Bordeaux 2022

Are you the Tom Mann of Mann Fine Wines?

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Yes that’s me. I don’t think there’s anything in the above that’s inappropriate given I am in the trade but happy to correct if people believe that’s the case.


Oh, no, I was just wondering. I’m on your mailing list, though I dont think we’ve ever transacted.

I’ve alluded a couple of times in this thread to critics needing to provide their opinions in the context of pricing as well; that was partly triggered by your recent Bdx 2022 EP email where you said

Are prices going up?

That’s pretty much a given I am afraid. As to how much, I suspect 20-25% in a lot of cases, although this will obviously vary wildly property by property. There are obviously global macro-economic issues to consider, but the rise in interest rates means that negociants can longer borrow money at virtually no cost to finance a stock position. This MAY temper the rises somewhat but it is a certainty that some chateaux will get their prices wrong, some perhaps quite spectacularly.

With each significant release that comes out I will provide my opinion, as well as some analysis as to how this release sits compared to back vintages.

Which I will happily give you serious kudos for, if executed properly during the campaign. That’s the sort of (hopefully) impartial advice I don’t feel I get from many of the big merchants that I buy from, so just wanted to give you a WB thumbs up for that :slight_smile:

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Thanks Henry that’s very kind! It should have obviously said ‘negociants can NO longer borrow money’… missed a bit there!

It is amazing that thanks to banning William, it has resulted in so many posts on this board being about the problems at Pontet Canet.


Well yes, that’s why banning is so futile and puerile. You attract interest for all the wrong reasons. Worse, it makes people question the opinions of those who weren’t banned.


I guess I have to crack open a 18 and 19 PC. I am a huge fan of all things P-C and loved most vintages since 2003. 2016 is downright spectacular. Sounds like something has gone wrong for the later vintages.

I took your advice on '16 Les Carmes 375s. haven’t opened one yet. Should I?

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Planning to open 375s of at least the 19 and possibly 18 on Friday. Will report back (the overall topic is likely worth its own thread where we can put tasting notes together).

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A few comments/questions:

  1. Is a blind tasting that “requires stamina, conviction and bravery” really a good idea if one is looking for accurate assessments of the wines tasted? It sounds like the tasters are asked to do a whole heck of a lot — are they asked to do too much?

  2. “Bravery” — seriously? What about the Southwold tasting requires “bravery”? Must the participants dodge fire balls and land mines whilst performing the River Dance, all while taking copious notes of wines tasted blindly?

  3. Re: WK’s post — the one where he says a Southwold participant scored a wine blind at 12.5/20, but then subsequently at 97/100 — I don’t think it’s nearly the “pointing arrow” you feel that it is. I never would have known it was Lisa without your posts saying so. You are the one who divulged this information, laid bare for all to see. And I don’t understand why you would hold WK to an agreement among Southwold participants that he never entered into — WK didn’t participate in the tasting.

It certainly seems there is something personal underlying your posts directed at WK — it’s unseemly. And, as much as I like William, and appreciate his contributions to the community, I am far from being one of his fanbois or apologists.

… anyways … I am curious why you used the term “bravery” in reference to the Southwold tasting. I can’t imagine any wine tasting requiring bravery, but I’m here listening.


Thank you for trusting me. Yes, there are 3 reasons to pop a cork.

It’s a 375. You should see what the fuss is all about. And of course, if you should keep on trusting me😁

Please let me know what you think of the wine.


I feel that this is a lot of rehashing of issues already explored and indeed answered above and perhaps not pertinent to go over yet again in a thread on Bordeaux 2022.

You’re right, I took an attempt to tarnish the reputation of Lisa personally. I think most people would have reacted the same way. William kindly acknowledged that his writing made it clear that the critic was Lisa so we can leave that behind as I thought we had.

The information on the event was factually incorrect and Lisa did not give the stated score.

William took part in the 2017 Southwold only and is more than well aware and has accepted the agreement of participation.

Lisa retastes bottles at private tastings and chateaus if they show to an unexpected level. This happens in the months directly following Southwold. One tasting is not the be all and end all.

Bravery is the fact that once you’ve scored the wines in the room you need to defend your opinions to your peers in that same room. If you think that sounds like a mission for the meek then I am of a different opinion.

Ultimately, there is nothing remotely unseemly about not accepting that someone makes a veiled personal attack and not be held to task for it. For me that was a line crossed and and I just wasn’t having it.

I think you’ll find looking back in this thread that I have participated completely on a basis of discussing 2022 and bringing up subjects relevant to that only. William simply crossed a line which I was unhappy with and I stood up for something I believe in. It really is that simple.

I did try a couple of times now getting back to the issue of Bordeaux 2022 with William and while he is usually quite happy to answer I did not get a response. What more can I do?

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At the risk of delaying the end of this discussion and belabouring the point somewhat, but surely there is no hiding behind the formal rules of engagement regarding the Southwold tasting? The fact that everyone agrees not to discuss each others’ ratings is fine (even though the point of this oath of silence is not in and of itself related to ratings), but once someone does - and notably, William is not the person here who blabbed! - you can’t defend the indefensible. If it is true that certain critics were significantly more negative about some wines blind, but then positive about them non-blind and in print, that is exactly the problem with wine criticism these days. And if there is to be an uniquely independent wine publication who calls out the hypocrisy of others, it would be pretty painful for that publication to partake in these practices. And there is no smoke without fire regarding the scoring of certain wines much higher than others blind, only to then have score creep or score leveling when not tasted blind - and printed. Ultimately, the point is that certain wine producers, negociants and importers have a degree of power to create a consensus amongst ‘critics’ where there isn’t one, like a veil of secrecy.

I will forever be grateful for Jancis Robinson calling out Pavie in 2003, and having the stamina and fortitude to maintain her position in the face of deafening opposition. I also appreciate William calling out Pontet Canet and others for overdoing things whilst charging fantastical prices. I just wish critics were all open and honest. Their job is to be there for only one group of people, the consumers. They speak truth to power, which in this case is the wine industry. Or they can hide behind gentleman’s agreements and continue on with the status quo. I know which of these options is the beneficial one both for consumers and the wine industry as a whole…


I have to say, to their credit, I’m grateful for the openness from Jeff and William in this thread about what they are, and arent, buying in 22 (still waiting for Jeff’s list of recommendations though :wink: )

For me, its somewhere between the merchant and the critic where a lot of it can get lost in translation - clearly most merchants are trying to push the latest vintage and can use, lets say, careful selection of critics phrasings to increase the chances that wine gets sold.

RE your last comment, I do agree - unfortunately, the consumers are the product in the wine industry, rather than the wine. A large part of the system is geared around getting people just to buy, and marketing that goes in to that. I see marketing tactics from some wine merchants which would be outright illegal in regulated industries, and that’s before you get into the shadier companies. One merchant put out flyers for 2021 Bordeaux comparing it as best QPR relative to 2020, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015 and 2010, well - yes, if you’re ignoring 17 and 21, it is the best QPR going. But its not if you take them into consideration.

It’s definitely not as consumer-centric a business as it should be, but then, what do you expect when there are layers of people getting paid commission/taking their margin/being incentivisied to make sure money keeps flowing all the way down?

I wish wine critics would have to publish their revenue sources - it’d be interesting to know exactly how much of it comes from B2B agreements vs B2C agreements. That being said, I will admit some of the posts in this thread from the professionals have been quite refreshing and unexpected for me.


I must say, I find it rather bemusing that the author of a publication who loudly touted independence and transparency is now hiding behind the skirts of obscure rules that make it unseemly to make scores public. Surely consumers would want to know!

All jokes aside, I find the notion of “bravery” in the context of blind tasting ridiculous. Wine criticism is not the right profession for someone that lacks the courage of their convictions in a blind tasting. What use is a critic that’s too timid to taste blind?

Meanwhile, I’m sure it’s just a happy coincidence for the chateaux in question that after receiving low scores blind their ratings increases in “private tastings”. I wonder how many ratings went in the other direction? Perhaps I’m just an old cynic. :grinning:

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This seems to be not wanting to stay on the topic of Bordeaux 2022 and I will copy and paste your comments to the other thread and take time to answer them later in the day when I am not running around En Primeur.

Please feel free to pile on to your hearts content (and from past experience it will be a lot of content) over there and let people enjoy a spirited debate on wine here.

Needless to say it is the forever ongoing problem of people just wanting to see what they want to see as I think the back and forth has made things clear. But, yes, I will happily expand as I do love the tenaciousness of some on this forum.

I think you both know, and I have also demonstrated quite clearly, that I am not one to shy away from a discussion.

Sorry just got awareness where is the “other thread”? I tried to find it but couldn’t obviously see it

It’s this one:

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Thank you!


What’s the point of TN’s from folks that don’t buy EP regularly and cellar, hence drink the wines they taste fm barrel in regular intervals? RP was unique in that regard and so is Jeff Leve. Beyond that, it’s just a philosophical excercise without much value.