2022 St. Julien wines are beautiful expressions of what the appellation does best. The wines are elegant, finesse in style, with symmetry, purity, length, character and vibrancy. Of equal importance is the uniqueness in the character of the wines.
This comes from the vintage conditions that allowed for not only the Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen perfectly, (as you would expect,) but the Merlot was harvested with equal phenolic ripeness. At the end of the day, you have gorgeous, sensual wines with lift and freshness that helped some producers make the best vintage in the history of the estate. In fact, a few were surprised by their results.
Philippe Blanc – Chateau Beychevelle – “This is my 28th vintage at Beychevelle. I am convinced that it is likely to be the best to date. The Merlot are maybe the best I can remember. The freshness is fantastic and yet it shouldn’t be this way. 2022 is a success and a paradox against all odds and reason.”
2022 Saint Julien is the product of extreme hot and dry conditions that the vineyards experienced for much of the 2022 Bordeaux growing season. In fact, the vintage was so warm and dry that many vignerons were worried about how the wines were going to turn out.
Lilian Barton Chateau Leoville Barton – “We were all expecting a lot of alcohol and overripe fruit. But, we ended up with a lot of freshness in the wines that you can feel and more importantly, that you can taste!”
While many of the wines this year are precocious and will not require decades before they are fun to drink, do not let that fool you. 2022 St. Julien wines, like all of the best wines from the Medoc have the ability to age for decades.
Bruno Borie – Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou – “2022 is a glamorous vintage. It is a long aging vintage that age quite well and will provide pleasure for generations.”
Across the board the wines are homogenous with some producers making wines of historic quality. As you can see from my tasting notes and scores below, 2022 Saint Julien produced several of the best wines from the Left Bank. In fact, 2 wines have the potential to score 100 Pts!
Along with Pauillac, 2022 Saint Julien is the most homogenous appellation of the vintage. That says a lot about the vintage, the appellation and the high-level of wine produced here. Especially when you consider the growing season with its severe drought, and 4 heatwaves making the 2022 Bordeaux vintage the second hottest summer in recorded history for Saint Julien. Much of the credit for being able to produce so many stunning wines goes to the vignerons who have learned new ways of working with the vines, helping them adapt to these extreme, climatic conditions.
Sara Lecompte-Cuvelier Chateau Leoville Poyferre – “During the 2022 vintage, we endured a never-ending summer. The vines taught our vineyard team a masterful lesson in resilience. The vines didn’t just adapt, they gave their best in the face of adversity. This helped produce a vintage with stunningly balanced wines.”
For a complete, detailed overview and analysis of the 2022 Bordeaux vintage and harvest with producer quotes… 2022 Bordeaux Vintage, Harvest Report
All of the 2022 Saint Julien wines were tasted in Bordeaux in April. Most of the wines were tasted at the property. However, a few of the wines were tasted at Negociants, Consultants or with trade groups. Whenever possible the wines were tasted more than once.
2022 Saint Julien Wine Tasting Notes…
2022 Beychevelle – St. Julien – Flowers, black cherries, cedar, tobacco wrapper, and blackberries crowd into the perfume. On the palate, the fruits match the nose. The wine is silky, fresh, vibrant, and concentrated. The fruits express purity, elegance and refinement. The finish delivers a wealth of sweet red, and black fruits, creamy textures and a chalky finish that sticks with you. The wine blends 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot. 14% ABV, pH 3.85. The harvest took place September 12 – September 29. The yields were 36 hectoliters per hectoliter with 60% of the harvest going into the Grand Vin. Drink from 2027-2060. 96-98 Pts
2022 Beychevelle Amiral de Beychevelle – St. Julien – Flowers, and cherries form the nose. On the palate, the wine is forward, medium-bodied, soft, polished, and fresh, finishing with sweet, currants, and a touch of spice and cocoa. The wine is produced from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. Drink from 2025-2032. 90-92 Pts
2022 Branaire Ducru – St. Julien – Deep in color, the wine displays its bouquet of flowers before getting to all of its dark, red fruits, spice, mocha, nutmeg, vanilla, and black cherries. While the aromatics are enticing, it is on the palate, with all of its silky-textures, creaminess, energy and most importantly, purity of fruit and concentration that provides you with the best part of the experience. The finish has never been this defined, elegant and concentrated in any previous vintage of Branaire Ducru. This is an entirely new level of quality here. Clearly, this is the best vintage of Branaire Ducru ever produced! The wine blends 60.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31.5% Merlot, 5.5% Cabernet Franc, and 2.5% Petit Verdot. 14.3% ABV, 3.65 pH. The harvest took place September 12 – September 24. The yields were 34 hectoliters per hectare. Drink from 2027-2060. 96-98 Pts
2022 Du Glana – St. Julien – Medium-bodied, elegant, fresh, supple, and blackberries, leafy tobacco, and herbs with a touch of smoke are on the nose, and on the creamy, fresh, fruit-filled, elegant palate. This is a nice step-up with more concentration than you normally see in du Glana. Drink from 2025-2037. 90-92 Pts
2022 Ducru Beaucaillou – St. Julien – Inky dark in color, the wine exudes blackberries, smoke, currants, nutmeg, flowers, Cuban cigar wrapper, black cherries, smoke, and spice in the nose. On the palate, the wine is dense, and intense, yet light on its feet with seemingly, endless waves of deep, black and red, spicy fruits. There is symmetry, balance, and freshness on the palate. The tannins are present, silky, and refined. The wine is silky, supple, creamy, and seamless in the finish, which moves from black fruits, to red fruits and back to black fruits with spice, and accents of mint and a touch of citrus at the very end of the finish, which lingers for at least 60 seconds. Ducru Beaucaillou has been on an unstoppable roll since 2009. Produced from blending 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot, 14% ABV, 3.8 pH. Picking took place September 7 – October 4. Drink from 2028-2065. 98-100 Pts
2022 La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou – St. Julien – Quite floral in nature, you also find mint, cassis, and tobacco leaf. The palate is where the wine shines with its sweet, ripe, plums, black cherries, cocoa, soft tannins and polished, sense of refinement in the mid palate and in the finish. The wine is a blend of 66% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot. 14% ABV. Drink from 2025-2040. 93-95 Pts
2022 Ducru Beaucaillou Le Petit Ducru – St. Julien – Black cherries, and flowers with a hint of licorice on the backend of the nose. The medium-bodied wine is soft, forward, fresh, and fruity, with cocoa-dusted black raspberries, and a hint of peppery spice on the chalky back end of the finish. The wine blends 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. Drink from 2025-2035. 91-93 Pts
2022 Finegrave – St. Julien – Medium-bodied, forward, fruity, simple, and direct, but fun to taste for its light, but fresh, red berries on the nose, and palate. One of the few Bordeaux wines produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the small production wine is only bottled in magnum. Drink from 2025-2029. 87-89 Pts
2022 Gloria – St. Julien – Flowers, black cherries, plums, and chocolate hit all the right notes. The wine is medium-bodied, silky, elegant, soft, and polished, with layers of plums and cocoa from start to finish. 13.8% ABV. Drink from 2025-2042. 93-95 Pts
2022 Gruaud Larose – St. Julien – Deep in color, with a simple swirl you find wet forest floor, cigar box, licorice, spice, flowers, and currants in the perfume. On the palate, the wine is concentrated, rich and dense, but refined, round. and juicy. Even with all that weight, the wine is vibrant, energetic, long and fresh, The finish builds in intensity, leaving you with layers of dark black, red and blue fruits, chocolate, licorice, espresso. and spice. 2022 marks the first vintage Gruaud Larose was organically certified. The wine is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc.13.65% ABV, 3.8 pH. Picking took place September 7 – September 24. Yield were 30 hectoliters per hectare. Drink from 2027-2060. 95-97 Pts
2022 Gruaud Larose Sarget de Gruaud Larose – St. Julien – Black currants, cedar. and tobacco come on strong in the nose. Round, fresh, and dark with soft tannins, and a touch of chocolate black cherry with refreshing spearmint in the endnote. You can enjoy this on release with pleasure. The wine is a blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Drink from 2025-2031. 89-91 Pts
2022 La Bridane – St. Julien – Currants, tobacco leaf, and spice notes open the wine. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, soft, polished, fresh, and vibrant with a core of red berries, a touch of espresso with cocoa on the mid-palate and in the finish. La Bridane is clearly the best of the lesser-known, non-classified Saint Julien vineyards. Drink from 2025-2035. 89-91 Pts
2022 Lagrange – St. Julien – Deep in color, the nose reminds you of walking into a flower shop carrying a basket of fresh-picked berries. The wine is silky, fresh, polished, elegant, and deep, with length, soft tannins, and waves of fruit and freshness in the finish. Starting with the 2016 vintage, Lagrange has been on a hot streak and with 2022, the streak continues! The wine is produced from 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Drink from 2027-2055. 94-96 Pts
2022 Langoa Barton – St. Julien – Cassis, tobacco, flowers, blackberries, and red currants show easily on the nose, and palate. There is a wealth of fresh, dark red fruits, creamy tannins, and blackberries on the mid-palate, and in the finish. This clearly shows a new face for Langoa Barton with more fruit, and softer tannins, yet the wine holds on to its classic style as well. The wine blends 56.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 2.5% Cabernet Franc. 14.2% ABV. Drink from 2027-2050. 93-95 Pts
2022 Leoville Barton – St. Julien – With waves of sweet, perfectly ripe, luscious blackberries, you also find cassis, black cherries, creamy tannins, cigar box, lead pencil, and spice. The wine is deep in color with intensity, layers of fruit, and a finish that takes hold of your palate, and doesn’t want to let go, leaving you with fruit that builds and resonates. The wine is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11.5% Merlot and 5.5% Cabernet Franc, 14.1% ABV. The harvest took place September 8 – September 23. The yields were 30 hectoliters per hectare. Drink from 2028-2060. 96-98 Pts
2022 Leoville Barton La Réserve de Léoville Barton – St. Julien – Medium-bodied, fresh, energetic, red berry packed charmer with a chewy, crunchy, red currant oriented finish. This is fully ready to go. Drink from 2023-2032. 89-91 Pts
2022 Leoville Las Cases – St. Julien – Inky in color, the wine is all about its full-body, intensity, levels of concentration, and sense of purity. The wine starts off with violets, cassis, blackberries, Cuban cigar wrapper, ash, smoke, licorice, and mint. On the palate, the levels of concentration are readily apparent. Yet, even with all its depth of flavor, there is refinement, lift, and complexity that requires time and effort to unfurl. The fruit is uncommonly rich in the mid-palate the tannins are strong, ripe and firm. The seamless finish, with its wall of rich, black and blue fruit hits the 60 second mark with ease. As always, Leoville Las Cases requires bottle aging. But, with 2022, my guess is the wine will start to shine after a decade of age, evolving and improving for 40-50 years with ease. Produced from a blend 83.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.5% Cabernet Franc and 6% Merlot. 14.25% ABV. 3.80 pH. Harvesting took place September 8 – September 30. Yields were 36 hectoliters per hectare. This is only the second time in the history of the estate that you find more Cabernet Franc than Merlot in the blend. Drink from 2030-2065. 98-100 Pts
2022 Leoville Las Cases Clos du Marquis – St. Julien – Loaded with blackberries, and creme de cassis, the wine offers its layers of mouth-coating dark fruits, ripe, firm, soft tannins, and long, intense, mid-palate with no effort. Classified Growth in quality, the wine finishes with cool spearmint, lush, dark red berries, richness and length. The wine was made from a blend of 45.5% Merlot, 44.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc. 14.25% ABV. Drink from 2026-2042. 93-95 Pts
2022 Leoville Las Cases Le Petit Lion du Marquis – St. Julien – With a black currant based core of fruit, the wine is medium-bodied, fresh, easy to like, and is ready to displays its layers of cassis, black cherries, smoke, herbs, and cedar. This is a good example of a baby Leoville Las Cases. The wine blends 55.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38.5% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. 14.04% ABV. Drink from 2026-2038. 91-93 Pts
2022 Leoville Poyferre – St. Julien – Deeply colored, the floral display in the nose gets even better as you encounter black cherries, currants, licorice, tobacco leaf, cassis, and an array of spices. The palate provides layers of silky, fresh, pure, deep red berries. The wine is dense, concentrated, sweet, ripe, fresh, and polished. There is a wonderful sense of purity in the fruit. Effortless to taste, and even even easier to drink, the wine exudes sensuality, and complexity from start to finish. The wine blends 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. 14.4% ABV, 3.87 pH. The harvest took place September 8 – September 28. Yields were 33 hectoliters per hectare. 75% of the harvest went into the Grand Vin. Drink from 2026-2055. 97-99 Pts
2022 Leoville Poyferre Pavillon de Léoville Poyferré – St. Julien – Savory herbs, currants, black cherries, and a hint of pepper form the nose. Medium-bodied, soft, creamy, and fruity, with an easy to find blast of currants, and herbs on the palate, the wine finishes with freshness, and sweet red fruits. This is ready to enjoy on release, and for at least a decade after that. The wine blends 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. Drink from 2025-2035. 90-92 Pts
2022 Moulin-Riche – St. Julien – Currants, black cherries, and flowers pop in the nose. The wine is forward, soft, medium-bodied, elegant, and fresh, with sweet, red fruits, and a touch of spice from start to finish. You can enjoy this on release and for at least a decade after that. The wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot. Drink from 2025-2037. 90-92 Pts
2022 Saint-Pierre – St. Julien – Concentrated, lush, deep, ripe, full, and intense, the fruits are elegant, creamy, ripe, and polished. There is a purity to the fruits, and a sensuality to the texture that really works here this year. The wine blends 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. 13.9% ABV. Drink from 2025-2045. 94-96 Pts
2022 Talbot – St. Julien – Spice, flowers, currants, oak, cherries, and spearmint produce the aromatic profile. The palate is elegant, fresh, vibrant, and energetic. The red berries deliver lift, sweetness, length, and complexity. You can look at this as the perfect juxtaposition between classic, and modern, with age worthy structure, and sweet, ripe freshness in the fruits. The wine is produced from blending 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. 13.5% ABV, 3.75 pH. Yields were 40 hectoliters per hectare. Harvesting took place September 9- September 28. Drink from 2024-2040. 93-95 Pts
2022 Talbot Connetable – St. Julien – Flowers, mint leaves, and red fruits work in the nose. The medium-bodied palate is fresh, forward, and fruity with lift and energy in the red currants, and spice in the finish. The wine blends 56% Cabernet Sauvignon with 44% Merlot. Drink from 2025-2032. 89-91 Pts
2022 Talbot Caillou Blanc – Bordeaux – Yellow citrus, white peach, orange rind and honeysuckle scents open the nose. On the palate, the wine is creamy, sweet, exuberant and fruity, with just a hint of chalk in the backend of the finish. The wine blends 71% Sauvignon Blanc and 29% Semillon.14% ABV. Drink from 2024-2028. 92-92 Pts
Up next we will continue our coverage of the 2022 Bordeaux vintage as we move over to the 2022 Margaux appellation report before heading over to the Right Bank for all of the best wines from 2022 Pomerol and 2022 St. Emilion and a whole lot more!