and delightful as from the 2018 vintage.

Vieux Chantecaille. Saint-Émilion. 95-96 points.

80/20 Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend. Light cherry color. Crisp acidic aromas that include luscious red and black cherries, rum raisin and menthol. A deliciously well-balanced wine that includes fresh fruit and commanding darker flavors—black licorice, truffles, sage. A complete and complex mouthful that lingers in layers on the tongue. Some caramel, peach and mint on a long finish. Fresh and well made with crisp acidity and evenly toned tannins that provide firm structure. Pair with peppermint dessert or a cassoulet. 6,000 bottles produced.

Spring tomatoes in Bordeaux

Château Moine Vieux. Saint-Émilion. 2023. 95+ points.

A 75/23/2 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon aged 16 months in new and used oak. An earthy minestrone set of first aromas reminiscent of a Tuscan Sangiovese, but then eclipsed by sparkling red fruit—plums and cherries. Juicy acidity on mid palate with textured tannins and a gritty and gripping and have to love the finish that includes attractive chunky tannins. Balanced, poised, slightly tense. Classic Saint-Emilion quality and layers and drinkable now.

No 3 d’Angelus. Saint-Émilion. 2023. 95 points.

85/10/5 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon. Crisp, clean aromas of young red such as red cherries and some blue fruit. Aged 25% in oak barrels (the balance in larger wooden foudre and steel tanks) to maintain fruit characteristics for a modern Bordeaux style ready to serve now. Very precise tannins as well as bright and coherent acidity. A finely focused wine with harmonious fruit/tannin/acidity integration and approachable immediately. Slight salinity mid palate with some red cherries and black licorice on the finish. Tightrope tension. Drink now or in a few decades. Serve slightly chilled. 13.8 to 13.9% alcohol.

Château La Couspaude. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé. 2023. 95 points.

From Jean Claude Aubert comes this 70/15/15 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend aged in 55% new oak. Husky dark yet fresh aromas with lambent tannins, mid palate flavors that include raspberries. Tension between acidity and fruit, a creamy finish.

Château La Commanderie. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé. 2023. 95 points.

75/25 Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend. Soft, juicy, sweet fruit aromas as well as melted milk chocolate poured over sliced red cherries. Even a sense of minestrone reminiscent of a Tuscan Sangiovese. Deliciously abundant mid palate flavors that include red and black cherries, figs and a creamy blueberry tart with soft enfolding tannins and deft acidity. Dark commanding and balanced flavors. Tingling finish. Consider pairing with strips of teriyaki steak or pasta with shaved truffles and olive oil.

La Croix de Montlabert. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 95 points.

85/15 Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend. Purple colored with a lick of tangerine hue on the rim. Aromas are inviting, well developed, balanced and include a bowl of red cherries, raspberries, some gorse, leather and cappuccino froth. A balanced broad set of flavors with hearty Sangiovese like characteristics and including cherry tart, honey glaze, black berries and Teuscher Swiss chocolate. Come up for air after this dizzying layer cake with mint crisp on the finish. Chewy tannins and grand acidic energy. Pair with tagliatelle pasta, ground beef and cherry tomatoes, or with peppermint ice cream doused in fudge sauce.

2012 Château Montlabert Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé

Château La Dominque. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé. 2023. 95 points.

This 88/12 Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend age in new and used barrels and some amphorae. The blend includes powerful and big shouldered aromas that include blackberries, black peppers, cranberry juice, red cherries, prunes and black licorice. Perky, snappy, enlivening excellent acidity. Tannins still need better integration but overall a harmonious combination. A lively and festive wine ready to drink now.

Clos Saint-Vincent. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 94-95 points.

70/27/3 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon Perky and brisk aromas with a slice of tangerines as well as dark and red plums. Bright acidity, well-structured tannins and a mid-palate of Oreo chocolate, Terrys All Gold chocolate, raspberries and sliced peaches. Beautifully integrated, not stunningly layered but approachable and with acidity making this a fresh wine to sample now. Perhaps pair with a plum and orange clafoutis or teriyaki beef.

Château Trianon. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 94-95 points.

70/15/10/5 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon/Carménère. Nippy and chipper aromas of dark fruit, dark fudge—dark magic apparently. Harmonious blend of textured tannins, rich dark red fruit and the same crisp, silky acidity as the same wine from the 2019 vintage. Not as complex yet as some previous vintages but rich and satisfying now. Pair with teriyaki beef or a cheese fondue.

Château Tour de Pressac. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 94-95 points.

84/10/3/2/0.5/0.5 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec/Carménère/Petit Verdot. Roughly the same blend as the Château de Pressac, aged up to 15 months in tank, barrel and amphorae. Dark and almost daunting set of first aromas followed by a fresh raspberry patch, spring country lane, some granite, dark plums and roma tomatoes. Light, lambent, linear but well assembled and coherent collection of fruits bathed in fresh and generous acidity. Tannins provide an opaque structure. A spring delight.

Lovely Pomerol

Château Tour Saint Pierre. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 94-95 points.

80/10/10 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc. Somewhat indistinct aromas open up to woodlands, roma tomatoes, red plums and candy cane. A hearty and smoothly tannic mouthful of bouillon and molasses and cassis. Layered with dark dorp licorice and some cumin on the finish. Pair with grilled beef or a plate of black olives, hummus and bread chunks dipped in balsamic.

Clos des Jacobins. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé. 2023. 94+ points.

A Merlot dominant blend that also includes Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for a year and a half in partially new oak. Dark, fiery, exotic aromas on first nose, followed by a medley of layered chocolate cake, candy cane, gumballs, licorice and red cherries and menthol. A bright red fruit explosion mid palate with slight hint of turmeric and a finish that is gripping and dark—think madeira loaf and soy tajine. Poised and well integrated tannins, joyous acidity and a four layer cake of flavors. Pair this with a spicy eastern dish or barbecue. More immediately approachable than their vintage 2020, and as layered and intriguing as their vintage 2018.

Château Adaugusta. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 94 points.

From Gerard and Catherine Canuel—an 80/20 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc to be aged 15 months in partially new French oak. Perky and bright and lusciously well-developed aromas or light red fruits, candy cane, cherry tart. A happy and compact conglomeration of shining and crackling acidity, fresh sliced orange and red fruits and figs mid palate and a black cherry snap on the finish. Pair with grilled steak with mashed potatoes and sprigs of thyme or with German chocolate cake embedded with red cherries. Striking and fresh. 5,500 bottles produced.

Château Chauvin. Folie de Chauvin. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 94 points.

A 70/25/5 Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Domaines Sylvie Cazes. Aromas of boysenberries and black licorice. Well integrated dark fruit with rounded acidity and structured/shouldered tannins. Perhaps pair with goulash.

Château Franc LeMaine. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 93-94 points.

Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Nippy dark aromas that coil around the nostrils and include shortbread, steaming lava chocolate cake, blueberry muffins straight from the oven and black cherry yogurt. Harmonious mouthful that includes dark plums, black pepper, a bite of black licorice on a cold day as well as spices—cumin, cinnamon and on the finish a touch of soy. Pair with a cherry and chocolate cake dessert or a vegetarian rice pilaf with roasted roma tomatoes and green peppers. Bravo.

Château La Dominque. Relais de La Dominique. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé. 2023. 93-94 points.

100% Merlot from 30-year old vines aged 14 months in steel and partially in barrels. Huge, dark, powerful, cunning and stunning blasts of dark fruit aromas that include blackberries, blueberries and slight oranges with the acidity. Crisp dark flavors of raspberries, slight black pepper and a hit of wild strawberries and caramel on the finish. Screaming acidity. Drink chilled. Excellent price/quality ratio.

Château Franc Bigaroux. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 93 points.

Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Mildly restrained aromas that include cherry tart. Well balanced and integrated though slightly oaky.

Château La Révérance. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 93 points.

50/50 Merlot Cabernet Franc blend to be aged 14 months in oak. Perky but whispy young blue and red fruit aromas including red cherries. Balanced deft red fruit with somewhat still untamed tannins. Mid palate of chunky chocolate brownies and even juicy peach.

Château La Croix Younan. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2023. 92 points.

A 70/30 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend from 30 year old vines. Vinified in 500 liter barrels. Dark ruby and purple colored. Spunky and antsy and smooth aromas with oak, red plums, raspberries and gorse. Compact and integrated flavors predominantly young red berries with creamy tannins, but somewhat tart as of yet.

Chef preparing spring barbecue in Pomerol

Saint-Émilion Satellites

Château Lafaurie. Puisseguin Saint-Émilion. 2023. 95 points.

From Vignobles Alain Pascal, an 80/10/10 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon. Shimmering violet color. Perky but young aromas of a raspberry patch, Burren bogs, slight granite. A taut and lovely assembly of delicious crisp acidity, young and freshly sliced strawberries and red fruits with creamy tannins folded in like edges of a tablecloth. Coherent, crisp, slightly complex and delicious. Pair with a fruit medley or oxtail soup with comte or cheddar cheese grated in.

Château Tour Perruchon. Lussac-Saint-Émilion. 2023. 94-95 points.

80/10/10 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon from Vignobles Alain Pascal. Young fruit aromas somewhat indistinct but include red cherries and red plums. A dark set of flavors—sesame bread, soy, black olives, blueberries, cassis. Let this open up in the glass and it reveals a snappy mid palate with layered fruit flavors, mocha and dark licorice in a simmering bath of acidity with redolent and creamy tannins. The finish is a winner—a three layer cake that includes cherries and chocolate. Medium to full bodied and ready to pair with Szechuan beef or Chinese fondue. Gripping after minutes in the glass.

Château Rocher Gardat. Montagne Saint-Émilion. 2023. 94+ points.

A 90/10 Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend from the largest of Saint-Émilion’s satellite appellations. Dark flavors include bourbon chocolate cookies, soy, black licorice and a sliver of oranges within the acidity. Delightful and compact and extraordinarily juicy. Tannins are firm, wine is well balanced and with good tension between tannins and acidity. Pair with shish kebab that includes slices of pineapple. Same juiciness and liveliness as the 2019 vintage.

Vignerons de Puisseguin. Faret. 2023. 94 points.

Aromas of hawthorn, cedar, red cherries and eucalyptus as well as slight lemon from the acidity. A buoyant and rich wine with creamy tannins on the attack and flavors of Oreo cookies, mocha, fudge brownies and fruit tart mid palate. Delicious acidity.F

Château Tour Perruchon. L’Exception. 1600 Récolte. Lussac Saint-Émilion. 2023. 90-92 points.

80/10/10 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark tar and deep purple color. Pungent aromas of dark plums, graphite and raspberries. Sleek acidity and fresh young red fruit on the attack; somewhat tart mid palate with minestrone variety and a finish that includes bright red cherries. The glass opens up after some minutes and the flavors are heftier and better integrated. Spunky and spry mid palate is reminiscent of a Sangiovese meets Carmenère. Needs time to assimilate and integrate internally. Pair with charcuterie or a salad that include comte or mozzarella cheese as well as sesame seeds and soy.

Clos de l’Espérance. Lussac Saint-Émilion. 2023. 89 points.

Clean engaging aromas of red cherries, young raspberries. Crisp acidity, though tannins somewhat in gear. Red plums and thyme mid palate.

Beautiful Saint-Émilion blend

Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Château Canon Montségur. Oscar. Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. 2023. 92 points.

From Sébastien Pelard, this 50/30/20 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon includes aromas of chalk and blackberries. Beautiful juicy acidity, fresh robust flavors of cherries and strawberries and balsamic mid palate.

Château Roquevieille. Cuvée Excellence. Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. 2023. 92 points.

From Thomas Guibert—an 85/15 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc from 35-year-old vines. Aromas of dark plums, pine needles and hummus. Crisp and well-rounded tannins and flavors include dark fruit, a slab of licorice, a hit of Pernod and menthol mint on the finish. Multifaceted and quite well integrated. A layer cake; still quite acidic.

Domaine Haut Ventenac. Les Merisiers. Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. 2023. 91-92 points.

First—the label: Fantastic black and white image showing a stag, tree and roots.

100% Merlot. Young aromas that include raspberries, walnuts, sea spray. Fresh rounded flavors of red plums, peaches, raspberries. Frothy acidity; somewhat tart and with subdued tannins.

Château Fontbaude. L’Aime de Fontbaude. Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. 2023. 91 points.

100% Merlot aged in oak. Simple aromas include red fruit. A red cherry mid palate for this chewy barbecue wine.

Château du Tertre Bel Air. Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. 2023. 90 points.

From Bruno Dellac comes this 70/20/10 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon. Young fruity aromas—though as yet somewhat indistinct. Flavors include those of maple syrup, red plums and black licorice in a swimming pool of acidity

Xavier Jean (R) of Couvent des Jacobins in Saint-Émilion with Frank Kalyk of Château Picoron in Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux

Château de Marsan. Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux. 2023. 92 points.

From the Gonfrier family, a 70/30 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend from 30 year old vines and aged one year in French oak. Aromas of hazelnuts, oats, grains and magnificent hit of honeydew melon. Refreshing red fruit and tingling tannins and juicy acidity mid palate. Pair with Roma tomatoes and linguini.


Château La Naude. Grand Vin de Bordeaux. 2023. 95–96 points.

A 50/50 Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend with soft and fragrant aromas that include violets, roses, creamy éclair, red plums, tar and slight leather. Mildly tart attack followed by a luscious and velvety center of lava chocolate cake, blueberry muffins and chirping acidity. This a chocolate and cherry bonbon with plush tannins and a German chocolate cake finish. Easy drinking medium body with shriekingly attractive acidity that includes tangerine and orange flavors. Layered and luscious. A mysterious arrival to the party that warmed up the atmosphere.

Château Thenac. 1621. Bergerac. 2023. 93-94 points.

50/50 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Beautiful label from artist Magen Shvidler titled ‘La porte des réves de vin,’ or the door of the dreams of wine for this juices produced from a plot that has yielded wine for 400 years. A purple and slight Nebbiolo color. Aromas of orange sherbet, red plums, apple strudel, raspberries and gooseberries from the acidity. Happy assembly of bright fruit and tannins not inclined to show themselves. Flavors of blueberries tart, slight milk chocolate. Balanced and mid weight; a solid fresh opener to an afternoon gathering. Pair with charcuterie or slices of roast beef with cooked shallots.

Château de Laussac. Grand Vin de Bordeaux. 2023. 93 points.

75/25 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc. Aromas of cherry pie meets mint and lamb tajine. Flavors include sour cherries, peppermint, oranges and a raspberry patch. This is Castillon on steroids. A lively, bouncy assembly of cumin, cooked steak and dark licorice. A bit tannic but overall provides the sense that it provides both eating and drinking. Pair with cherry parfait or a hummus/meze assembly.

Lunch on left bank Bordeaux


Château Auguste. Bordeaux. 2023. 92 points.

From the entre-deux-mers wine region of Bordeaux, this 80/10/10 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon includes young aromas of violets and cherries. Mid palate flavorful and squeaking with acidity. Some teriyaki and blueberries mid palate with an open and harmonious finish.

Château de Brondeau. Bordeaux Supérieur. 2023. 91+ points.

Young and supple aromas of nuts, hummus, leather. Light tannins, though quite a hefty dorp licorice and oak finish. Robust steak pairing wine. Sleek acidity. Linear but satisfying.

Château d’Anglade. Grande Réserve. Bordeaux Supérieur. 2023. 89 points.

Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Malbec/Merlot/Petit Verdot. Aromas of raspberries, hazelnuts, oak. Young but zippy acidity coating blue and bright red fruit. Perhaps pair with sashimi.

Bordeaux White Wines


Château Malartic-Lagravière. Pessac-Léognan. 95 points.

80/20 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend with aromas of fresh cut green grass and spring countryside. Crackling acidity and zinging tropical flavors. Texture and brisk finish. Pair with chilled cooked shrimp and tabasco. Fresh, fresh, fresh.

Château Latour-Martillac. Pessac-Léognan. 2023. 94 points.

60/40 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend with grapefruit and lime aromas. Somewhat green in the mouth still but with a long plump finish and tingling acidity. Begins mundane, progresses to intriguing.

Château de France. Pessac-Léognan. 2023. 93 points.

80/20 blend of Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon. Aromas slightly chalky with lemongrass and limes. Clean and brisk mid palate with slight caramel and citrus on the finish.

Glenda Kalyk (right) and Camille Lanyou of Château Picoron, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux


Château de Chantegrive. Graves. White. 2023. 91 points.

A 50/45/5 blend of Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon/Sauvignon Gris from the Lévéque family. Well balanced set of aromas that meld acidity with fresh tropical fruit flavors. Light and linear mid palate that includes white fruits.

Château Barre Gentillot. Vielles Vignes. Grave de Vayres. 2023. 90 points.

A 70/30 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend made from old vines and including explosive aromas of grapefruit, white peaches and pears, honey and sea spray. Linear but well balanced with some tangerine flavors on the finish. Very good value.


Château Thénac. Bergerac Blanc. 2023. 91 points.

74/22/4 blend of Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon/Muscadelle. Pale lemon lime color. Bright aromas of nectarines, tangerines, grapefruits, sliced guava, papaya, green grass, honey and salt. Linear attack followed by a brightly acidic mid palate that is honeyed and coats the mouth and tingles the tongue. Pair with shellfish or cheddar and unsalted crackers.

Château Plain Point. Bordeaux Blanc. 2023. 91 points.

A 100% Sauvignon Blanc with chirpy and crisp aromas of lemongrass, wet beach stones, papaya, slight kiwi fruit and granite. Crisp attack, linear mid palate with bright acidity and a honeyed delicious finish. Not complex but enjoyable. Summer beach brightness for a picnic spread. Pair with shrimp or sole or hummus with tahini.

Bordeaux Entre-Deux-Mers White Wines

Château Laurence. Blanc Sec. 2023. 92+ points.

Sauvignon Blanc from entre-deux-mers, to be aged 11 months in oak barrels. Green grass, green apples, tangerines and salt aromas. An easy drinking, crisp entre-deux-mers white that is colored pale lime and basks in fresh acidity. Pair with shallots and wine sauce.

Château la Loubiére. Muscadelle. 2023. 90 points.

Aromas of green grass and green olives and lemongrass. Somewhat linear attack followed by a mid palate with a crisp finish that is slightly honeyed. Distinctly made for beach fare—oysters, mussels, shrimp.

Château la Loubiére. Sauvignon. 2023. 89-90 points.

From the Teycheney family. Entre deux Mers producer. Light lime colored. Rich and unctuous aromas of green grass, guava, peaches, honey and wet beach stones and candied orange slices. A tart attack and mid palate and a crisp acidic finish. Pair with oysters squirted with lemon juice.

Prince Robert of Luxembourg, CEO of La Mission Haut-Brion, enjoys an aperitif before lunch

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