For a second year running trips to Bordeaux have been complex. Once again, the châteaux have been sending barrel samples. Of course, there are concerns about the air freighted wines being in top notch condition when they arrive. It’s a compromise. For me, better to taste and exercise your judgement, than not taste anything at all. So there are caveats to reviewing Bordeaux these days, but given this, what does 2020 look like? The heat and drought of the summer, combined with varying quantities of rain at the end of the growing season, have resulted in a generally impressive vintage. Overall it is a good partner to 2018 and 2019, and marks a trio of fine vintages. On the basis of the few hundred wines I’ve tasted it’s the least consistent of the three. In general, it doesn’t have the coquettishness of 2018, nor the excitement and magnificent texture of the 2019s. It does have plenty of substance, the fruit is generally supple, the tannins creamy, and alcohols that are a tad lower than the last couple of years. But 2020 seems a more heterogenous vintage than the two before it, so it is not as straightforward to understand as those seemed. There is a hollowness to some and a lack of aromatics in others. Prices are slowly being released. You’d certainly not want to be paying more than you did for your 2019s. Ideally, given the economic uncertainty, and the volume of fine Bordeaux available in bottle, savvy châteaux should be selling this at a decent discount to make sense of an en primeur purchase.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Tournefeuille’
Clearly a brilliant set of wines have been made in Lalande de Pomerol in 2019. There was real consistency shown amongst the wines sent by members of the Grand Cercle. It makes for a great double act with the 2018s tasted last year. They are high in extract and flavour and alcohol but they maintain good balance. Château Grand Ormeau had gorgeous aromatics with lots of seductive ripe black fruit on display. Château Maine Chaigneau Cuvée JS was creamy and sophisticated with real delicacy. Château Tournefeuille was also positive and full, alongside an unctous Château St Jean de Gué. Château La Sergue also impressed with lots of spicy, briary fruit. Château La Fleur de Boüard and Le Plus de la Fleur de Boüard were tasted earlier in June. Both are super impressive in 2019.
A dozen wines from Lalande de Pomerol tasted earlier in the year certainly show how the appellation has captured the lush fruit qualities of the vintage. Once again, plenty of sweet, ripe and unctuously styled fruit is on display here. There was a little overextraction evident in some cases, but you would imagine that most of the wines will settle during elévage. The missing ingredient here is really acidity. 2018 will give a lot of pleasure for sure, but, as in St Emilion and Pomerol, the vintage lacks the appetizing vibrancy of 2015 and 2016 with their emphasis on freshness and texture. That said there is a lot to enjoy in these wines. Undoubtedly they will give plenty of pleasure at comparatively modest prices.
Earlier in the year I had a look a half a dozen wines from Lalande de Pomerol from the 2017 vintage. Overall these were perhaps a little less generous than I expected. Evidently the frost had a lasting legacy here. The last two vintages 2015 and 2016 have been exciting. There is elegance and interest in 2017 amongst the wines I tasted but I’d be opting to seek out wines from those two vintages over 2017. La Fleur de Boüard is the most powerful wine in the appellation. It has produced a very stylish wine in 2017. I was also impressed with Château Moncet in a lighter style, along with Château Jean de Gué and Château Tournefeuille which offer good texture and balance.