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Bordeaux 2020

Website_Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur

“The 2020 vintage marks a rare trilogy of excellent vintages”

-James Suckling

About the Vintage

Bancroft Wines Fine Wine Buyer, James Snoxell, shares his thoughts on the 2020 vintage.

The 2020 Bordeaux campaign is now truly underway. We haven’t been able to visit Bordeaux as normal but have been sent samples and are impressed by what we are tasting. The châteaux are delighted by the vintage, placing it at the same level as 2019 and somewhere above 2018, a modern trilogy of top-quality vintages for Christian Seely of Château Pichon Baron. James Suckling has already declared 2020 to be ‘another great year for Bordeaux’.

There is no doubt that 2020 is very promising in terms of quality but it was far from easy. Indeed, it was a pretty stressful year for many growers. A mild and wet spring resulted in an early bud break and flowering. Whilst the wet weather replenished water reserves, it brought mildew pressure, a particular challenge for organic or biodynamic producers who lost a fair amount of their crop at this stage. The weather shifted dramatically from mid-June becoming warm and dry which caused severe stress in some vineyards and concentrated the berries. Showers in the middle of August provided some relief but temperatures remained high throughout September with a mid-month heat wave further concentrating the grapes.

The early bud break and hot summer led to an early harvest, 10 to 15 days earlier than normal, starting with the whites in mid-August and the reds from mid-September. Most finished picking by the end of the month. Overall production was down by 10% compared to 2019, the heat and drought being the main factors but there were significant variations. The drought was most intense in the southern Médoc, Pessac-Léognan and Sauternes while Merlot vineyards on the Right Bank, which ripened before the mid-September heat, fared better.

As for the wines we have tasted, the whites are full-flavoured and surprisingly fresh and energetic. The reds are deeply coloured with intense ripe fruit and smooth tannins. There is more than enough depth and structure to balance the alcohol and while many wines seem all too attractive now, they have plenty of ageing potential. There are of course variations with terroir playing a crucial role this year, excellent drainage and the capacity to hold water being particularly important. Such terroirs include Pomerol and Saint-Emilion and the better vineyards of Pauillac and Saint-Julien. Some of the best wines it seems come from here but there is more to taste so we shall see!

We will be offering the wines over the next few months as soon as they are released by the chȃteaux. As always, we are expecting significant demand for certain wines and urge you to join our mailing list via the enquiry form below to avoid missing out on these exciting releases.

For any questions about the 2020 Bordeaux campaign, or en primeur in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Bordeaux 2020 Releases

View pricing, scores and critic notes of all our current releases.

‘A linear and polished young red with compact, silky tannins that are polished and beautiful. Lots of blackberry, blackcurrant, mushroom and spice character. Very solid wine from here’ 92-93 points, James Suckling

£105 per 12 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘Full-bodied and creamy with lots of spice and walnut character. Lovely softness and purity. Black fruit at the end. Very fine tannins. Well-integrated’ 95-96 points, James Suckling

£138 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

£2,328 per 6 bottle case in bond | SOLD OUT

‘Lots of blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors with licorice and tar. Medium-bodied with a solid core of fruit and a long, creamy finish. Best of the trilogy’ 92-93 points, James Suckling – JamesSuckling.com

‘Deepest crimson with smudgy rim. Lively, fresh aroma with the fruit not the oak to the fore. (No info provided on the oak used, nor on the varietal make-up.) Cassis, blackberry and some red-plum sweetness, which comes through on the palate. Not particularly intense but harmonious, with finely layered dry tannins. Definitely one of the more approachable and digestible Margaux 2020s I have tasted. Hint of chocolate on the finish. 13.5% Drink 2026 – 2037’ 16/20 points, Julia Harding MW – JancisRobinson.com

£137 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘Greenish hint to the golden hue. Very classic with a botrytis note and some real freshness. Weight and integrity here with a savoury, even bacon-fat, finish. Not one of the sweetest wines, or what I probably mean is that the acidity is more pronounced than in many of its peers. Sleek and fresh. But probably for relatively early drinking. 13.5%. Drink 2024 – 2038.’ 17+ points, Jancis Robinson MW

£162 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘Deep purple-black colour. As in 2019 the power inherent but an extra edge of refinement. Ripe but aromatically engaging with floral, dark-fruit and chocolate notes. Beautiful texture with depth of fruit and the tannins velvety and fresh providing solid structure and drive on the finish. Classic Angélus with a little more precision and polish – Drink 2028-2045’ 18 points, James Lawther MW – JancisRobinson.com

‘This is wonderfully refined and balanced with such pretty depth. Full-bodied and so polished and pure. Subtle at first, then it takes off and keeps coming. Sophisticated. 60% merlot and 40% cabernet franc’ 98-99 points, James Suckling

£1,524 per 6 bottle case in bond | SOLD OUT

‘A full-bodied red that builds on the palate with lots of blackberry and blueberry character, as well as chocolate. Mineral and graphite undertones. Chewy, yet very integrated. Excellent, as expected.’ 96-97 points, James Suckling

‘Lustrous purple. Minerally, stony, saline nose. Really remarkably opulent on palate entry which almost distracts from those massive tannins underneath. There’s just a suggestion of vintage port tannins here (not the sweetness). Very fine winemaking indeed. I have to admit I was tempted to swallow this, it was so majestic. I don’t remember being as bowled over by a Léoville Barton at this early stage before. Lovely, confident, persistent finish. Such grace! 13.6% Drink 2030 – 2055’ 18 points, Jancis Robinson MW

£365 per 6 bottle case in bond | SOLD OUT

‘Very pretty blackberry and blueberry character with blackcurrants and mint. It’s medium-to full-bodied with linear, tight tannins that are polished and fine.’ 93-94 points, James Suckling

‘Healthy deep purplish crimson. High-toned, fully ripe nose that is rather seductive before a glossy, polished-tannin dry finish. Promises well for the future while being relatively charming even now. Not the most concentrated 2020 but everything is in balance. Well done. Sappy, dry finish. Very St-Julien. Some restraint despite the initial seduction. 13.5% Drink 2028 – 2046’. 
17 points, Jancis Robinson MW

£178 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘Bright ruby color. Nose revealing notes of wild strawberries, toasted breadwith a hint of delicate vanilla. The wine is harmonious and well balanced. The tannins are already well integrated, the wine is supple and leaves a nice finish in the mouth’ Lilian Barton

£129 per 12 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘This is a powerful, deeply focused and intense. Plenty of spice, cassis pastille, intense muscular tannins, fairly closed and austere right now, but a real sense of lift and juice becomes clear after 10 minutes of opening in the glass. Harvest began on September 21st, the earliest since Mitjavile arrived at the estate. Recently had the beautiful 1998 of Tertre Roteboeuf, and it is easy to see that this vintage also will allow the limestone terroir to become clearer with bottle age. Drinking Window 2024 – 2036.’ 95 points, Jane Anson, Decanter.com

‘85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. 33 hl/ha. Harvested 22–25 September, one of the earliest ever. Cask sample. Seductive and just a little decadent as always en primeur with a mix of toasted, mocha notes from the oak and red-berry fruit. Dense, rich and ripe on the palate, the ripeness pushed just to the limit. Supple tannins but a structure for ageing, the alcohol offset by a stony freshness. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2040.’ 17 points, James Lawther MW – JancisRobinson.com

£790 per 6 bottle case in bond | SOLD OUT

‘85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample. Ripe and concentrated but less decadent than the other wines in the Mitjavile stable. More dark fruit and innate freshness as well as a form that is linear rather than spherical. Touch of toasted oak and tannins that have a crunchy, mineral feel. Drink 2026 – 2035.’  16.5 points, James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com

£260 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

From a small part of the Roc de Cambes vineyard that is only entitled to the Bordeaux appellation, this is a Merlot based blend. The 2020 is a very attractive and richly textured wine with dark plum and sweet cassis fruits along with scents of rose petals and strawberries. On the palate, sweet plum fruits and dried herbs are balanced by chalky mineral tannins. Showing lovely length and freshness, this gorgeous wine will be delicious in a few years.

£185 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘This is really focused and linear with tight, minerally tannins that are polished and energetic. It’s medium-to full-bodied with dark and blue fruit in the center palate. Long and focused’  94-95 points, James Suckling

‘Deep crimson but not impenetrable. Mellow, rather unflashy nose with well-integrated acidity and a certain mineral element. Really lively and fresh and rather sleeker than some of the more exhibitionistic St-Émilions. Obviously a long-term, and rather exciting, bet. Bone-dry finish and a fair amount of ripe tannin but not lean or drying, and with a persistent, silky finish. Rather sophisticated’ 16.5 points, JancisRobinson MW

£227 per 12 bottle case in bond | Find out more

A Sauternes with tart tartine, cooked apple and caramel. It’s full-bodied, juicy and sweet, yet there’s lots of caramel and spice, too, such as cloves. Comes across almost dry. But lots of sweetness. Pure semillon. Unique. Tiny production’ 97-98 points, James Suckling

‘Full of pleasure, silky and richly textured, easy to sink into but carefully measured at the same time, addings its layers of orange peel, bloody orange, white pepper spice and truffle slowly but surely as it inches through the palate. Tiny floral notes accompany the saline minerality on the finish. Almost no botrytis in September, and then when the weather deteriorated at the end of September things really became a bit worrying. But they were able to hold on until October 19 (after stopping at the end of September, I imagine needing nerves of steel). Yields of around 8hl/ha. 3,000 cases of Suduiraut. 137g/l of residual sugar. A great example of what botrytis does – the pH is at 4, so the freshness comes from the bitterness of botrytis not high acidities. Drinking Window 2022 – 2045’ 96 points, Jane Anson, Decanter

£252 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘This is classically structured with a wonderful finish of extremely polished tannins and an ultra long finish. So much blackcurrant, spice and cedar. Seamless. 70% cabernet sauvignon and 26% merlot, the rest cabernet franc and petit verdot.’ 94 -95 points, James Suckling

‘Takes its time to unroll then shows sweetness to the black cherry and brambled blackberries fruits, followed by cigar, pencil lead and crushed stone. This is signature Batailley in that it has that essence-of-Pauillac feel. A delicious wine, such a great great drinking claret, really one to look out for in this vintage; already looking forward to drinking this in 10 years time. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 60% new oak. A yield of 42hl/ha. Drinking window 2028 – 2042.’ 94 points, Jane Anson, Decanter.com

£168 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘Great texture to this wine with creamy, firm tannins that are so polished. Full and gorgeous. Very enticing’ 96 -97 points, James Suckling

‘Inky plum colour, concentrated and confident, a ton of signature Pomerol – grilled blueberry and blackberry, gingerbread and coffee. Great stuff, packed full of expansive power through the mid palate before contracting with bitter chocolate and firm tannins on the close of play. 7ha. Gravel clay soils, 45-50 years average age of the vines. Enjoyable range of Casteja wines here, with terroir signature – Batailley speaks of Pauillac gravels, Trottevieille of St Emilion limestone and this one of Pomerol clay. Drinking Window 2026 – 2040’ 94 points, Jane Anson, Decanter.com

£166 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘This is a very structured red with lots of blackberry, currant, walnut and graphite. Full-bodied and long. Nice chewiness. 72% cabernet sauvignon, the rest merlot’ 94 -95 points, James Suckling

£145 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Berliquet is composed of 69% Merlot and 31% Cabernet Franc, weighing in at 14.5% alcohol. It is aging in French oak barrels, 50% new. Deep purple-black colored, it trots casually out of the glass with effortlessly flamboyant scents of stewed black cherries, warm plums and baked blackberries, plus hints of chocolate mint, violets and licorice with a touch of fertile loam. The medium to full-bodied palate is very tightly wound with layers of ripe black fruits and earthy accents, framed by finely grained tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and fragrant’ 94-96 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

‘Very soft and polished with beautiful tannins that are poised and beautiful. It’s medium-to full-bodied and gorgeously proportioned. Ready for even more polishing’ 95-96 points, James Suckling

£218 per 6 bottle case in bond | SOLD OUT

‘Lots of blackberry and dark chocolate with walnut and spice undertones. Medium to full body. Chewy finish. Yet, the tannins are fine and poised’ 92-93 points, James Suckling

‘Lots of brambly red and black fruits as well as leafy herbs and tobacco define the bouquet of the 2020 Château Peymouton. Medium-bodied, it has a nicely concentrated, rich, yet focused mouthfeel that brings plenty of tannins. Made by the team of Jean-Pierre Moueix and from a vineyard near Château Laroque, on the eastern, cooler side of Saint-Emilion, it will need 3-5 years of bottle age and keep for 10-15’ 91-93 points, Jeb Dunnuck

£72.50 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘As ever, a very attractive Pomerol with juicy redcurrant and raspberry fruits and a hint of delicate spice on the nose. Refreshing and pure fruited on the palate with succulent cassis and sweet plum notes. Darker, richer flavours come through as the wine evolves.  A good medium-term drinker which shows lovely  balance. Drinking window 2023 – 2030’ James Snoxell, Fine Wine Buyer

£90 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Montlandrie is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot was picked between the 18th and the 22nd of September, and the Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon were picked from the 23rd to the 25th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.5% and is aging in French oak barrels, 40% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it bursts from the glass with vibrant notes of crushed blackberries, fresh, juicy black plums and mulberries, plus hints of bay leaves, cardamom, ground black pepper and black truffles. The medium to full-bodied palate possesses impressive freshness with a solid backbone of soft, rounded tannins and bags of ripe black fruits, finishing long with a peppery kick. 53,000 bottles are expected to be made’ 92-94 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

£95 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Les Cruzelles is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, coming from gravelly clay soil. The Merlot was picked from the 10th to the 15th September, and the Cabernet Franc was picked on the 16th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.5% and is aging in French oak barrels, 50% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, it bursts with impactful notes of plum preserves, blueberry compote and kirsch, plus suggestions of violets, mocha and pencil lead. The medium to full-bodied palate explodes with vibrant black fruits and fantastic freshness, framed by ripe, velvety tannins, finishing long and fragrant. 18,000 bottles are expected to be made’ 91-93 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown 

‘Stands out from La Chenade in the vintage, with its velvet texture and a more serious sculpted feel overall. Tobacco and liquorice notes besides black cherry and raspberry fruits, good tension, serious but with Lalande-de-Pomerol unfussy appeal. 3.72pH. A yield of 38hl/ha. Drinking Window 2023 – 2034’ 94 points, Jane Anson, Decanter.com

£110 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Latour-Martillac Blanc has a more reserved bouquet compared to its peers, but still quite compelling, with crushed rock infusing the dried yellow flowers, white peach and chai tea scents. I could nose this all day. The very well-balanced palate is quite intense, offering a fine bead of acidity and plenty of tension and mineralité toward the saline finish. If I was going to spend my money on one dry white Bordeaux this year, it might well be this’ 93-95 points, Neal Martin

‘I love this white, it has confidence and power and a sense of direction as well as a slate minerality that drags though the palate in a good way. Savoury white fruit – good stuff. A yield of 44hl/ha, 25% new oak. 14 months ageing on lees. Drinking Window 2021 – 2030’ 93 points, Jane Anson

£127 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Latour-Martillac offers an enticing bouquet of black fruit infused with black olive, background citric scents lending a bit of zest. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, well-integrated oak and impressive depth. This is a very assured and confident Latour-Martillac that continues their strong run of form. Perhaps one of the dark horses of the appellation in 2020, this should be on your primeur shopping list’ 93-95 points, Neal Martin

‘Chocolate, liquorice, some bitter points that accompany the fruit from beginning to end, this is one of the best in terms of focus and precision. There is clearly excellent colour extraction, you get real glass-staining purple, but the flavours are more austere and tannic than the colour might suggest. Well chosen coffee and chocolate expression that remains elegant and pointed. Good stuff, needs time, but will grow into a classic elegant wine. A yield of 38hl/ha. Drinking Window 2025 – 2040’ 94 points, Jane Anson

£127 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Beychevelle offers up vibrant notes of black raspberries, fresh black cherries and cassis, plus hints of wild sage, chocolate mint, rose hip tea and fallen leaves, with an exotic hint of Indian spices. The medium to full-bodied palate offers layers of crunchy black fruits with a firm, grainy texture and just enough freshness, finishing long and perfumed. 2026 – 2046.’ 94 -96 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

‘The 2020 Beychevelle opens with the most exotic bouquet imaginable. Wild flowers of all sorts, spice, lavender and inky dark fruit all saturate the palate. As always, Beychevelle is an overt, flamboyant wine, but all of the elements are so well out together. The 2020 is sexy, alluring and impossible to resist. Time in the glass brings out redder tonalities of fruit along with sweet floral notes that add striking inner perfume. Even as a barrel sample, I am so tempted to just drink it’ 94-96 points, Antonio Galloni

£347 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Branaire-Ducru is utterly magnificent. A wine of extraordinary depth and dimension, the 2020 possesses tremendous intensity right out of the gate. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, new leather, licorice, cloves and lavender build as into the explosive, palate-staining finish. I don’t think I have ever tasted a Branaire quite like this. 2030 – 2050′ 94-96 points Antonio Galloni

‘The 2020 Branaire Ducru has a tightly wound bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, freshly tilled loam and distinct sea spray scents, all well defined, albeit 15­–20 minutes after opening my sample bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, and very cohesive, displaying a keen thread of acidity. Unlike previous vintages, there is impressive density on the midpalate where it once was a little lean, and plenty of energy and tension conveyed by the finish. Excellent. 2028 – 2048’ 92-94 points Neal Martin

£186 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Cantenac Brown is an outrageously beautiful wine. Ample, vertical and soaring in its intensity, the 2020 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Punchy red berry fruit, lavender, spice, mint and rose petal abound. What I like most about the 2020 is the way it balances fruit intensity with vibrancy and energy. Cantenac Brown is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. Drink 2030-2060’ 94-97 points, Antonio Galloni

‘The 2020 Cantenac Brown, cropped at 36hl/ha, has quite a precocious bouquet of macerated small black cherries, blueberry, touches of cassis and violet, all very generous and seductive in style. The palate is beautifully balanced and extremely pure, offering succulent ripe tannins, perfectly judged acidity and layers of blueberry, Dorset plum, crushed stone and light graphite notes toward the finish, which has just the right amount of salinity. This is a sophisticated and quite cerebral Margaux in a series of excellent recent releases from the estate. Highly recommended – Drink 2025-2050’ 94-96 points, Neal Martin

£206 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 La Gaffelière has an intriguing, complex nose, a mélange of red and black fruit, cigar box, undergrowth and mint, quite mercurial in the glass as it opens with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins, a beautiful seam of acidity and perhaps the most satin-like texture I have encountered on a young La Gaffelière. It sashays to a harmonious and precise finish and lingers with wonderful mineralité. This is a magnificent prospect. 2028 – 2060.’ 96-98 points, Neal Martin

‘Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 La Gaffeliere gallops out of the glass with exuberant scents of crushed black plums, boysenberries and fresh blackberries, plus hints of eucalyptus, dark chocolate, crushed rocks and iron ore, with a waft of lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate shimmers with compelling energy, delivering layers of black and red berries with fantastic tension and finely grained tannins, finishing very long and wonderfully minerally. Drink 2026-2050.’ 96-98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

£290 per 6 bottle case in bond | SOLD OUT

‘The 2020 Grand-Puy-Lacoste has a very refined, almost understated bouquet at first, but it opens in glorious fashion to offer precise blackberry and wild strawberry fruit, crushed stone and wild mint, gaining intensity at its own pace. The palate is beautifully balanced with fine-grained tannins, a keen thread of acidity, layers of intense black fruit and quite a spicy, vibrant and certainly persistent finish. This is a brilliant GPL from the Borie family. Drink 2027-2055.’ 95-97 points, Neal Martin

‘The 2020 Grand-Puy-Lacoste is an explosive, vibrant Pauillac. The bouquet alone is captivating. Lavender, grilled herbs, menthol, chocolate and crème de cassis all race out of the glass. A wine of vertical structure and precision, the 2020 is a total stunner. It simply dazzles from start to finish. Drink 2032-2050.’ 93-96 points, Antonio Galloni

£303 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is set to be matured in 60% new oak barrels for an intended 18 months. I left my sample for 30 minutes because, like the Ségla, it was backward and rather taciturn on the nose. It repaid a little patience with very classic scents of blackberry, crushed stone, wilted iris flowers and a hint of orange blossom. The aromatics are exquisitely delineated yet succinctly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins that support crystalline black fruit interlaced with light graphite and crustacean notes. Brimming with energy and full of tension from start to finish, this is a sophisticated and quite intellectual Margaux. It’s also flippin’ delicious’ 95-97 points, Neal Martin

‘Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is aging for 18 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. It has an alcohol of 13.5% and a pH of 3.74. Deep purple-black colored, aromas of blackcurrant cordial, stewed red and black plums, chocolate-covered cherries and raspberry coulis erupt from the glass, leading to an undercurrent of tar, licorice, red roses and menthol, plus a hint of unsmoked cigars. The medium-bodied palate is elegant and yet manages seriously impressive intensity, which is well-sustained throughout the mid-palate and finish. Refined and refreshing, delivering beautifully soft, silt-like tannins and bags of bright red and black fruits, it finishes with amazing length and a stunning perfume. Between this and Château Canon, Nicolas Audebert and his team have knocked it out of the park this vintage’ 96-98+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

£399 per 6 bottle case in bond | SOLD OUT

‘The 2020 Talbot is a hugely promising wine. It offers up an exotic mélange of inky dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, gravel, lavender and menthol. Brooding in the glass, with broad shoulders and tons of intensity, the 2020 is a Talbot that marries power, breadth and savory intensity with notable stylishness and tons of personality. Impressive. 2030 – 2045’ 92-95 points, Antonio Galloni

‘This is a great Talbot, a real success for the château. Subtle and deft touches throughout, from the smoked turmeric notes that lace the black fruits to the finessed aromatics that accompany the body of the wine. Balance and freshness, and a saline edge to the finish that is extremely moreish. Three years with Jean-Michel Laporte as director and he is doing great work. Drinking Window 2026 – 2040.’ 95 points, Jane Anson

£239 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Gloria has an intense nose of penetrating blackberry, raspberry, crushed violet and crushed stone aromas. After 20 minutes, this just blossoms in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, fine acidity and just a touch of espresso and orange peel toward the finish, which remains taught and focused. What a wonderful Gloria! This might actually surpass its sibling, Château St. Pierre, this year. Drink 2028-2050.’ 93-95 points, Neal Martin

‘Opaque purple-black colored, the 2020 Gloria comes soaring out of the glass with notes of blackcurrant cordial, preserved plums and blueberry compote, followed by suggestions of powdered cinnamon, cedar chest and menthol, plus a waft of graphite. The medium to full-bodied palate is completely coated with juicy black fruits, framed by grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 11% Petit Verdot, aging for approximately 14 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. The alcohol is 13.3%. 2024 – 2043.’ 92-94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

£159 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Duhart-Milon comes skipping out of the glass with vibrant notes of crushed black cherries, black raspberries and plum preserves, plus an exotic spice undercurrent of cumin seed, star anise and cardamom, with an earthy touch of black truffles. The medium-bodied palate delivers mouth-coating, juicy black fruits with a plush texture and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy. The blend this year is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot, with the alcohol coming in at 13.1%.’ 91/93+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate

‘Restrained and sombre at first, but carefully constructed, with a rippling muscular texture, full of firm tannins with bright acidities underneath. Like the precision and the slightly austere cool blue fruits, pencil lead and liquorice root. Elegant, precise, feels very Pauillac in its density combined with fine tannins that have life and lift on the finish. Harvest September 9 to 29. First vintage in the new cellar. Drinking Window 2028 – 2042.’ 95 points, Jane Anson

£342 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Carruades de Lafite is so expressive right out of the gate. Sage, mint, dried herbs, tobacco and incense grace the Carruades with gorgeous aromatic presence. A backbone of fine tannins lends energy and direction. Medium in body and impeccably refined, the 2020 Carruades is shaping up to be a gem.’ 91-93 points, Antonio Galloni

‘Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Carruades de Lafite, like its big sibling, is a little youthfully shy to begin, soon unfurling to offer notes of Morello cherries, raspberry leaves, baked blackberries and spice box, plus suggestions of pencil lead, lavender and Provence herbs. The medium-bodied palate is chock-full of juicy black fruits, framed by velvety tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and lifted. This 2020 is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Drink 2026 – 2042.’ 91-93 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

£1,062 per 6 bottle case in bond | SOLD OUT

‘This 2020 blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc has an alcohol of 14.5% and a pH of 3.8. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 L’Evangile rolls effortlessly out of the glass with notions of mulberries, black raspberries and stewed red and black plums, plus suggestions of Indian spices, dusty soil and violets with a touch of iron ore. The medium to full-bodied palate possesses compelling freshness and a fine-grained texture to support the muscular black and red fruits, finishing long and earthy. Drink 2026-2050.’ 96-98+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

‘The 2020 L’Évangile is fabulous. Aromatic, deep and fleshy, with magnificent purity of fruit, L’Évangile dazzles right out of the gate. Bright Franc aromatics add striking lift as well as vibrancy that carries through to the long, delineated finish. There is an energy to the 2020 that is palpable. Harvest for the Merlot began on September 3, ahead of a heat wave that was forecast, and wrapped up on the 14th for the Merlot and the 21st for the Franc. That approach worked so well here. In the past, L’Évangile and Lafite-Rothschild were very different stylistically, but that seems to be changing now that Saskia de Rothschild is spending a great deal of her time in Pomerol with the new winemaking team. The estate, certified biodynamic as of 2021, has been pursuing a more refined approach for a few years, but 2020 is the first recent vintage where the personality of the year seems to have aligned especially well with the current thinking here. The 2020 L’Évangile is easily the most Lafite-like L’Évangile I have ever tasted. Don’t miss it! 2030 – 2050.’ 95-97 points, Antonio Galloni

£1,110 per 6 bottle case in bond | SOLD OUT

‘The 2020 Lafite-Rothschild is much more intense and complex compared to the Carruades this year. This First Growth bursts from the glass with beautifully defined blackberry and wild strawberry scents laced with sprigs of wild mint and juniper berries. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins that frame the pixelated black fruit. This is quintessential Lafite in that it is not a powerful or immensely structured wine, but rather a First Growth with unerring balance and harmony, one that is unashamedly classic in style. There is just the right amount of dryness on the finish to urge you back for another sip. So Lafite it has its name tattooed onto its DNA. It will begin to soar after 10 years in the cellar. Drink 2030-2070.’ 96-98 points, Neal Martin

‘Displaying a deep purple-black color, the 2020 Lafite Rothschild takes a little swirling and coaxing to unlock scents of freshly crushed blackcurrants, boysenberries and spiced plums, followed by emerging nuances of red roses, raspberry preserves, underbrush and unsmoked cigars, with a waft of cedar chest. The medium-bodied palate is an exercise in elegance and finesse, featuring tightly wound layers of red and black berries and loads of mineral sparks, framed by finely grained tannins and well-poised tension, finishing with fantastic length and the most stunning perfume. Magnificent achievement. This 2020 is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, coming in at 12.8% alcohol and a pH of 3.9. Drink 2028-2063.’ 96-98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

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‘Displaying a deep purple-black color, the 2020 Beau-Sejour Becot prances out of the glass with showy scents of preserved plums, chocolate-covered cherries, wild blueberries and raspberry preserves, plus suggestions of rose oil, ground cloves and licorice. The elegantly crafted, medium-bodied palate shimmers with energy, offering a fantastic intensity of crunchy red and black fruits, supported by fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and perfumed. Simply stunning.’ 95 – 97+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

‘The 2020 Beau-Séjour Bécot was picked 8 September until 30 September, but mostly between 8-12 September, around 70% of the production. It is one of the highest percentages of Merlot in recent years partly due to restructuring of the vineyard and also higher yields (47-48hl/ha) compared to the Cabernets. With no SO2 used during fermentation and matured in 55% new oak (20hl Stockinger and Taransaud foudres and regular barriques) it is tightly wound on the nose, so I afforded the sample an hour to really open. It offers predominantly red berry fruit, wild mint and traces of dried honey, more floral scents emerging, violet and iris flower blossoming with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, very well judged acidity, a very graceful and unpretentious Saint-Émilion, harmonious with a touch of white pepper enhancing the precise finish. This is a classically styled Beau-Séjour Bécot that conveys a brooding intensity, so I would give it several years in the cellar.’ 92-94 points, Neal Martin

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‘The 2020 Giscours was picked from September 21 to October 2. The huge difference in quality between the Grand Vin and Deuxième Vin is apparent on the nose of crystal-clear black fruit intermixed with raspberry, crushed stone and light crushed violet aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, taut and crisp, and quite tensile, leading to a classically styled, sapid finish. This is a classy Giscours with plenty of breeding. Drink 2024-2050.’ 93-95 points, Neal Martin

‘A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, the 2020 Giscours reveals a deep garnet-purple color and compelling notes of crushed redcurrants, plum preserves and Morello cherries, leading to hints of lavender, wild sage, damp soil and black truffles with a touch of licorice. The medium-bodied palate bursts with vibrant red and black fruits and lots of savory accents, supported by soft, very well managed tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. 2024 – 2044.’ 92-94+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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‘The 2020 Durfort-Vivens is an exotic, full-throttle wine. Heat and lack of rain between May and August yielded small berries with naturally concentrated juice. That comes through in the wine’s ripe, luscious personality. Yields were 32 hectoliters per hectare, lower than normal. Small berries yielded a Durfort of tremendous richness. I imagine the 2020 will need quite a bit of time in bottle to be at its best. Today, it is quite the powerhouse. The 2020 is aging 67% new oak and 33% terracotta vats.’ 93-95 points, Antonio Galloni

‘This has some pretty big tannins, sinewy and muscular, with the floral side of Cabernet on full display. Majors on savoury fruits, tobacco leaf and rosemary spices. A wine that shows a classically balanced Margaux, not an exuberant one. Takes its time, and as it opens up a sweeter raspberry puree appears showing texture and depth with slate minerality on the finish. This is serious and a little closed right now. 30% aged in amphoras (jarres) and 70% in new oak for 18 months ageing.’ 94 points, Jane Anson

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‘Excellent grip and tension through the palate, a well-judged and well-balanced Trottevieille, doing exactly as well as expected in a vintage that favours clay and limestone soils that keep freshness and focus. Elegant and sleek, plenty of tight blackberry fruit and a mouthwatering finish. Expands through the mid palate and then closes in on the finish, a confident wine where you feel the terroir is pulling the strings not the winemaker. Tasted twice, loved both times.’ 96-100 points, Jane Anson.

‘The 2020 Trotte Vieille is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 49% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon aging for an anticipated 16 months in French oak barrels, 80% new. The alcohol is 15%. Opaque purple-black in color, it bursts from the glass with vivacious notes of wild blueberries, ripe, juicy black plums and black raspberries, plus hints of lilacs, star anise and tar with a touch of wild thyme. The rich, full-bodied palate coats the mouth with black fruits and exotic spice sparks, framed by grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a fragrant earth note. Drink Date 2024 – 2044.’ 92-94 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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‘The 2020 Brane-Cantenac was picked September 14–28 and includes 13% vin de presse. It has exactly the same blend as last year since Henri Lurton and his team did not limit the Grand Vin to the 30-hectare plateau, a similar approach to Pichon-Baron when they reorganized their own vineyard. I allowed my sample an hour to open (during which I was discussing the wine with Lurton over Zoom). It has a beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, fresh mint and light bay leaf scents. I have sometimes found a little greenness on the nose, but there is none in 2020. The palate is very well balanced with finely chiseled, precise tannins and beautifully judged acidity. Harmonious and poised, this is an absolutely fantastic Brane-Cantenac, in my mind superior to the previous two vintages, exuding wonderful mineralité on the finish. A must-buy’. 95-97 points, Neal Martin

‘The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is deep, fleshy and savory. Strong Cabernet accents open first, leading to a core of inky dark fruit, lavender, spice, mint and chocolate. There is some new oak that needs to integrate, but time should take care of that. I especially admire the sense of classicism and energy here. This is a superb showing from Brane-Cantenac and the team led by Henri Lurton.’ 94-96 points, Antonio Galloni

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‘The 2020 Pichon-Lalande has a backward nose similar to that of its neighbor Pichon-Baron, and so I decanted the bottle for 45 minutes. It then revealed gorgeous scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow, seaweed (Japanese nori) and wild mint. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and gentle but insistent grip. Very intense but not ripe; there is a coolness about this Pauillac that I like, while the finish is very classically styled and leaves behind a persistent, slightly briny aftertaste. This is a magnificent, cerebral Pichon-Lalande that will deserve serious aging and the patience of anyone still waiting for The Cure’s new album. Tasted three times, including directly from the château. Drink: 2027- 2055.’ 96-98 points, Neal Martin

‘Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande begins on a single, well-defined, wonderfully pure note of ripe blackcurrants, opening out to a melody of redcurrant jelly, kirsch, ripe blackberries and tar, with emerging suggestions of dark chocolate, cardamom, ground cloves and violets, with a waft of black truffles. Medium-bodied, tightly wound and with loads of fantastically nuanced black fruit layers, it has a rock-solid frame of finely grained tannins and bags of freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. The blend this year is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. 2026 – 2050.’ 95-97 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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‘The 2020 Lynch-Bages contains proportionately more Merlot in the blend this year (31%) and will be aged for 18 months in 75% new oak. It has an intriguing bouquet, quite complex and classic in style, featuring tightly wound black fruit mixed with cedar, mint and touches of the estuary. One sniff and you know that the vines are in close proximity to the sea. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive weight on the entry, the tannins almost immediately coating the mouth (the IPT is 93, fairly high). But everything remains balanced thanks to the fine acidic thread, and it begins to firm up, becoming quite structured and, dare I say, reminiscent of Latour toward the finish. This is a Lynch-Bages that clearly will deserve long-term aging because there is real substance to this wine, and that will only increase during élevage. This is a great Lynch-Bages. The Cazes family should build a new winery to celebrate. Drink 2027-2055.’ 94-96 points, Neal Martin

‘The 2020 Lynch-Bages is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aging for around 18 months in French oak barriques, 75% new. It has an alcohol of 13.41%, a pH of 3.73 and an IPT (tannin index) of 93. Opaque purple-black in color, it leaps from the glass with notes of crushed blackberries, cassis and boysenberries, plus touches of garrigue, red roses and cedar chest with hints of graphite and black olives. The medium-bodied palate has a rock-solid frame of ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness supporting the tight-knit black fruit and earthy flavors, finishing long and mineral laced. Drink: 2027 – 2050.’ 94-96 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

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‘The 2020 Clinet (a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) has an opaque purple-black color, needing a little coaxing to unleash bold, powerful notes of plum preserves, blueberry compote and black raspberries, followed by suggestions of cracked black pepper, menthol, cedar chest and rose oil with a hint of licorice. The big, rich, full-bodied palate is a powerhouse, bursting with impactful black and blue fruit preserves flavors, supported by ripe, rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and fantastically perfumed. 2027 – 2057.’ 96-98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

‘This is extremely polished with ultra fine tannins that are so exquisite, giving this a seamless and weightless mouth feel. Medium-bodied, extremely long and harmonious.’ 96-97 points, James Suckling

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‘Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Pape Clement comes barreling out of the glass with bold notes of cassis, plum preserves and licorice, giving way to scents of cedar chest, crushed rocks, charcoal and pencil lead. The medium to full-bodied palate is tightly coiled with beautiful tension and a firm, finely grained texture locking in the layers of black fruits and minerals, finishing with great length and energy. The blend this year is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, aging mainly in French oak barriques, 66% new, with about 10% aging in large oak foudres. The wine will spend approximately 18 months in barrels. Drink: 2028 – 2060.’ 96-98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

‘The 2020 Pape Clément is so impressive. Red cherry, plum, cedar, mint, tobacco, blood orange and rose petal all build as the 2020 opens in the glass. Vibrant and beautifully delineated, the 2020 has a ton to offer. The 2020 exudes purity, energy and breathtaking balance. It is one of the finest recent vintages I can remember tasting.’ 95-97 points, Antonio Galloni

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‘The 2020 Pichon Baron underwent an early picking with relatively low yields. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot, it has a very tight nose at first that demands 15–20 minute coaxing in the glass. It eventually reveals enticing blackberries, blueberries and hints of balsamic and undergrowth, all very precise; crushed rock scents surface with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, fine-grained tannins and touches of hoisin toward a dense but structured finish of unerring symmetry. Tasted from test tube sample and regular 75cl bottle. Drink: 2028-2050.’ 95-97 points, Neal Martin

‘The 2020 Pichon-Longueville Baron is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot aging for an estimated 18 months in French oak barrels, 70% new. The production of the grand vin represents 48% of the harvest this year. Opaque purple-black in color, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notions of blackberry pie, preserved plums and crème de cassis, plus suggestions of Chinese five spice, chocolate mint, graphite and cedar chest with a touch of violets. The medium-bodied palate is built like a brick house, featuring firm, ripe, grainy tannins and bold freshness to support the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long and spicy. 2027 – 2052.’ 95-97+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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‘Opaque purple-black in color, it needs significant aeration and swirling to coax out evocative notes of black cherry preserves, raspberry pie, blackcurrant pastilles and damp soil, before launching into gorgeous floral and spice notions of red roses, cinnamon stick, star anise and cardamom, with a waft of crushed rocks. The medium to full-bodied palate reveals a lot of depth and polish, delivering mouth-coating red and black fruits with loads of fragrant earth and floral sparks, framed by velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral tinged. This is a singular, fascinating expression of the vintage and highly recommended!96-98+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

‘The 2020 Pontet-Canet is captivating effort from the Tesseron family. The intensely perfumed, savory bouquet is immediately alluring. Deep and substantial, the 2020 is luxuriously rich from start to finish. Swaths of incisive tannin wrap around a core of dark red cherry fruit, gravel, dried herbs and rose petal, and a whole range of floral and savory accents lend aromatic presence. The Pontet-Canet is often a charmer en primeur, but the 2020 comes across as quite serious. I can’t wait to see how it develops. As always, one of the signatures of Pontet-Canet is a high proportion of Merlot vis-à-vis its peers among top Left Bank châteaux that lends tremendous midpalate weight. In 2020 production is within historical norms. Mildew pressure was high, but not as severe as in 2018, when two-thirds of the crop was lost in a single day. Harvest took place September 14–30, a bit more of a compact time frame than normal, and a good 7–10 days earlier than is typically the case. Aged in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% once-used barrels’ 95-97 points, Antonio Galloni

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‘The 2020 Canon nailed it this year, the best since the benchmark 2015/2016 vintages. It has one of those bouquets that stops the clock thanks to its breathtaking delineation and focus, fragrant black cherries, bilberry, shucked oyster shell and crushed rock aromas. It is cool, calm and collected. The palate possesses exquisite definition, armed with simply crystalline red fruit matched with a perfect silver bead of acidity. There is tangible tension from the start and it fans out gloriously toward the pixelated finish. This brilliant Canon should offer 20–30 years of drinking pleasure, probably more. Chapeau! 2026 – 2055.’ 96-98 points, Neal Martin

‘The 2020 Canon is a blend of 68% Merlot and 32% Cabernet Franc, aging for 18 months in French oak, 50% new. It weighs in with 14.5% alcohol and a pH of 3.53. Deep garnet-purple colored, it bursts from the glass with vivacious notes of Morello cherries, redcurrant jelly, wild blueberries and black raspberries, plus hints of powdered cinnamon, clove oil, star anise and dusty red soil. The medium to full-bodied palate is an exercise in grace, delivering exquisitely ripe, finely pixilated tannins and bold freshness to support the tight-knit black, red and blue fruit layers, finishing long with loads of exotic spices and mineral sparks. An exhilarating triumph!’ 98-100 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

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‘A fantastic second wine with a dense center palate of tight, racy tannins and dark fruit. Spicy and almost salty. It’s full, yet very compact with excellent structure and length. Very serious.’ 95-96 points, James Suckling

‘The 2020 Croix Canon is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, aging for 18 months in French oak, 30% new. It weighs in with 14.5% alcohol and a pH of 3.53. Deep garnet-purple colored, it drifts out of the glass with alluring scents of plum preserves, blueberry pie and mulberries, plus touches of potpourri, Chinese five spice and fallen leaves. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of juicy black and blue fruits, supported by plush tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long and spicy. Drink Date, 2024 – 2037.’ 90-92 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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‘Deep purple-black in color, it pops with explosive scents of ripe red and black currants, black cherry preserves and black raspberries, followed by sparks of violets, wild sage, pencil lead and clove oil, with emerging hints of iron ore and damp soil. The medium-bodied palate has amazing elegance and grace contrasted by jaw-dropping energy, featuring a firm frame of finely grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with a whole firework display of mineral nuances. I love the way this Cos d’Estournel shimmies and shines – a unique vintage signature expressed so beautifully at this estate! 2028 – 2060.’ 96-98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

‘The 2020 Cos d’Estournel is a very different proposition to the Les Pagodes, more so than in other years. Much more intense on the nose of intense black fruit, it is beautifully defined, with enticing scents of blackberry, Dorset plum and topnotes of blueberry and briar. After 30 minutes in the glass, it develops more Saint-Estèphe-like traits: freshly tilled soil, cigar box and touches of warm gravel. There is an openness to these inviting aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins (so different from the “iron girders” of yore). There is freshness and a sense of light in this Cos d’Estournel, though the backbone remains in situ on the cedar and mint finish (a nod to neighboring Pauillac, perhaps), then a lingering marine/seaweed note on the aftertaste. This is a finely crafted, very succinct Cos d’Estournel that may well be hiding something up its sleeve for after bottling, and I suspect it will gain more spine during its barrel aging. 2025 – 2060.’ 95-97 points, Neal Martin

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‘The 2020 Pavie Macquin is one of the most exotic Saint-Émilions of the year. Inky red fruit, lavender, rose petal, mint, plum and kirsch all open in the glass. Succulent and racy to the core, the 2020 possesses mind-blowing intensity yet remains fresh, vibrant and full of energy. It is one of the most alluring and complete recent vintages I can remember tasting. In a word: dazzling. Drink: 2030 – 2055.’ 95-98 points, Antonio Galloni


‘The 2020 Pavie Macquin has an opaque purple-black color, exploding from the glass with an intoxicating perfume of violets, Ceylon tea, forest floor and eucalyptus over a core of blackberry preserves, Morello cherries and stewed plum, plus wafts of crushed rocks and unsmoked cigars. The medium to full-bodied palate shimmers with energetic red and black fruit layers and loads of floral and earthy sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins and amazing tension, finishing with a long-lingering perfume of black fruits. A real head-turner! Drink: 2025 – 2055.’ 96-98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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‘A wine of stature and breeding, the 2020 Clos Fourtet is absolutely breathtaking from barrel. A rush of lavender, graphite, spice, licorice and espresso hits the senses. Vibrant and powerful, yet also remarkably light on its feet, the 2020 has so much of offer. All the elements are so crisp, so beautifully defined. The 2020 is all class. It is one of the most promising wines of this young vintage and a fabulous effort from the Cuvelier family. Don’t miss it. 2035 – 2060.’ 96-98 points, Antonio Galloni


‘The 2020 Clos Fourtet is a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 15th to 30th September and weighing in with an alcohol of 14.5% and a pH of 3.6. It is being aged for 14-18 months in 50% new oak barrels, 48% second-fill barrels and 2% amphora. Deep garnet-purple in color, it comes bounding out of the glass with ripe, expressive notes of crushed black plums, juicy black berries and black cherry preserves, followed by hints of ground cloves, cinnamon stick, camphor and cedar chest. The medium to full-bodied palate is jam-packed with bright, vivacious black fruits, framed by velvety tannins and bags of freshness, finishing with great length. 2027 – 2057.’ 96-98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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‘Much like the Deuxième Vin, the 2020 Château Margaux has a discreet nose; it is not interested in fireworks or in dazzling the taster. At first unassuming, it unfolds with black cherries, blueberry and signature crushed violet aromas, all delivered with the delineation and purity expected from an estate of this standing. Looking deeper, one finds touches of potpourri and India ink. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and crisp acidity, perhaps more noticeable on the 2020 compared to the previous two vintages. This Margaux is surfeit with tension and coiled-up, nascent energy, then it tightens up toward a linear finish that strangely recalls a Pauillac, thanks to a subtle graphite note that lingers on the saline aftertaste. This is a classically styled Château Margaux that will gain weight and depth during its élevage. Cerebral and sophisticated, and one of the wines of the Left Bank in 2020. Drink: 2026-2060.’ 97-99 points, Neal Martin

‘The 2020 Château Margaux is composed of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, accounting for 36% of the harvest. The alcohol weighs in at 13.5%, the IPT is 80 and the pH is 3.67. Displaying an opaque purple-black color, it needs a lot of air, time and patience to coax out the youthfully reticent nose of blueberry preserves, blackcurrant pastilles and Black Forest cake, followed by suggestions of lavender, clove oil, iron ore and menthol with wafts of star anise and candied violets. The medium to full-bodied palate is wonderfully opulent, featuring tightly wound yet beautifully pure layers of black fruits and earthy nuances within a solid structure of firm yet velvety tannins and exhilarating freshness, finishing with very long-lingering earth and mineral notes. Another stunning expression of the vintage by Philippe Bascaules and his team—bravo!’ 97-99 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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‘The 2020 Pavillon Rouge shows just how compelling the vintage is. Rich red berry fruit, red plum, cedar, spice and licorice meld together in a sumptuous, racy yet impeccably balanced wine that is flat-out delicious. It displays tremendous reserve, freshness and nuance, and clean veins of salinity that refresh the finish. The blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The Pavillon Rouge represents 31% of the harvest. Drink: 2025-2040.’ 92-94 points, Antonio Galloni

‘The 2020 Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux has an understated nose at first, gradually opening to offer raspberry and wild strawberry and subtle iodine scents in the background, precise but not wishing to create too much of a fuss. The palate is medium-bodied with a pliant opening. There is a discreet lushness conveyed by this Pavillon Rouge. At its core is brambly red fruit laced with white pepper and sour cherry, and just a faint pencil lead and black olive note right on the finish. I suspect that this will be a more approachable Pavillon Rouge compared to the 2018 and 2019, but it will certainly not shortchange anyone in terms of elegance. Drink: 2024 – 2038’ 91-93 points, Neal Martin

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‘Vivid colours, and the aromatics grab hold straight away. This is intense and concentrated, elegant, balanced and classical, all about the texture which is velvety and seductive with softly-grained tannins. Moves oh so slowly through the palate with dozens of layers to get hold of. The overall feel is precise, slow and seductive, with appellation and estate signature at every turn. Sappy, hawthorn freshness, rosemary, redcurrant, tobacco, cigar box and dark chocolate shavings on the finish. 3.77pH, 78IPT, 55% of overall production, with 13% press wine. Drinking Window 2028 – 2040.’ 97 points, Jane Anson

‘Closed, tight, dense to smell, blackcurranty, warm, almost northern Rhône smoky and Côte-Rôtie-like! A rich, generous, ample wine, with a suggestion of Rubens to its profile, yet contained and fresh, too, and very fine in tannin. Notably large-scale Palmer. Ripe, generous, juicy, mouthfilling, powerful, and spicy, with great length of flavor, something almost licoricy in its taste, long and warm and vital … and Rhône-like, and with great resonant length, too. A most individual, grand, and immediately seductive expression of the vineyard. 2030–50+.’ 95-97 points, Michael Schuster

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‘The 2020 Léoville–Las Cases was picked September 12–29 and matured in 80% new oak with 13.68° alcohol. The Cabernet Sauvignon is in the driving seat on the nose, offering almost saturnine black fruit, pencil shavings and cedar, perhaps one of the most Pauillac-like bouquets that I have noticed on this wine out of barrel, which is no surprise considering its vines adjoin that appellation. The palate is medium-bodied, strict and linear at first, that Pauillac tincture the continuing theme thanks to conspicuous graphite/pencil lead notes interwoven into the black fruit. There is plenty of freshness here and impressive weight, yet no sense of heaviness toward the finish. Drink 2030-2070.’ 96-98 points, Neal Martin

‘The 2020 Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot, aging in 80% new French oak barriques, weighing in with an alcohol of 13.68%, a pH of 3.8 and an IPT (tannins index) of 79. The Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from the 21st to the 27th of September, the Merlot from the 12th to the 15th of September and the Cabernet Franc on the 18th and 19th of September. With an opaque purple-black color, it slowly unfurls to reveal beguiling notes of fresh blackcurrants, Morello cherries, candied violets and dark chocolate, giving way to an undercurrent of crushed rocks, unsmoked cigars, clove oil and fragrant earth. The medium-bodied palate is a powerhouse of energy, delivering tightly wound red and black fruits, mineral and floral layers, supported by fantastic tension and incredibly ripe, silt-like tannins. The finish has jaw-dropping fragrance and depth. Drink: 2026 – 2061.’ 96-98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

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‘The 2020 Haut-Brion is shaping up to be one of the wines of the year. Substance, depth and textural intensity elevate Haut-Brion into the realm of the sublime in 2020. All the elements are so wonderfully balanced. Inky dark fruit, gravel, lavender, violet and dark spice build as the 2020 gradually opens with some aeration. Wow. Drink 2035-2070.’ 97-99 points, Antonio Galloni

‘The 2020 Haut-Brion is a blend of 42.8% Merlot, 39.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17.5% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 7th to 29th September, with an estimated alcohol of 15% and a pH of 3.8. Opaque purple-black colored, it leaps from the glass with a first wave of vibrant black raspberries, ripe blackberries and mulberries scents, followed by a powerful core of warm cassis, dark chocolate and violets, before bursting into an array of crushed rocks, iron ore, tree bark and black truffles notes. The concentrated, densely packed, full-bodied palate is not in the least bit heavy, delivering a refreshing backbone of red berry and dried herbs suggestions, framed by seamless acidity and very finely grained tannins, finishing on an epically long, fragrant earth note. Simply stunning.’ 98-100 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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‘The 2020 La Mission Haut-Brion was picked September 7–29. It has a very intense and beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, wild strawberry, wilted violet petals and hints of orange blossom. It unfolded with aeration as I examined it side-by-side against its neighbor over the course of an hour. The exquisitely balanced palate is lightly spiced on the entry and segues into a very structured midpalate that frames the weight of pixelated black fruit. That spicy theme continues and is exaggerated toward a finish that fans out wonderfully. This is a less alcoholic La Mission Haut-Brion compared to recent vintages, a bit “cooler” and streamlined, yet no less intense and satisfying. An enthralling wine in the making from Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team. Drink: 2028-2060.’ 97-99 points, Neal Martin

‘Composed of 48.6% Merlot, 43.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8.2% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 7th to 29th September, the 2020 La Mission Haut-Brion has an alcohol of 14.7%. It needs considerable swirling and coaxing to reveal slowly emerging scents of freshly crushed blackcurrants, Morello cherries, wild blueberries and forest floor, leading to suggestions of violets, baker’s chocolate and cardamom with wafts of dusty soil and oolong tea. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with impactful, fresh red, black and blue fruit layers, supported by impressive freshness and fantastically ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing very long and fragrant. A stunning expression of this vintage!’ 97-99 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

£1,512 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Quintus is a blend of 62.5% Merlot and 37.5% Cabernet Franc, weighing in with an alcohol of 15.4%. Displaying a deep purple-black color, it leaps from the glass with bold notes of crushed blackberries, boysenberries and stewed plums, plus suggestions of chocolate mint, clove oil, lilacs and star anise. The full-bodied palate is densely laden with rich black fruits and floral accents, framed by well-balanced acidity and finely grained tannins, finishing with great length and impressive energy. Judging from this barrel sample, this is the finest, most complex and complete Quintus yet—bravo! 2026 – 2050.’ 95-97 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

‘A big, velvety textured wine, especially in the vintage, the 2020 Château Quintus offers a gorgeous array of pure crème de cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as leafy herbs, graphite, and chocolate. These all carry to a full-bodied Saint-Emilion with a round, mouth-filling texture, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This estate has been firing on all cylinders of late, and this should be in the same realm as the 2016, 2018, and I suspect, the 2019.’ 94-96 points, Jeb Dunnuck

£468 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

‘The 2020 Figeac was picked from September 4 to October 1 and underwent vinification free of SO2. Deep purple in color, it is initially backward and sultry on the nose, necessitating 60 minutes before it really opens. It then reveals intense scents of cranberry, raspberry and touches of cassis intermingling with white pepper. Given that the Cabernets comprise 63% of the blend, this has a typical Left Bank personality but with Right Bank precocity. The palate conveys a sense of vibrancy and vigor on the entry, a dash of black pepper and allspice mingling with the mélange of red and black fruit. The tannins are satin-like in texture, and there’s dark berry fruit and hints of pencil lead and black truffle shavings toward the Pomerol-like finish. This is a magnificent Figeac from head winemaker Frédéric Faye and his team. This sample really came into its own 2–3 hours after opening. 2030 – 2065.’ 96-98 points, Neal Martin

‘The 2020 Figeac is a blend of 37% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, weighing in with an alcohol of 13.9% and a pH of 3.7. Opaque purple-black colored, it bursts from the glass with a beautifully vibrant initial wave of pure, pristine black fruits: fresh black cherries, juicy black plums and ripe blackcurrants. With swirling, a whole array of floral and spice notes is unleashed: lavender, ground cloves, cumin seed, cardamom and rose oil. The medium-bodied palate is surprisingly graceful for the intensity of aromas, featuring ethereal, perfumed black berry notes, framed by a seamless line of freshness and ripe, grainy tannins, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. Far more cerebral and quietly introspective than it is hedonic, this could only be Figeac. 2027 – 2057.’ 96-98+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

£936 per 6 bottle case in bond | Find out more

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Due to the high quality of the vintage and limited quantities, demand is typically very high.
Get in touch with our Fine Wine team to enquire about the availability of a wine and request to order.







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