En Primeur Bordeaux 2020

Dry Whites - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Aile d'Argent Dry Whites £432 6x75cl 91-93 - - 93 - -
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The first year made entirely under the direction of Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy. I was expecting this to be the wine in the Mouton stable with the most evident transition from Philippe Dhalluin, and certainly you see a little less exuberance, a little more sculpting rather than width, with sea breeze and citrus aromatics. Plenty of bright pineapple and apricot flavours, with nuance and balance, and the salty cracker finish that you always want from this wine. Will be bottled in June 2021. Harvest began on August 24 (same as 2011, joint earliest on record) through to 28. No more malolactic during winemaking as you saw (usually just 5-10%) under Dhalluin, and no skin contact, but the rich mouthfeel is instead found through a higher proportion of Sauvignon Gris, and no longer co-fermented with the Sauvignon Blanc.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2022 - 2030

The 2020 Aile d’Argent was picked early, from August 24, to keep the acidity, with no skin contact and no malolactics in the final blend. The winemaking team used all the Sauvignon Gris to obtain richness, and the wine will be bottled in early June. It has an alluring, perfumed bouquet of honeysuckle, orange pith and lime scents, very well defined and the oak skillfully integrated. The palate is smooth in texture, displaying just the right amount of bitterness to lend edge on the entry, and quite tangy compared to recent vintages, featuring lime, melon and gooseberry notes, touches of lemongrass coming through toward the finish. Delicious.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2030

[Add to shopping basket] Blanc de Lynch Bages Dry Whites £180 6x75cl 89 95 - 94 - -
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Really fresh and vivid with sliced grapefruit, lemon, green apple and white peach. Apricot, too. Medium to full body with phenolic texture and a long, vivid finish. 70% sauvignon, 20% semillon and 10% muscadelle. Drink or hold.

Score: 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Less of the citrus flavours of recent vintages and more apricot and nectarine stone fruits, taking its cue from Sémillon and Muscadelle. Relaxed and effortless while still maintaining both lift and tension, with a saline wet stone lick on the finish. I tasted the 2019 on the same day, as it had just been bottled, and the 2020 is less of a classic Lynch Bages Blanc, but still utterly delicious, with clear weight and impression through the mid palate. 3.35pH. 50% new oak for six months. Fermentation below 20°C. A yield of 40hl/ha.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2022 - 2032

The 2020 Blanc de Lynch-Bages, fermented in temperature-controlled barrels, raised in 50% new oak and bottled in April 2021, has a well-defined bouquet, scents of yellow plum intermingling with gooseberries and crushed stone. The palate is well balanced; the 20% Sémillon transcending its “bit part” in the blend by furnishing this white Bordeaux with a slightly honeyed texture and subtle tropical notes of white peach and passion fruit. This is all counterbalanced by a fine bead of acidity, and though it does not possess enormous length, there is a precision that is very appealing.

Score: 89 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2030

[Add to shopping basket] Clarte de Haut Brion Dry Whites £432 6x75cl - - - 92 - -
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Powerfully rich with excellent weight through the mid palate. Silky in texture, seductive but balanced by an enjoyable touch of green apple and steel through the close of play. Harvest from 19th to 28th August.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2021 - 2027

[Add to shopping basket] Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Dry Whites £398 6x75cl 91-93 96-97 - - - -
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A dense, creamy DC white with lots of rich cooked-apple, mineral, cream and praline character. It’s full and very layered with chewy intensity and a long, bitter-lemon and almost honey finish. Pretty phenolic tension, too.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc was cropped at 43hl/ha and will spend 18 months in barrel. It has a very composed bouquet of green apple, kiwi fruit, crushed rock and dried white flower aromas. There is nothing extravagant on the nose, but it is beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine bead of acidity, displaying light honeyed notes on the entry mixed with chamomile and almond and hints of marzipan. Very harmonious from start to finish, this is a refined and classy Domaine de Chevalier Blanc.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

[Add to shopping basket] Mission Haut Brion Blanc Dry Whites £2,880 6x75cl - - - 95 - -
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Fragrant white flowers, touches of lime blossom and slate-filled citrus. The acidity is fresh, but this is more about texture, and it is extremely successful. Harvest from 19th to 28th August. The minerality, together with freshly cut rosemary and sage notes, is accentuated as it opens, which is an excellent indicator of how well this wine will age. Deft winemaking, as ever, proving why this is one of Bordeaux's best loved white wines. Tasted twice.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2022 - 2032

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