Bordeaux 2020 | Coming Soon
Every year, April and May herald the new Bordeaux En Primeur campaign for the fine wine trade. While this has been another year of no visits to the region, happily a highly effective new system is now in full swing.
TASTING BORDEAUX 2020
The Bordelais have ensured that both we and the major critics have the best possible access to the freshest possible samples and as much face time as needed to understand the minutiae and nuance of the 2020 vintage. The result? Bar a few chateaux, who are holding back their samples, we will be able to give you just as much information as in any other year to guide your choices.
Around 130 samples were received, allowed to rest, and then tasted by our full team last week (in a safe, socially distanced environment of course) and we are looking forward to tasting another 60+ early next week. Our first impressions are of a hugely successful vintage. Buying Director, David Roberts MW, describes, “a deep richness of fruit... suave, silky tannins and the light touch of gentle and delicate acidity.”
James Suckling is, as always, first out of the blocks among the critics. Having tasted 600+ wines, he is a fan, commenting: “I am impressed with the overall quality. I had heard before I started tasting barrel samples that the vintage was heterogenous, but 90% of the wines I have reviewed show an outstanding quality level from first growths to petit chateaux.”
Jancis Robinson and team have also just shared their first thoughts: "...it’s clear that, on the basis of these cask samples anyway, some stunning wines have been produced in 2020. On the left bank, they tend to be made by producers who can afford to be extremely selective in their final blends. There is a host of very successful wines on the Merlot-dominated right bank too – not all of them likely to be ridiculously expensive, although no prices have yet been released." We expect the other critics’ reviews shortly.
THE GROWING SEASON
A mild winter was followed by a particularly rainy spring, which replenished the water tables but required the chateaux to work tirelessly against the risk of mildew. The summer was hot and dry, but not scorching and good diurnal variation allowed the grapes to ripen beautifully and retain their freshness.
Clearly it was not a straightforward year in the vineyard, adapting to the weather and the restrictions brought by the pandemic, but the result is testament to the deep knowledge and detailed attention that each chateau devotes to their vines. Nicolas Audebert of Chx Canon, Rauzan Segla and Berliquet compared the 2020 vintage to a gruelling close fought rugby match, with victory secured by a single point in the last play of the game, making it all the sweeter for it.
We cannot wait to taste the next set of samples and share our more detailed thoughts with you. If you already have a hit list of wines you are interested in, or an overall budget in mind, please send it through to your account manager or firstname.lastname@example.org. The word on the grapevine is that some chateaux will release from 10th May onwards, with the grander estates releasing in early to mid June.