WineThe Collection

Highlights from the September Releases on Bordeaux’s La Place

The number of non-Bordeaux wines being debuted via Bordeaux’s negociant distribution system grows in both size and stature every year. Jane Anson takes the temperature of this year’s releases and selects 12 to seek out

Words by Jane Anson

Photography by Jane Anson

catena adrianna vineyard under snow
The Collection
Catena Zapata's Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary, Argentina, where unique conditions have led to wines of 'nuance and depth'

With first time releases from Piedmont, Veneto, Martinborough and Austria, plus a host of new names from Chile, Napa, Rioja, Oregon, Sicily and Champagne, the pressure to stand out among the September Releases on the Place de Bordeaux is becoming intense.

This year, the number of non-Bordeaux wines choosing to throw in their lot with this archaic but productive selling system (more widely used for the annual Bordeaux en primeur releases) has expanded from around 70 a year ago to over 100 – with headline newcomers including Marques de Riscal from Rioja, California’s Luc Morlet and Paul Hobbs (the latter with an Argentinian wine), and Champagne Barons de Rothschild.

marques de riscal
Rioja's Marques de Riscal is among a number of historic and reputed wine estates to arrive on La Place for the first time this autumn

You’ll still find the original trailblazers of Opus One, Masseto, Inglenook, Almaviva and Seña – in fact this month has, more than ever, become a way to take a temperature check of vintages and wine styles from some of the biggest players in the industry. It is even, for those who want to look deeper, a way to track some of the changes and challenges facing the wine world, and some of its potential new directions.

This year, for example, Masseto – surely the most famous 100% Merlot wine in the world outside of Petrus – has added a touch of Cabernet Franc into the blend, for freshness. Is this a simple evolution in style, or a signpost of a warming climate even in coastal Tuscany? And over in Argentina, the brilliant Adrianna Vineyard from Nicolas Catena is signaling the huge potential of the cooler climate regions of South America, as well as the continued push towards winemaking that expresses a sense of place, moving away from super-charged, oak-driven styles of a decade ago.

Here are 12 wines to look out for from the 2022 September Releases on La Place de Bordeaux (wines will be coming onto the retail market in the coming days and weeks).

Tasting notes of all 105 September Release wines can be found on janeanson.com, with an offer running through to September 30 of 10% discount from the first year’s subscription. Just use the code SEPT22. Standard annual subscription is €110, with subscribers given first access to both the Connoisseur Week and the Mentor Week in 2023.