BORDEAUX EN PRIMEUR 2020
The 2020 Bordeaux en-primeur campaign has started and one big gun – Chateau Cheval Blanc has already been released. We are expecting that this will see the release of more notable chateaux over the coming days, although in our opinion, it will be early June when more of the big beasts will become available.
The Top Selection team has tasted over 40 samples direct from the Chateaux and our conclusions on the vintage, style and stand out wines are below. As ever the campaign will move fast and allocations will be keenly contested. We invite you to register your interest or send us a wish list for what is proving a very popular vintage!
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2020 – THE COVID VINTAGE
We all remember how hot last April, May and June were in the UK. Well the same was true for Bordeaux, but they also had massive downpours, making the vines grow fast and without any major disease. Then came a very hot and dry July and August with almost no rain and a nice warm September in Bordeaux.
Due to the hot weather, some chateaux lost 10-15% of the crop, but what they produced were healthy.
Quality – a mix of 2009 and 2010
It is dangerous to generalise, because there are some great wines, as well as some big disappointments.
Those who made good wines show the characteristic of a warm vintage like the most acclaimed 2009, but with a freshness of 2010. Much less extraction and alcohol feel than in the past years.
- The Robert Parker era is over
- Wines are returning to what we call a “more classical” and elegant Bordeaux style (fresh, soft and elegant). These are a new style of wine, combining the tannic structure of the “classical style” of Bordeaux with the “Parker style” of fleshy and round wines, resulting in much better balance
- Not a heterogenerous vintage, one must cherry pick
- 2020 is a healthy combination of two great vintages: the ripeness of 2009 and the freshness of 2010
- Price wise it will still be a good investment and good value for money to drink. 2019 was 30% below 2018 and 2019 was a better vintage. We expect 2020 to be somewhat higher than 2019 (10-15%), but still well below the inferior 2018 vintage and some say even better than 2019 (based on the top wines’ scores, it is certainly the case).
CHATEAU TO WATCH
Following our extensive tasting of Chateaux samples we have highlighted our teams top picks along with estimated price windows based on 2019. If you would like to request a case of two of these wines or have a specific wish list please contact us via the button below. Prices quoted are In Bond per bottle. Wines will be available in 6 or 12 bottle cases.
|Chateau||2020 Estimate £/bt||Release Price £/bt||Critic Scores|
|Château Carbonnieux Blanc – RELEASED||22-25||23||91-93|
|Château Carbonnieux Rouge- RELEASED||22-25||23||89-91|
|Domaine de Chevalier Blanc – RELEASED||60-70||66.50||93-95|
|Domaine de Chevalier Red – RELEASED||50-55||47.17||96 – 97|
|Pape Clement Blanc|
|Pape Clement Rouge|
|Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc|
|Château Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge|
|Branaire Ducru – RELEASED||30-35||31||91-93|
|Leoville Las Cases|
|Château Beychevelle – RELEASED||55-65||57.84||95-97|
|Leoville Barton – RELEASED||58-64||54||93-95|
|Pichon Comtesse de Lalande|
|D’Armailhac – RELEASED||35-37||33||92-94|
|Vallandraud St Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classe|
|Troplong Mondot St Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classe|
|La Gaffeliere St Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classe|
|Château La Croix de Labrie – RELEASED||68-72||74||93-95|
|Château Gazin – RELEASED||55-65||56.17||94-97|
|Vieux Château Certan|
|Lafon Rochet – RELEASED||30-33||27.67||93-94|
|1st Growths and other high demand Chateau|
|Château Mouton Rothschild|
|Haut Brion Rouge|
|Mission Haut Brion|