Bordeaux 2023 – a guide

Bordeaux 2023 harvesters at Cos d'Estournel

What to buy en primeur in this challenging vintage? Our extensive coverage will help you make savvy buying decisions. Gavin Quinney kindly provided this image of some of the 2023 harvest workers at Château Cos d'Estournel bringing in Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. 

Ten months ago, before a single grape had been harvested, the French wine press lamented that up to 90% of Bordeaux’s vineyards were victim to ‘unstoppable’ attack by downy mildew. Hopes for the 2023 vintage were not high. The headlines, however, didn’t tell the whole story. While many vineyards suffered terrible losses, the toll was very variable across the region and among properties, as our in-depth reporting explains.

In the end, especially among the upper echelons, the châteaux willing and able to combat the predations of mildew seem to have made some attractive wines.

We have now published over 300 reviews of embryonic bordeaux, including notes on all those wines likely to be traded as futures in the coming weeks. The great majority of these wines were tasted in situ by James Lawther MW, our Bordeaux-resident expert, with additional notes from Julia taken at the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux’s en primeur showing in London in March, a few weeks before the Bordeaux tastings.

Many wines have, so far, been released at prices that represent a significant reduction compared with the previous vintage – more an attempt to reset prices at a level that might be attractive to potential purchasers (after an unsuccessful, overpriced 2022 en primeur campaign) and support struggling négociants than a reflection on the quality of the wines. Will the combination of surprisingly successful wines and prices not seen since the 2019 vintage be enough to reinvigorate bordeaux en primeur trading this year? Nick Martin of Wine Owners is providing commentary on our Members’ forum, including relative value analyses of the top wines as prices are released, to help inform your buying decisions.

Our coverage of this vintage is listed below, split into tasting articles followed by other coverage, the most recent articles at the top.

Tasting articles

Bordeaux 2023 – whites 8 May 2024

Bordeaux 2023 – right-bank reds 7 May 2024

Bordeaux 2023 – left-bank reds 6 May 2024

Other coverage

Bordeaux 2023 considered 29 April 2024

Bordeaux 2023 weather and crop report 12 April 2024