Wednesday Wines – Episode 194 – 2022 Burgundy En Primeur Part 1

A First Look at 2022 En Primeur Burgundy with Montrachet


(t) 020 7821 1337

2022 Vintage Overview – This is a very unusual Burgundy En Primeur campaign.  I have been tasting 2022 vintage wines for nigh on a year already, and everyone must by now realise that it is a decent and plentiful vintage, not least because my inbox tells me this multiple times every day.  Before Christmas, I dined at a lovely pub in Hindon. I ordered a 2021 Pouilly-Fuissé from Michel Chavet, and a 2022 vintage arrived.  It was bright, juicy, forward, open and enjoyable, and every white wine I tasted at Charles Taylor’s Montrachet wine tasting today, from the lowliest Bourgogne Blanc to the lofty Grands Crus, tasted bright, juicy, forward, open and enjoyable.

There is no doubt that 2022 is a good vintage, and with a restaurateur’s hat on, this vintage is a godsend.  Loads of silky Chardonnay will flood the market, and punters will lap it up.  After several very tricky years, the weather has been (relatively) kind.  Merchants will have a chance to replenish their coffers, and we can all drink the wines now and for the next couple of years.  But, and this is a big but, I only tasted a handful of white wines that appeared genuinely serious.  The sort of wines that I wanted to own, age and treasure.  The majority are easy-going wines, that will not gain complexity, soften in acidity, or develop in the bottle.  A modicum of balancing acidity is present, but this is not profound acidity – the sort of grip and energy that powers Chardonnays on and leads it to greatness.  So, is this an En Primeur vintage for white wines?  Given that most of them are already bottled, and those that are not will find their way into glass in the next couple of months, I see no reason to rush into buying wines that will appear on the shelves imminently and in decent quantities.  Some wines are made from smaller lieu dits or are naturally limited in production, so if you are particularly enamoured by a wine, you will have to put your hand up, but there is no panic.

From a red point of view, the wines seem more intriguing.  Accurate, open, floral and fruit-driven, most seem peculiarly forward, and the best have a semblance of traction and tannin and yet I searched in vain for dramatic acidity and identifiable minerality and didn’t find it.  I wanted, again, to wear my restaurant hat everywhere I looked.  Often, the term ‘restaurant wines’ means simpler styles that drink early, i.e. the opposite of genuine private client wines.  In 2022, these are all restaurant wines, and I mean this in the most respectful way possible.  Of course, a couple of wines are worthy of placing orders for over the next few weeks, but don’t fret if you take a year off because 2023 is another plentiful vintage, and it will all happen again in twelve months.

In the meantime, instead of writing endless notes saying the very same thing and scoring the wines in a perfectly safe and secure window of 16/20 – 17/20, I will only pick out my Rapport Qualité Prix (or as I call it each year my QP) wines.  I have done this for as long as I can remember, and I know my members hone in on these wines and react with lightning speed.  Please don’t expect as many QP wines this year as last.  Everything the merchants say about the 2022 vintage is true.  It is what they are not saying, which, of course, I am prepared to point out, and this might mean you save a few pounds during this campaign and look for truly beautiful and cellar-worthy wines from other corners of the world this year.  I will be sure to tell you when and where to react.

My QP picks from Montrachet’s tasting today

Prices are quoted In Bond and Duty paid per bottle, including VAT, which you should focus on to determine true value in this vintage.

White (listed in the order of the tasting sheet)

2022 Chablis, 1er Cru Mont de Milieu, Samuel Billaud

£274 per 6 bottles IB & £58 per bottle inc VAT 

Even, balanced, zesty and lively, you can drink this wine early or wait a couple of years only as it will soften and billow nicely.  17.5/20

2022 Chablis, 1er Cru Séchet Vieilles Vignes, Samuel Billaud

£294 per 6 bottles IB & £62 per bottle inc VAT 

A little more depth and length than Mont de Milieu and also a finer acid line.  17.5/20

2022 Chablis, 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre, Samuel Billaud

£294 per 6 bottles IB & £62 per bottle inc VAT 

More volume of fruit and more dramatic acidity make this the pick of the pristine Samuel Billaud wines for storage for a couple of years and delicious drinking.  18/20

2022 Rully, 1er Cru Les Raclots Blanc, Jean-Marc Pillot

£174 per 6 bottles IB & £38 per bottle inc VAT 

With refreshing salinity and impressive accuracy, this is a smart wine and one that brings an impressive dramatic dimension to proceedings.  17.5/20 

2022 Meursault, Clos de la Croix Noire, Domaine Philippe Bouzereau

£279 per 6 bottles IB & £59 per bottle inc VAT 

This was my favourite white wine of the day in terms of accuracy, value and genuine appeal. This is a ‘sniper’ of a Meursault with a delicious crunch of acidity under beautiful fruit.  18/20

2022 Montagny, Les Coères, Domaine Berthenet

£94 per 6 bottles IB & £22 per bottle inc VAT 

This is the best value inexpensive wine of the day and the depth of flavour and length mark it as a far more impressive wine than the price suggests. I cannot recommend it enough, given it is a twenty-quid beauty.  17/20

2022 Rully, Montagne La Folie, Domaine Claudie Jobard

£119 per 6 bottles IB & £27 per bottle inc VAT 

You can always rely on Claudie Jobard to bring out the best in her vineyards despite the pleasantly anodyne vintage. Brightness, crunch, minerality and harmony, this is a great wine and a must-buy!  17.5/20

2022 Meursault, Les Grands Charrons, Domaine Michel Bouzereau et Fils

£304 per 6 bottles IB & £64 per bottle inc VAT 

I like the flavour here, and it is suitably grand, but it will not live long, so if you have the cash and would like a flamboyant, generous wine that looks sexy and appealing in its youth, this is it!  17.5/20

2022 Mercurey Blanc, Château de Chamirey

£134 per 6 bottles IB & £30 per bottle inc VAT 

Always a decent wine, in 2022, it is smoother and more harmonious than I can remember at a year old and at £30, it offers good value and classy drinking!  17/20

Red (listed in the order of the tasting sheet)

2022 Rully, La Chaume, Domaine Claudie Jobard

£119 per 6 bottles IB & £27 per bottle inc VAT 

The red counterpart to the white above is a glorious riot of red fruit, and it has the perfect amount of tension to keep it all real. As I mentioned above, I am only recommending thoroughly delicious, accurate and engaging wines this year, and this is a rare gem.  17.5/20

2022 Mercurey, 1er Cru Champs Martins, Domaine Theulot Juillot

£149 per 6 bottles IB & £33 per bottle inc VAT 

Accurate, bold, grippy, and refreshing, this is a delightful wine from a superb vineyard. The qualities of this vintage seem to have softened some of the more powerful and rustic traits often found here and turned this wine into a great value beauty.  17.5/20

2022 Mercurey Rouge, Château de Chamirey

£129 per 6 bottles IB & £29 per bottle inc VAT 

The pigeon pair to the white wine above, this is an incredibly forward wine and one that shows a perfect, light, airy Pinot perfume and a sleek, medium-weight chassis. Forward and easy, this is an enchanting, seamless wine.   17.5/20

2022 Aloxe-Corton, Jean-Jacques Girard

£174 per 6 bottles IB & £38 per bottle inc VAT 

Ripe, surprisingly rich and packed with fertile, earthy notes, this unexpected find gives Aloxe, so often left out of my reports, a well-won moment in the spotlight!   17.5/20

2022 Côte de Nuits-Villages, Croix Violette, Frédéric Magnien

£164 per 6 bottles IB & £36 per bottle inc VAT 

This is a brilliant wine with superb, glossy flanks and uncommon ripeness, and it shows a level of style more commonly associated with a Chambolle or Morey! This is another must-buy.  17.5/20

2022 Morey-Saint-Denis, Très Girard, Domaine Michel Magnien

£249 per 6 bottles IB & £53 per bottle inc VAT 

This is my ‘slightly more expensive option’, and it builds on the flair of the Freddy Magnien wine above and builds a more solid base of dense black cherry fruit and vital tannin. It will need five years and then perform at a Premier Cru level, so fifty pounds will look like money well spent.   18/20