2023 Pauillac Guide to all the Best Wines of the Vintage


For a detailed overview of the 2023 Bordeaux vintage, growing season, and harvest, with links to all of our appellation reports 2023 Bordeaux Vintage Analysis with Buying Tips for the Best Wines of the Vintage

All of the following 2023 Pauillac wines were tasted in Bordeaux in April in non-blind tasting conditions. Most of the wines were tasted at the property. However, I also tasted several wines at Negociants, Consultants, or with various trade groups. Whenever possible the wines were tasted on more than one occasion.

2023 Batailley – Pauillac – Soft, round, ripe, creamy, vibrant, black, and red fruits are all over the place here, in the nose, and on the palate. The wine has character, soft, creamy tannins, and the ability to be enjoyed in its youth, but as it ages as well. The wine is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot. 13.7% ABV. 93-95 Pts

2023 Batailley Lions de – Pauillac – Supple, soft, round, and creamy, the wine is packed with dark, red berries that offer lift, sweetness, character, and drinkability. The wine blends 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot. Drink from 2026-2034. 89-91 Pts

2023 Batailley Pauillac de Batailley – Pauillac – Forward, soft, round, and fruity, with a core of ready-to-go currants, and cherries. This charmer will be perfect on release. Pauillac de Batailley is the 3rd wine of Batailley. Drink from 2026-2032. 87-89 Pts

2023 Bellegrave (Pauillac) – Pauillac – Currants, flowers, tobacco, cedar, and black cherries with soft, creamy tannins, and a refreshing, mint, and red currant finish is what you will find here. And it is going to be easy to enjoy on release too! Drink from 2027-2038. 89-91 Pts

2023 Clerc Milon – Pauillac – Cedar, flowers, mint, and red currants with a hint of Indian spice blend to produce the perfume. On the palate, the wine is fresh, silky, and refined, with a purity to the red fruits, along with a touch of spice that lingers in the finish. While this will be delicious young, give it a bit of time in the bottle, as it will improve with age. Picking took place September 7-September 29. The wine blends 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6.5% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot, and 1.5% Carmenere. 13.5% ABV, 3.83 pH. Drink from 2027-2050. 93-95 Pts

2023 Clerc Milon Pastourelle de Clerc Milon – Pauillac – Flowers, spice, wet earth, and red berries define the core of this wine. Medium-bodied, forward, fresh, and elegant, the wine is fruity, juicy, and charming, with just a hint of chocolate at the end of the finish. The wine blends 63% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Carmenere, and 1% Petit Verdot. Drink from 2026-2034. 90-92 Pts

2023 Croizet-Bages – Pauillac – Chewy, savory currants, with a minty edge are already expressive in the nose, and in the medium-bodied, chewy, leafy, chalky palate. Give this at least a year or two of aging, and it should be even better. Drink from 2027-2043. 90-92 Pts

2023 DArmailhac – Pauillac – Flowers, cedar, black raspberries, and currants fill the perfume. The palate is packed with dark cherries, spice, herbs, and currants. Soft, and inviting, with a spicy, minty edge to the fruit in the crisp finish, give it a few years of aging, and it will reward your patience. The wine blends 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. This is the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon used in the blend in the history of the estate. 13.5% ABV, 3.75 pH. Harvesting took place on September 7-September 30. Drink from 2028-2045. 92-94 Pts

2023 Duhart-Milon – Pauillac – Black currant, plums, chocolate, cigar box, and flowers fill the nose. Medium-bodied, fresh, forward, soft, and creamy, the spicy, black with red currants with their sweet, and savory character are going to offer pleasure shortly after release. Yet, this should age for up 2 decades as well. The wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Merlot. 13.1% ABV, 3.8 pH.15% Press wine. Drink from 2028-2050. 93-95 Pts

2023 Duhart-Milon Moulin de Duhart – Pauillac – Spicy, red berries, wet earth, and tobacco form the nucleus here in the nose, and in the medium-bodied palate. Forward, soft, and fresh, you can enjoy this with pleasure on release, and for up to a decade. The wine blends 55% Merlot with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink from 2026-2035. 88-90 Pts

2023 Fonbadet – Pauillac – Mint, cedar, spicy currants, and blackberries pop with little effort in the perfume. The palate is vibrant, fresh, and chewy, with a complicating note of spearmint that shines in the mineral-driven finish. Drink from 2026-2048. 91-93 Pts

2023 Grand Puy Ducasse – Pauillac – Espresso, mint, incense, flowers, currants, and licorice form the core the wine. On the palate, the fruits are fresh, chewy, and energetic, with a brightness to the finish, that’s made even more refreshing with its sprig of mint. This should age for at least 2 decades with ease. Drink from 2029-2050. 92-94 Pts

2023 Grand Puy Lacoste – Pauillac – Concentrated, full-bodied, vibrant, juicy, fresh, and rich, the wine displays its black, and red currants, blackberries, cigar box, and flowers with only a bit of coaxing. Vibrant, lifted, and energetic, but not overly bright, everything is in balance, with freshness, sweetness, chewy currants, and a savory, peppery-tinted finish that lingers. This is one of those wines that with aging, is a candidate for a higher score in a decade, or so. The wine is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon with 23% Merlot, 13.2% ABV, 3.6 pH. Picking took place September 11 – September 28. Drink from 2029 – 2060. 93-95 Pts

2023 Lacoste Borie – Pauillac – Vibrant red fruits, cedar, tobacco, and herbs open the nose. The wine is medium-bodied, crisp, bright, and forward, with a charming, spicy red currant finish. The wine blends 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink from 2026-2036.

2023 Haut Batailley – Pauillac – Chocolate, mint, flowers, currants, and blackberries form the nose. The palate pops with black cherries, blackberries, vivacity, round textures, and a chewy, lively, red currant-filled finish. The wine was made from blending 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot. This is the first time Petit Verdot has been included in the blend. 13.2% ABV, 3.69. Drink from 2028-2052. 92-94 Pts

2023 Haut Batailley Verso – Pauillac – Cedar, tobacco leaf, and black currants form the core the of the wine in the nose, and on the medium-bodied, vibrant, crisp, palate. Drink this over the next decade or so. Drink from 2026-2036. 89-91 Pts

2023 Haut-Bages Monpelou – Pauillac – Savory red fruits show as soon as you begin swirling this medium-bodied, classical-styled, forward, round, lighter-styled Pauillac, with a bright, spicy endnote. Give it a year or two of aging, and enjoy it for the next 12 years or more. Drink from 2027-2040. 89-91 Pts

2023 La Fon du Berger – Pauillac – Lead pencil, cedar, currants, and tobacco leaves are readily apparent. Creamy, energetic, fruity, and spicy, the finish is packed with salty-edged, black currants, and spice. If you have been seeking a well-priced Pauillac, this should be on your list. Drink from 2027-2037. 89-91 Pts

2023 Lafite Rothschild – Pauillac – Richly colored, with a complex aromatic profile offering flowers, spices, cedar, cigar wrapper, lead pencil, creme de cassis, and blackberries. The wine rapidly focuses on its layers of energetic, red with black fruits There is a polished, character here. Texturally, this is elegant, and racy, with length, purity, and most importantly, charm. finishing with seamless, gentle waves of creme de cassis. The wine blends 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. 15% press wine. 12.9% ABV, 3.78 pH. Harvesting started September 7 for the young Merlot vines, finishing September 29. The key to the success this year was controlling mildew pressure, and finding the optimum picking dates. 38% of the harvest went into the Grand Vin. Drink from 2030-2065. 96-98 Pts

2023 Lafite Carruades de Lafite – Pauillac – Spicy, floral, and fruity in the nose, with its red, black, and blue aromatics, you quickly move to the soft, silky, elegant, fragrant, medium-bodied palate. This is a bright, fresh, charming wine that even though it does not feel weighty, it is sneaky in its length, as it lingers on the palate, with fruit, as well as freshness. The wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 40% Merlot. It is interesting to note this is the first vintage in ages, if not ever, with only 2 vintages in the blend. 13.2% ABV, 3.7 pH. The wine consists of roughly 35% of the harvest.15% press wine. Drink from 2027-2042. 92-94 Pts

2023 Latour – Pauillac – Quite expressive in the nose which already displays flowers, blackberries, blueberries, citrus, and Cuban cigars in the nose. This is wine focused on its freshness, energy, purity length, and complexity. The wine exchanges power for a blend of elegance, spice, drinkability, vibrancy, and sapidity. It is a sneaky wine. At first, due to its style, you might think it is an easy wine. But, do not let the initial impression fool you. The wine continues building, expanding, and retaining its racy, core of dark, red fruits, with a touch of salt that shows up in the finish. The wine is a blend of 92.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7.7% Merlot. 13.2% ABV. 3.75 pH. Harvest September 7-October 2. The length of the harvest is due to breaks between picking, parcels, and varietals. The wine represents 39.1% of the harvest. Drink from 2033-2065. 97-99 Pts

2023 Latour Les Forts de Latour – Pauillac – Smoke, blackberries, licorice, cigar wrapper, cedar, and currants permeate the nose. On the palate, the wine is vibrant, fresh, forward, and supple. The fruits are clean, fresh, and vibrant, leaving you with a juicy, red with black currant finish. This should drink well early, yet provide pleasure for at least 2 or more decades. The wine was produced from blending 55.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40.2% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot. 13.7% ABV, 3.7 pH. The wine represents 41% of the harvest. Drink from 2028-2045. 94-96 Pts

2023 Pauillac de Latour – Pauillac – Blackberries, currants, licorice, and flowers are on display in the perfume. On the palate, the wine is fresh, supple, creamy, and offers its charming, creme de cassis filled core with ease. The wine was produced from a blend of 61.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34.1% Merlot, and 4.7% Petit Verdot.13.5% Abv. Drink 2028-2040. 92-94 Pts

2023 Lynch Bages – Pauillac – Blackberries, black cherries, licorice, mint, flowers, camphor, and cigar wrappers produce an attention-seeking perfume. On the palate, the wine is racy, fruity, intense, long, and deep. There is a strong beginning, middle, and end, with a finish that lasts. This is a true Pauillac. The wine blends 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 13.7% ABV. 3.75 pH. The harvest took place September 13 – October 4. Drink from 2028-2060. 94-96 Pts

2023 Lynch Bages Echo de Lynch Bages – Pauillac – Flowers, currants, and cedar pop in the nose. Medium-bodied, soft, zesty, round, fresh, and vibrant, the savory-edged finish is loaded with ripe, sweet, red fruits, with a touch of herbs, dark chocolate, and spice. Drink from 2027-2040. 89-91 Pts

Lynch Bages Blanc de Lynch Bages – Bordeaux – Yellow citrus, pomelo, flowers, white peach, Granny Smith apples, and lemon curd notes blend together perfectly in the nose, and on the palate, leaving you with a citrusy, tropical note in the finish. The wine is produced from blending 81% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Semillon, and 8% Muscadelle. Drink from 2024-2033. 93 Pts

2023 Lynch-Moussas – Pauillac – Tobacco leaf, licorice, espresso currants, cherries, and flowers. The medium-bodied palate is loaded with soft, fresh, ripe, round, black cherries, and juicy, currants. There is length, freshness, complexity, and loads of classic character here. The wine blends 78% Cabernet Sauvignon with 22% Merlot. 13.5% ABV. Drink from 2027-2050. 92-94 Pts

2023 Lynch-Moussas Pauillac de Lynch-Moussas – Pauillac – Currants, flowers, cherries, espresso, and currants show effortlessly in the nose, and on the medium-bodied, soft, round, fruity palate. This is perfect for early, near-term, drinking pleasure. Drink from 2026-2032 88 – 90 Pts

2023 Mouton Rothschild – Pauillac – Cuban cigars, blackberries, flowers, smoke, espresso, spice, fruitcake, licorice, roasted nuts, and currants are a treat in the perfume. The palate offers layers of energetic, long, deep, fruits with a racy edge. The wine builds as it lingers with the fruit moving from red, to black, and back to red, with a refreshing sprig of mint, a touch of chocolate, and a dash of spice, adding to the complexity. The key to the vintage initial heat spell in August helped propel the grapes to phenolic ripeness. The ability to wait for the moment of their choice, allowing for a longer hangtime for the Cabernet played a major role this year. The wine blends 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Merlot. Only 2010 had more Cabernet in the blend. 13.3% ABV, 3.79 pH. The harvest took place September 7 – September 30. Drink from 2030-2065. 98-100 Pts

2023 Mouton Rothschild Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild – Pauillac – Cigar box, tobacco, flowers, smoke, truffle, mint, and creme de cassis form the nose. On the palate, the wine is packed with ripe, juicy, flavorful currants, herbs, spice, and black raspberries. There is length, purity, and freshness. Perhaps, most importantly, you have lift, sweetness, and creamy textures on the mid-palate, and finish. The wine blends 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot.13.3% ABV, 3.74 pH. Drink from 2028-2050. 92-94 Pts

Mouton Rothschild Aile D’Argent Blanc – Bordeaux – Honeysuckle, white peaches, orange rind, and vanilla aromatics pop in the nose. Vivacious, energetic, and creamy, with the perfect honey accent that adds complexity to all the sweet, ripe, juicy, fresh, yellow citrus and pineapple. You can enjoy this on release. The wine was made from a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 44% Semillon, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 0.5% Muscadelle. Drink from 2025-2033. 94 Pts

2023 Pauillac par Pascale Peyronie – Pauillac – Dark in color, the perfume blasts its blackberries, licorice, chocolate, flowers, and spice notes. The palate is even better with its wealth of dark black, richly-textured, creamy, black, with dark red fruits. The vibrant finish lingers as it builds in intensity. Drink from 2027-2050. 92-94 Pts

2023 Pedesclaux – Pauillac – Flowers, blackberries, chocolate, and black, red, and blue fruits create the complex aromatic profile. The fruits are as ripe as they are energetic on the palate. The berries are clean, fresh, vibrant, and long, with sweetness, length, and elegance in the fragrant finish. Give it a few years in the cellar, and enjoy it over the following 2 or more decades. The wine is blended using 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. 13% ABV. Harvesting took place September 13 – October 4, making this the longest harvest in the history of Pedesclaux. Drink from 2028-2050. 93-95 Pts

2023 Pedesclaux Fleur de Pedesclaux – Pauillac – Blackberries, spice, and juicy red currants are the name of the game here. The wine is medium-bodied, fresh, forward, and frankly, already delicious, leaving you with a nice blast of juicy red berries in the finish. You can enjoy this on release, and for a decade or so after that. Drink from 2026-2035. 88-90 Pts

2023 Pibran – Pauillac – Savory-edged, bright red fruits, tobacco, cigar box, and currants form the core of this wine. The classic palate is fresh, chewy, reserved, and peppery, with a spicy, red currant endnote. The wine is made by blending 54% Cabernet Sauvignon with 46% Merlot. This is the highest percentage of Cabernet ever used in the blend at Pibran. 13.1% ABV, 3.7 pH. Drink from 2028-2040. 89-91 Pts

2023 Pichon Baron – Pauillac – If you like a great cigar, you came to the right place as the first thing you notice is the cigar box, and tobacco wrapper nuances before moving to the smoke, leafy herb, creme de cassis, blackberries, spice, flowers, and forest floor in the perfume. The palate is even better with its multiple layers of black, with red fruits, mouthfuls of fresh, ripe, chewy, red berries, Indian spice, and a lingering finish that holds your focus for at least 50 seconds. The key to the vintage was patience during harvesting to achieve phenolic ripeness. This is the quintessential example of a classic, modern Bordeaux. The wine blends 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with 20% Merlot. 13.2% ABV, 3.7 pH. The harvest took place September 17 for the Merlot, ending October 4 with the Cabernet. 44% of the harvest went into the Grand Vin. Drink from 2030-2065. 96-98 Pts

2023 Pichon Baron Les Griffons de Pichon Baron – Pauillac – On the floral side, with accents of espresso, mint, chocolate, cassis, and blackberries for the core of the perfume. On the medium-bodied palate, the wine is elegant, fresh, and chewy, The red berries are soft, refined, bright, crisp, and chewy. This is a perfect example of a modern, styled classic Pauillac, focused on its vibrancy, length, and freshness. The wine was created from a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot. This is the highest percentage of Cabernet ever used in the blend.13.2% ABV, 3.8 pH. Drink from 2028-2042. 92-94 Pts

2023 Pichon Baron Les Tourelles de Longueville – Pauillac – Dark chocolate-covered cherries, currants, cigar box, and spearmint aromas fill the aromatic profile. On the palate, the wine is lifted, energetic, fresh, sweet, and round, with a supple, cherry, and plum finish. While you can enjoy this on release, it promises to be better with age. The wine blends 72% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Cabernet Franc. 13.5% ABV, 3.7 pH. Drink from 2028-2040. 90-92 Pts

2023 Pichon Lalande – Pauillac – Cuban cigars, cocoa, espresso, currants, blackberries, flowers, truffles, and smoke. On the palate, the wine is as complex as the nose. This gem is silky, sensuous, polished, fresh, and alive. The cherries, and currants, are pure. There is depth and sweetness. The wine is medium-bodied, but not light. According to the chateau, the 2023 represents their version of Back to the Future. I see their point. The wine will age effortlessly for decades, yet it is going to fabulous to drink, even in its youth. The wine blends 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. 13% ABV, 3.67 pH. The harvest took place September 6 – September 27. Yields were 30 hectoliters per hectare. Only 50% of the harvest goes into the Grand Vin. Drink from 2029-2065. 96-98 Pts

2023 Pichon Lalande Comtesse Réserve – Pauillac – Chocolate, flowers, cherries, mint, and cigar wrapper opens the perfume. The medium-bodied palate is even better with its silky, fresh, soft, expression of Cabernet. The wine finishes with a touch of salt, which only makes you want to take another sip. The wine blends 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. 13% ABV. Drink from 2025-2040. 92-94 Pts

2023 Pontet Canet – Pauillac – Flowers, cedar, tobacco leaf, black with red currants, and a hint of smoke create the perfume. The palate is full-bodied, ripe, round, and loaded with sweet, fresh, elegant, juicy, pure, black cherries, and blackberries. The wine is relaxed. Nothing is forced. Everything is in the right place. The tannins are long, there is sweetness, length, and nuances of black currants, chocolate, licorice, and mint that make an appearance in the lengthy finish. The wine blends 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot.13.8% ABV, pH 3.75. Harvesting took place September 7 – October 10. This is the earliest, as well as the longest harvest in the history of the estate. The success of the vintage is due to the ability to wait for maturity on a parcel-by-parcel basis. The wine is aging in a combination of 50% new, French oak barrels, and 35% Amphora. Drink from 2029-2060. 95-97 Pts

Up next, we cover all of the best 2023 St. Estephe Wines

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