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Bordeaux’s 2023 En Primeur campaign: A mixed bag with glimmers of hope

Published:  06 June, 2024

As Bordeaux's 2023 en primeur campaign concludes, the wine community takes stock of its vital signs, and while the vintage falls short of 2022's heights, there are noteworthy successes according to Part II of Wine Lister’s 2024 Bordeaux Study.

Quality and discounts

Bordeaux’s 2023 vintage is characterised by freshness, moderate alcohol levels and approachability, according to Wine Lister’s founder and CEO, Ella Lister, who spent 11 days tasting in Bordeaux. Despite the vintage’s overall lower quality compared to 2022, with an average Quality score of 887 (down from 925 in 2022 but up from 877 in 2021), several wines from both banks have stood out. However, pricing reflects the vintage’s quality dip, with almost all châteaux offering significant discounts on their 2022 prices, averaging -22%.

Reception and Sales Trends

Feedback from the trade reveals a tepid consumer response, except for cherished brands or excellent deals. Wines significantly priced below current market prices for back vintages, particularly 2019, have seen decent sales, while others have struggled despite generous discounts. The 2023 campaign marks a hopeful step in resetting en primeur prices to prevent unsustainable hikes.

Top Quality Performers

In 2023, only ten wines achieved a Quality score of 980 or more, a sharp decline from 29 in 2022. Notably, Margaux stood out, with ten of the 18 wines that improved their Quality scores from 2022 hailing from this appellation. Among these, Lascombes led with an impressive 133-point increase, attributed to new Estate director Axel Heinz.

Appellation analysis

All appellations except Sauternes and Barsac saw a decrease in Quality scores compared to 2022 but improved from 2021. Sauternes and Barsac even saw a slight Quality score increase (+0.2%). Pauillac now holds the highest average Quality score, narrowly surpassing Pomerol, thanks to a smaller dip in Quality.

En Primeur pricing and projections

Analysing the 2023 en primeur release prices for 116 wines, Wine Lister projects a theoretical future market price of €120 for the 2023 vintage, adjusted to an average release price of €90 to €108 after applying a consumer discount. The actual average release price so far is €90.60, down 22% from €116.80 in 2022.

Search and auction trends

Partnering with Wine-Searcher, Wine Lister reports a decline in search activity for Bordeaux wines across all geographies, with the USA showing the most significant drop (-18.8%). Despite this, Bordeaux wines’ presence on shelves has increased, particularly in the USA (+47.6%). Pauillac remains the most popular appellation in searches, while Margaux saw the largest drop in search count (-15.4%).

Brand and auction performance

Petrus and Les Carmes Haut-Brion have significantly improved their online search ranks. In auction volume, Le Clarence de Haut-Brion led with a 463% increase in bottles traded, followed by Bélair-Monange and Le Gay.


Bordeaux’s 2023 campaign, while not matching the stellar 2022 vintage, however offers a promising reset in en primeur pricing. The region's adaptability and resilience are evident in the varied success of individual châteaux and the strategic pricing adjustments made to attract cautious consumers. As Bordeaux navigates this recovery phase, the focus remains on balancing quality and market demands to sustain its legacy.