En Primeur 2023 | Médoc vintage analysis and top picks

Medoc chateau during the 2023 en primeurs

Let’s resume our exploration of the 2024 En Primeur campaign (2023 vintage) and turn our attention to the wines produced in the Médoc region (Left Bank). We’ll be dissecting weather patterns, general wine characteristics and revealing our personal favourites (and believe us, there are plenty!)

All our En Primeur 2023 articles

  1. En Primeur 2023 | Bordeaux 2023 coverage: weather and wine characteristics
  2. But why bother buying Bordeaux En Primeur wine?
  3. En Primeur 2023 | Sauternes and Barsac: Vintage analysis and top picks
Discover the latest En Primeur releases on https://primeurs.idealwine.com/en/

Médoc 2023 vintage: Prime weather conditions and difficult decisions

Overall, weather conditions were extremely favourable in 2023, particularly in the Médoc region, with the exception of heavy mildew presence, which affected estates in different ways. A rainy spell shortly after 20 September, which was forecast to bring very heavy rainfall, most likely accounts for one of the main differences. Winegrowers faced quite the conundrum, as the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes had generally not reached perfect ripeness yet… They could either pick them when they were not fully ripe, or risk losing the entire harvest. The more patient were rewarded, not least because in the end the rainfall was much less than forecast and the fine weather soon returned. Subsequently, the harvest proceeded in ideal conditions. The Cabernet Sauvignons, which reached optimum ripeness easily this year, are particularly impressive.

For further details and to find out all you need to know about the quality of the vintage, you might be interested in our related article: En Primeur 2023 | Bordeaux 2023 coverage: weather and wine characteristics

Médoc 2023 vintage wines: Quality and characteristics

Generally speaking, this year’s wines were of mixed standard in the Médoc, with some outstanding achievements in the typical style of those produced a few years ago, before they started to be so impacted by global warming. These successful wines display depth and richness, as well as reasonable levels of acidity and alcohol. Unlike 2022, this is not a very sunny vintage. The wines are exceptionally harmonious, balanced, elegant and lively. This is not a particularly overly moreish, fruity vintage either, but rather one of balance and harmony. The best winemakers succeeded in combining fruitiness, freshness, sapidity, silky tannins, depth and elegance. That covers the best wines in a nutshell.

On the other hand, some wines have failed to achieve the all-important finesse of tannins with some entirely lacking in fruitiness and others devoid of body and length.

Basically, there are some really good wines and others that are not so good, so you’ll need to be particularly meticulous in your choices and be well informed before making any decisions. All our En Primeur reviews are available to help you make the right decisions directly on our website.

Our favourites from the Médoc 2023 vintage

  • Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

A superb expression of this 2023 vintage with a subtly fruity nose revealing red and black fruit. The extremely soft, silky initial impression reveals incredibly fine tannins, combined with great freshness. The perfect body is both dense and fluid, producing a wine that is both very quaffable and elegant, with a bewitching quality…

  • Branaire-Ducru

The fairly subtle nose displays mineral notes. The palate reveals excellent density, depth, an unctuous substance and fine-grained tannins creating an elegant, sophisticated ensemble.

  • Saint-Pierre

The nose is fruity and mineral, combining hints of graphite with fresher notes of menthol and liquorice. The palate reveals the typical elegance of the region, with a clean, fresh style and a particularly refined, refreshing finish.

  • Léoville Barton

The nose essentially displays aromas of black fruit and undergrowth. What really sets this wine apart are its silky tannins, light body, fresh acidity and intense fruitiness. Stunning!

  • Langoa Barton

Intense aromas of black fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry) and hints of liquorice emerge on the nose. The fresh and acidulous initial drop gives way to a clean, fairly light structure, with beautifully polished tannins, culminating in a particularly fresh, crisp finish.

  • Chasse-Spleen

The subtle nose reveals a bouquet combining beautiful aromas of ripe fruit and floral notes. The first drop to reach the palate is supple, releasing a hint of pepper and offering remarkable acidity. The texture is nicely balanced and characterised by an elegant tannic structure. Elegant aromas of black fruit and graphite emerge on the finish.

  • Pichon Longueville Baron

This 2023 vintage is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, with 13.2% alcohol and a pH of 3.7.

The nose reveals black fruit aromas (blackcurrant and blueberry) and notes of undergrowth. The initial impression is fresh, the texture dense and unctuous, driven by prominent but perfectly silky tannins that gradually reveal themselves right through to the lingering finish. A sophisticated wine.

  • Siran

This Siran is an amazing success! The nose is filled with aromas of fresh, crunchy red and black berries, with notes of undergrowth and mushrooms. The particularly fresh and silky mouthfeel is beautifully fruity, revealing an elegant texture that is fluid yet chewy. The finish is beautifully persistent, revealing more intense tannins.

  • Prieuré-Lichine

The deep, intense nose displays aromas of black fruits and hints of fresh grass. The perfectly balanced mouth reveals a clean structure and excellent juiciness, along with freshness, density, fine-grained tannins and minerality.

  • Giscours

A blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, this wine delivers aromas of red and black fruit, with hints of graphite and oak. On the palate, the wine is fresh, with acidulous fruit and a smooth, juicy texture. A harmonious, elegant wine.

  • Rauzan Segla

The nose is extremely fresh, pure and delicate, offering a complex, vibrant bouquet of predominantly floral notes (peony, violet). Intense, voluptuous flavours of ripe black fruit (berries, blackberries), spices and liquorice coat the palate. The texture is silky, the tannins velvety, and the whole ensemble is ample, light and airy right through to the finish, which is again intensely floral, combining notes of violet, rhubarb, peony and pepper. A remarkably persistent wine of great elegance and exquisite delicacy.

As you’ll have gathered, there are some very good Médoc wines in this 2023 vintage, and when you consider the early release prices – between 20% and 40% off – you’ll agree that there are some pretty good bargains on offer this year!

See all iDealwine Médoc En Primeur wines