Wine Words & Video Tape

Wine, Words and Videotape

Fine Wine Review site

Bordeaux 2020: Fronsac

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

A brilliant set of wines have been made in Fronsac in 2020. It completes a run of three wonderfully impressive vintages here 2018-2020. I wonder if perhaps this year pips the rest in terms of balance and harmony. The wines show exceptional freshness and zap, alongside ripeness and there seems to be even greater vibrancy here this year than in 2019. Of the wines I’ve tasted, no one has put a foot wrong in my book, so if you still see any of these offered, you’d not be disappointed. At the very top we have Château Dalem, Château de la Dauphine and Château La Vielle Cure, who have all produced terrific wines but excellent Fronsac has also been made at Château Fontenil and Château de la Rivière. Do search these any of these out.

The following wines were tasted in May 2020 from samples sent by the Grand Cercle in late April. I hope the notes are useful. The only misfire here was Château Villars. The sample was evidently corked but there was impressive colour and fruit in the wine, despite the obvious cork taint.

Château Dalem, Fronsac, 2020

Vibrant purple at edge; vivid; polished; deep and pure; black fruits; some mineral notes; ripe black cherry and plum tones; deep and layered; opens up; very complete; fresh and engaging on the palate; has life and vibrancy; structure but plenty of fruit; very energetic and positive; like this a lot. Tantalising quality. More-ish on the finish with a nice twist of acidity and tannin. Lovely. Tasted May, 2021. Drink 2024-2035. 91-93

Château de la Dauphine, Fronsac, 2020

Super saturated; colour tight to rim; purple edge; some spice; tar; black cherry; liquorice; layers here; super stuff; more lifted than Dalem; sweet and full on the palate; plenty of depth and ripe plums; structured with some wood to integrate but this also has plenty of zap and freshness; good extract on the finish. Nice texture to the tannins and good length. Excellent La Dauphine. Inky finish. Tasted May, 2021. Drink 2024-2035. 91-93+

Château Fontenil, Fronsac, 2020

Vibrant and glossy; lush and dark at centre; black cherry; ripe plums and dark chocolate; pretty quality to the fruit; precision and purity; sweet entry; briary and black fruits; solid middle suggests plenty of power and extract; but nicely handled and moves towards a harmonious finish. Complete. Dark chocolate and black cherry on the finish. Tasted May, 2021. Drink 2023-2032. 90-92+

Château de la Huste, Fronsac, 2020

Deep at centre; purple at edge; legs; wood spice, black fruits; savoury edge; attractive; violet lift; cherry; plums; lovely entry; plenty of pure plummy and black cherry fruit; a joy; very Bordeaux; nice and fresh; excellent juicy wine; has freshness too; full and lovely; cherry and chocolate on the finish. Tasted May, 2021. Drink 2023-2030. 89-91+

Château Moulin Haut-Laroque, Fronsac, 2020

Deep and dark; purple red; tight to rim; intense; some dark chocolate; ripe black cherry; quite lush; little volatility but could be the sample; plenty of extract and depth; chocolate fruit; sweet; some eau de vie notes; ripe fruit; some jam; works well. Tasted May, 2021. Drink 2023-2032. 87-89+

Château de la Rivière, Fronsac, 2020

Deep and dark but super vivid and glossy; purple at edge; black cherry and dark chocolate; salty note; opens up; nice purity here; fresh entry; nicely handled here; lots of black cherry and plum tones; well done here; has real freshness and zap again; amplitude on the palate; inky finish but this works. Good stuff here. Tasted May, 2021. Drink 2024-2035. 90-92+

Château La Vielle Cure, Fronsac, 2020

Deep and glossy; colour dark and tight to rim; distinctive; violet lift; black cherry and spices; spicy notes; very polished and focused; creamy palate; plenty of depth but also freshness this year; spicy fruit; structure but caressing on the end; nicely managed; spices and freshness. Nice extract and balance on the finish. Excellent. Lovely balance. Moreish. Tasted May, 2021. Drink 2025-2035. 91-93

Château Villars, Fronsac, 2020

Deep and saturated; purple at edge; little woody; feels corked; plenty of ripe fruit beneath this; definitely corked sample; sweet ripe fruit; spicy and briary notes despite the taint; mid depth; certain elegance; spices on the finish. Has all the elements and lots of extract but evidently this sample is corked. Score indicates potential. Tasted May, 2021. 2023-2030. 89-91 [potentially]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Follow Us