Still banking on Bordeaux?

Sell in May and Go Away was a well-known adage from the Square Mile referring, of course, to an underperforming market from May (to October?), in contrast to the busy period between November and April. Well okay, so this is May 2023 and it finds us being bombarded with offers and news and tastings from around the world, especially from Bordeaux (in France just in case you had forgotten where it was/is). The super boring and all encompassing 2022 Vintage Bordeaux ‘En Primeur’ Campaign started at the beginning of May, and seems to want to distract & continue, drip by drip, well until my birthday at the beginning of July. I am exaggerating of course, just a little, but not as much as the ‘usual suspect’ wine-commentators who are exaggerating extremus about this 2022 Claret vintage. To add to the excitement this month there is also a Vinexpo in Singapore, there is L.W.T.F. (London) and there are a bunch of wine tastings, brunches and dinners just about everywhere, that would make one think that if I do not put on 15-20lbs and become an alcoholic by Christmas time, then I might as well just dive straight into a large vat of the English fizzy stuff. Just another ‘over the top’ current fad. and golly it’s expensive at that! It’s not how you sell it. It’s how you tell it. I would call it fake-nous! or just empty A.I. chattyness that seems to be taking up a lot of people´s time of day, and leading us all down the preverbial garden path. Take a shovel with you, you´ll need one.

If you have not had the time to check the prices and read any of the En Primeur guff this year, I cannot blame you at all, so I have done a little on your behalf. It is my job to do so, of course, and here I will share with you some of the comments given, over the days/weeks, by the usual suspects:

‘I have tasted most 2022s in Bordeaux and I’m delighted to confirm the wines are some of the best we’ve ever tasted at such an early stage.’

‘A new benchmark for Bordeaux.’

‘The vintage has produced some ‘monumental’ wines’

‘2022 vintage has produced some genuinely exceptional reds, at least on a par with 2018, 2019 and 2020, and quite possibly even greater.’

‘This is the 40th year I have tasted barrel samples in Bordeaux, but I have never come across anything like the 2022 vintage. It was one of the hottest and driest growing seasons in the history of France’s most famous wine region, yet it produced thousands of opulent and structured but still fresh and balanced wines.’

‘A vintage that is likely to ‘equal or surpass its 2019 and 2016 counterparts’.

‘The 2022 is as ‘classic as classic gets’ .

“intellectual and delicious”.

2022 will remain a mystery to vignerons. Whilst technical analysis points in one direction, there’s a clear contradiction in the glass. Yes, these are powerful, concentrated wines, but the aromatics and flavours speak of cooler climes. With great textural detail, clarity and bright acidities, the overwhelming sense is one of freshness and harmony. ‘

Bordeaux 2022 summaryUnprecedented vintage! 2022 has produced some genuinely unbelieveable wines that are worthy of hyperbole. 

(This last one caught my eye a lot as my understanding of hyperbole is that the Master of Wine who actually penned this one down on his pad, is agreeing that the exaggerated claims on this vintage are not to be taken literally. I am not so sure that even he has understood what he has written here. You have been warned.)

I also get a strong feeling here that Non-Human-Nous may be at play. Commonly know as A.I. (or artificial the tool that seems to be running business decisions, markets, literaryness and also some peoples lives too much these days. I asked the ChatGPT (A.I.), last week, ´´Is it safer to trust the wine market price mechanism than rely on the A.I. model to find mispricing in wine stocks and En Primeur Bordeaux´´.

This is what I got back.

´´It is generally safer to trust the market price mechanism than to rely on an A.I. model to find mispricings in wine stocks and En Primeur Bordeaux. The market price mechanism is based on collective actions of all market participants and incorporates all available information into the asset prices. As a result, it is difficlut for any single investor or A.I.model to consistently outperform the market by identifying mispricings´´.

So if you do not trust me, trust the A.I. that is telling you not to trust A.I. over the market.

Prices on all 2022 wines are well up as usual. Ch.Cheval Blanc 2022 is being touted as the wine of the vintage at around GBP600 per 75cl bottle. (It will not be delivered to you until 2025/26). My E.P. purchase of Ch.Mouton Rothschild 2019, also touted as the wine of the vintage back then @ GBP575 per 75cl bottle, has just been landed at our cellars. Today or three years later we can pick some up on the market at GBP475 per bottle. One hundred pounds less! Go figure!

Are we all mad or are we just sleeping walking into a large bucket of the non-organic brown stuff. Maybe even living in vinous-financial hell, or could it be in a delicious vinous heaven?

Here is another old adage that keeps me smiling through all of this nonsense, and I for hope you too:

” Heaven would consist of French Chefs, British Police, German Engineers, Italian Lovers and Swiss Bankers.”

”Hell, however, would consist of English Chefs, German Police, French Engineers, Swiss Lovers and Italian Bankers.”

OFFER: 1 case Ch.Cheval Blanc 1982 in OWC @ GB£19.800 dpd (lying in LCB VT today!)

(En Primeur 1983, I paid GB£360 for a case 12/1, just like this one in the photo*, but I never actually received it, like so many others ex Nigel Baring Wine Company)

This week we will receive our annual allocation, direct from the Chateau (Palmer) of 2022 Alter Ego de Palmer. (Price = T.B.A.) We have been accepting their offer now for the best part of twenty years, wether it’s a good vintage, a poor vintage or even a 2022 vintage. If you want me to ‘reserve’ some for you, please drop me a line:

E.T.A. Springtime 2025 

(Shipping costs available in 2025 as nobody can guess what they will be by then. In the last 12 months our shipping costs ex Bordeaux have literally doubled).



Zalto’s new member of their glass family has just been born. Carafe No 67 available in London & Buenos Aires @ July 2025.  P.O.A