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Bordeaux Primeurs 2022: Château Canon-La-Gaffelière et al

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

The stable of wines that Stephan von Neipperg commands are tip top in 2022. There is an attractive delicacy and freshness here across the board. The wines from St Emilion – Clos de l’Oratoire, Château Canon-La-Gaffelière and the prodigious La Mondotte – are all very impressive. La Mondotte is exceptional. The work horse in the Neipperg line-up is the Castillon, Château d’Aiguilhe, with 90 hectares under vine. This is a fabulous in ’22 – great news for those of us without deep pockets. It will be one of the great values of the vintage. It is also gives a taste of the great many successes the Côtes de Bordeaux have had in 2022 [more on this shortly]. There is also a tiny drop of zippy, saline white made too. Down in Pessac-Léognan, Neipperg’s property Clos Marsalette has made fresh and juicy red wine in 2022 and a forward, full white for early drinking.

Overall, the range here is outstanding. There is vivid and vibrant quality to the wines. It is worth noting that Clos de l’Oratoire, Château Canon-la-Gaffeliere and La Mondotte are all certified organic. The following wines were tasted on 21st April, 2023 at Château Canon-La-Gaffelière with Stephan von Neipperg and Magali Mallet.

Clos Marsalette, Pessac-Léognan, 2022

Deepish; legs; attractive blue fruits and plum notes; some spice; layered and attractive; fresh and spicy palate; lots of vigour; flesh and vibrant. Attractive finish. Vines on gravel soil. [50% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc. 30% new oak. 34hl/ha. 12.8% alc] Drink 2026-2032. 89-91+

Château d’Aiguilhe, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux, 2022

Deep and attractive; legs; black and smoky fruits; lovely delicacy; beautiful fruit; plush; saline; lovely entry; very pretty on the palate but this wine has lots of depth; nice texture and firm at the end. Lots of juice and freshness. Lovely Aiguilhe. [90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 30% new oak, 14.3% alc, 35hl/ha]. Drink 2027-2040. 93-95+

Clos de L’Oratoire, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé, 2022

Legs; deep at centre; bright purple at edge; satin notes; soft; some chocolate; quite ripe style; black cherry; chocolate notes; quite extracted on the finish – bit chewy on the end. Needs to settle but has all the elements. [80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 14.5% alc 30% new oak, certified organic, 47hl/ha]. Drink 2028-2043. 92-93+

Château Canon la Gaffelière, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, 2022

Deepish; purple edge; schist; wet rock; then opens up with vibrant fruit tones; some black cherry; freshness; sinuosity; had schist and rocky notes; some spices; length and freshness on the finish. Lovely balance. A touch less alcoholic than other top flight St Emilions in this year and I enjoy that zap. [50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.2%, 47hl/ha, 40% new oak]. Drink 2030-2048. 96-98+

La Mondotte, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, 2022

Deep black; saturated; legs; colour tight to the rim; layers of plush fruit; creamy; layered and lovely; very deep and succulent; ripe and layered; feels quite cool; and layered; attractive freshness; plush and concentrated. Fabulous length. Outstanding wine. [80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 40% new oak. 14% alc]. Drink 2020-2053. 97-99


Clos Marsalette, Pessac-Léognan, 2022

Brilliant in the glass; candy from a meter away; very candy peel and pear drop; quite fat on the palate; lacks a bit of zip but has texture. Will give lots of immediate pleasure on release. [55% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Sémillon, 25% new oak, 12.7% alc]. Drink 2024-2027. 89-91+

Le Blanc d’Aiguilhe, Bordeaux Blanc, 2022

Bright silver; brilliant; some apple; race and zip on the palate; this is very fresh and attractive. Nice length on the end. Seriously good. From a two-hectare plot on the property. [100% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% new oak, 13.5% alc]. Drink 2025-2030. 91-92+

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