After weeks and months of tasting, the world’s leading wine critics are announcing their verdict on the latest Bordeaux vintage. Here you’ll find a round-up of what they’re all saying, with a summary of each report and the wines they rated most highly added as they’re released 18th April 2024 
James Suckling 
James Suckling was the first out with part one of his report, published on 15th April, before most people have even touched down in Bordeaux. Based on his tasting of over 900 barrel samples, he is clearly a fan of the 2023 vintage. 
“The best show balance and freshness with deep center palates of ripe fruit and a complement of polished tannins,” he writes – saying that he even likes them more than the very highly rated 2022s. He feels they’re more classically built, with “tensioned mouthfeels and energetic finishes” which makes them “so Bordeaux”. 
It is, however, not “an across-the-board home run”, with some wines not matching 2022 for quality at the lower level – but “top terroirs and top winemakers delivered terrific-quality wines”. He compares 2023 to the 2019, 2001 or even 1990 vintages for the reds, with lower alcohol and vibrant acidity levels that make them “some of the brightest and liveliest red Bordeaux [he’s] tasted in years”. 
In the second part of his report, he added 2016, 1996 or 1995 to his list of comparable years – those with “ripe, balanced fruit and firm tannins with slightly lower alcohol and lower pH”. While some have noted “the inconsistent nature of the vintage”, this isn’t something he agrees with, writing, “I found a very high level of quality”. For him, their “transparency and freshness” made them some of the most enjoyable wines to taste en primeur, comparing them to 2019 for their brightness. The question, of course, is price – and he’s hopeful that producers will get it right.
Read part one and two of James Suckling’s report, along with his full notes and scores
William Kelley – Wine Advocate
For Kelley, 2023 is “make or break” for Bordeaux in terms of pricing, warning that if prices don’t drop significantly “difficult times lie ahead”, but he is clear on the quality of the wines: “The best 2023s are just as exciting as the best 2022s”.
Running through the growing season, he emphasises how the time between flowering and harvest was typical – meaning that the best combine “the depth, density and ripe tannin of a sunny vintage but also the vibrant, expressive aromas and flavors of a more traditionally ‘Atlantic’ season”. Mildew impacted yields in some instances, but it seems for him that picking dates and sorting were those that influenced the quality of the vintage most.
It is “a hybrid vintage” he says – combining characters of both modern, sunny vintages and more traditionally classic years. They offer “fully ripe tannins and suave, seamless mouthfeels” but “vibrant aromas and flavors, evocative of fresh fruits and flowers” – yet are “far from frivolous” with the structure and pH that will allow them to age. Those who picked a little early have produced wines dominated by their tannin, however generally this is a vintage that “tended to amplify the voice of each estate and terroir”.
As with last year, individual reviews were divided between Kelley and Yohan Castaing – so there are notes from both.


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