Final blog post for the moment on the reds of Bordeaux in 2020. I’ve grouped together notes taken on wines from the Médoc and Haut-Médoc in this post, as well as some specific communes like Margaux, Moulis, Listrac, St Julien, Pauillac and St Estèphe. All of these are based on samples sent by the Grand Cercle. I’ve yet to taste members of the Union des Grand Crus and there are a number of properties that I usually get to taste which I didn’t manage to organise this year. I hope to update these omissions soon. From what I have tasted the reds are fresh in the Médoc in 2020, although there is not the richness of 2019 or 2018 for me. In some there is a certain austerity and angularity. Wines tasted from the Haut-Médoc have good depth and colour, with freshness and zap, but again some can feel a little angular. A handful of wines tasted from St Estèphe look promising, with good colours and nice textures, and there were some nicely perfumed, fresh wines from Margaux. The few bottles I tasted from St Julien and Pauillac showed finesse, but were not quite up with the quality and concentration of the previous two vintages. Overall my tastings in these communes were not as comprehensive as those on the right bank this year. If you want detailed reports on the left bank wines I’d defer to others whose writing on Bordeaux I admire [Jane Anson, James Lawther, Chris Kissack, Neal Martin & Jeb Dunnuck all cover Bordeaux extremely well]. Nevertheless, I hope you find the notes on the following 24 wines useful.
Posts Tagged ‘2020’
There are many properties to search out in the St Emilion satellite appellations. For the last few years I’ve been impressed with the wines of Château Barbe Blanche, Château La Rose Perrière and Château de Lussac in Lussac St Emilion. There is real polish and style exhibited here by these properties. Over in Montagne St Emilion Coralie de Boüard is blazing a trail with Château Clos de Boüard but this year I have also been impressed with Château Faizeau, Château Messile-Aubert and Vieux Château Palon presented by the Grand Cercle. Overall in 2020 all these wines show strong colours and exhibit lots of extract but the winemaking is sophisticated and the tannins soft and pure.
There’s lots to like in Lalande de Pomerol in 2020. Many of the wines have healthy colours, plenty of attractive black fruits and genuine freshness. There are a few that feel the need for a bit more flesh, but many may full out further during élevage. Excellent wines have been made by Château de Chambrun, Château La Fleur de Boüard, Château Grand Ormeau, Château Tournefeuille, La Surgue and Enclos de Viaud. The super cuvée Le Plus from Château La Fleur de Boüard continues to impress. The 2020 Le Plus is concentrated, fancy stuff. The following blog post contains notes on a dozen wines. I hope you find them useful!
It’s always difficult to generalise about the wines in St Emilion, such are the complexities of terroir and the variations of winemaking and viticultural approaches. Still, I think it’s pretty safe to say that 2020 is another exciting vintage here in the heart of the right bank. In terms of the broader overview, alcohols are down slightly on the heady numbers in 2019, and it feels as if there is greater freshness in the 2020s than in the last couple of years. These wines feel well balanced and delicious in this vintage, with attractive textures and supple creamy tannins. On the best limestone and clay-limestone terroirs the wines are fabulous. The summer was dry, and conditions were even drier here than on the left bank. Some properties on sandier soils may have run into trouble with vine stress but generally I was very impressed by the wines here at this early stage. The following post contains notes on forty châteaux. It’s slightly less comprehensive than usual and I hope to fill in some of the gaps with further tastings over the coming months.