En Primeur Bordeaux 2020

Pauillac - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to shopping basket] Batailley Pauillac £168 6x75cl 93-95 94-95 89-91 94 88-90 -
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The 2020 Batailley is a potent, rustic Pauillac with huge tannins that clamp down on the mid-palate. Super-ripe black cherry fruit pushes through as the 2020 struggles to open. Today the aromatics are muted while the fruit profile and tannins suggest summer heat was a challenge.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

A punchy red with blackberry and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, yet extremely refined and polished with a long finish. 50% merlot, 42% cabernet sauvignon and 8% petit verdot.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Batailley is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, aging for 12-14 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. The alcohol is 13.5%. Deep purple-black in color, it offers up notes of fresh blackberries, kirsch and cassis, leading to nuances of pencil shavings, dried Mediterranean herbs and fertile loam. The medium-bodied palate has well-managed, lightly chewy tannins with just enough freshness and straightforward black fruits, finishing with an herbal lift.

Score: 89 - 91 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2037

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

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2042

he 2020 Batailley is quintessential Pauillac on the nose of very focused black fruit infused with cedar and graphite. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, grippy tannins and a fine bead of acidity. Classic in style, this is lightly spiced, showing impressive depth toward the finish. This estate has enjoyed a good run of form in recent years and this 2020 continues that trend. If you love the style of Batailley, you will love this.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2055

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Dark fruit with cassis notes and a graphite edge. Fine attack, juicy and refreshing but backed by a firmness of structure behind. Solid, subdued and distinctly Pauillac. Still relative value. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] Carruades de Lafite (2nd wine of Ch Lafite) Pauillac £1,062 6x75cl Sold Out 89-91 96-97 91-93 92 - 92-94
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This is very classically structured with a palate that starts off slowly. Full-bodied and chewy with a soft, creamy texture and a long finish. Savory. A touch austere. 52% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot and 3% cabernet franc, the rest petit verdot.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

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.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2042

More Merlot than in 2019, but as you find repeatedly in 2020, the Cabernet Sauvignon plays an oversized role in the flavour profile. This has a ton of impact and intensity, coffee and black chocolate with angular tannins that will benefit from softening over ageing. Plenty of Pauillac signature here, with liquorice root and tobacco leaf. A slate texture gives definition to the end of play. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025 - 2038

The 2020 Carruades de Lafite is clean and precise on the nose, the undergrowth/autumn leaf scents permeating the predominantly black fruit, and light peppermint aromas unfurling with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a fine bead of acidity. Quite linear in style, particularly toward the finish, where it seems to not want to put a foot wrong. A Deuxième Vin that just needs to loosen its tie and let it all hang out a bit more.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2034

A baby Lafite with its lead pencil and cassis aromatics as well as beautiful elegance, the 2020 Carruades De Lafite is medium-bodied and has a precise, elegant mouthfeel, beautiful tannins, and a great finish. As with all the wines from this incredible château, its balance and elegance are what set it apart, and it's one of the finest second wines out there. The blend is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, which is a classic blend for this cuvée.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Intense colour. Fresh and zesty with plenty of sappy fruit. Red- and dark-berry fruit notes provide aromatic appeal. Hint of mint as well. Palate long and lithe but structured with fine but grainy tannin. Power but charm as well. (JL)

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Clerc Milon Pauillac £345 6x75cl 91-93 94-95 92-94 - 90-92 93-95
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The 2020 Clerc Milon is soft, fruity and supple. Inky red fruit, plum, lavender, rose petal and spice all meld together in the glass. The 2020 is not terribly complex, but it is open-knit, radiant, and incredibly appealing, even in the early going. I suspect it will offer quite a bit of pleasure right out of the gate. The proportion of Merlot is a bit higher in this year's blend, which no doubt contributes to the wine's appeal. Tasted two times.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

This is very full and layered with lots of blackcurrant and walnut and hints of spice. It’s full-bodied and chewy, yet the tannins are polished and energetic.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Clerc Milon - a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot with just a splash of Carmenere - has a deep garnet-purple color, opening with notes of tar, unsmoked cigars, bouquet garni and graphite, giving way to a core of ripe black and red currants, boysenberries and tree bark, plus a touch of black olives. The medium-bodied palate delivers fantastic tension and impressively ripe, fine-grained tannins to support the crunchy, energetic black fruit flavors, finishing with a lively herbal lift.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

The 2020 Clerc Milon has a crisp, well-defined bouquet that you might suspect derives from a cooler growing season. Mainly black fruit here, along with cedar and light sea spray/estuarine scents, unfolding nicely in the glass but always keeping something back. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. An elegant rather than powerful Clerc Milon, with a slightly ferrous, well-structured but never grippy finish and a saline aftertaste. Give this 4–5 years in bottle. Classic Pauillac through and through.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2045

The top wine 2020 Château Clerc Milon checks in as 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot and Carmenère, and it's another beauty, offering both richness and elegance. Ripe currants, cassis, damp earth, graphite, and crushed stone-like minerality define the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a more focused, pure texture, plenty of expansive richness on the mid-palate, and ripe, building tannins. This beautifully layered, pure wine shows the style of the vintage nicely.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. First vintage for Caroline Artaud (ex Fourcas-Hosten). Cask sample. Dense and profound with layers of fruit and tannin. Subdued nose with a floral note. Tannins powdery but very finely layered. Exudes power but is harmonious at the same time. (JL)

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Duhart Milon Pauillac £342 6x75cl 90-92 95-96 91-93 95 90-92 94-96
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The 2020 Duhart-Milon is soft, pliant and wonderfully seductive. Strong Cabernet aromatics open first, lending quite a bit of savory nuance. Bright red/purplish berry fruit, spice, cedar and earthy notes show the vibrant side of this Pauillac's personality. The 2020 deftly balances ripeness with energy. It's a terrific example of the year. Yields were 36.5 hectoliters per hectare, more or less in line with the recent past. The 2020 is the first vintage made in the new cellar.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2040

This is so refined with beautiful currant, berry and some subtle chocolate and coffee. It’s full and very subtle with fine tannins that have a long finish. Such purity and finesse with structure. Fresh and savory. 72% cabernet sauvignon and 28% merlot.p

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

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%.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2039

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.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2042

Milon The 2020 Duhart-Milon has a delightful, elegant bouquet, an almost equal mixture of red and black fruit laced with sous-bois, cigar box and touches of curry leaf in the background. It is a little timid at first, but it seemed to grow over the 90 minutes I observed this wine. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a slightly fleshier Duhart-Milon compared to the obdurate, tannic wines of yore. It is gentle in some ways, revealing elegant brambly red fruit mixed with cedar and mint on the finish. Fine, although I would have liked just a tad more grip and heft.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

Lots of tobacco, damp earth, chocolate, and lead pencil notes define the 2020 Château Duhart-Milon. Medium to full-bodied, it has a beautifully balanced mouthfeel, loads of blue and black fruits, and ripe yet certainly present tannins. Its relatively plush, rounded style is not too dissimilar from the 2016, but it offers ample structure as well. The blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot, and it hit 13% natural alcohol. This is another classic, concentrated, impressive wine from this team.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot. Cask sample. Power and definition but elegance as well. Tight and retrained initially then opens to blackcurrant with aeration. Fruit dense on the palate, a profusion of super-fine tannins providing a velvety texture as well as freshness. Long ageing. Possibly the best Duhart yet. (JL)

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Grand Puy Ducasse Pauillac £150 6x75cl 92-94 93-94 87-89 90 92-94 93-96
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The 2020 Grand Puy Ducasse is another fabulous wine from a château that has been on an impressive streak over the last few years. Red fruit, graphite, mint, dried herbs and blood orange. The interplay of richness and energy is compelling. Even as a very young barrel sample, the oak is so well integrated. The 2020 is a striking wine loaded with potential. The long, seamless finish is a thing of beauty. Tasted two times. I very much like the energy here.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2050

Lots of blackberry and blueberry character with impressive tannins that are polished and very powerful, yet they show focus and polish. Chewy and intense. Well done.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Grand-Puy-Ducasse reveals a deep purple-black color and notes of crème de cassis, blackberry pie, espresso and black olives, giving way to nuances of cedar chest, graphite and wild sage, with a suggestion of Sichuan pepper. The palate is medium-bodied with a sturdy frame of chewy tannins and just enough freshness, taking a bit of a flavor-dip in the mid-palate, finishing a little short and firm.

Score: 87 - 89 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2036

Some grilled smoke edges to the aromatics on the first nose. This is extremely tight in its tannins, pretty austere and you need to take a beat to allow this to settle. Cassis and blueberry fruit notes help bring some juice among the tight muscular structure. The oak is a little evident overall, but this is carefully made with promise. Harvest September 15 to October 1.

Score: 90 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025 - 2036

The 2020 Grand Puy Ducasse is a wonderful effort from this Pauillac that has always threatened to pulls its socks up. The nose is crisp and focused, featuring vivacious black fruit, cedar and light minty aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and very well-judged acidity, taut at first but fanning out in a sophisticated fashion that I have not noticed on a Grand Puy Ducasse before. This might well be the dark horse of Pauillac. Chapeau! Tasted three times with consistent notes.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2045

The deep, inky-hued 2020 Château Grand-Puy Ducasse has a seriously impressive, balanced, full-bodied, structured style that's going to reward patience. Pure crème de cassis, black raspberry, graphite, lead pencil, and spring flower notes all define the bouquet, and it has plenty of background oak, a dense, chewy mid-palate, lots of tannins, and a great finish. It's going to need to be forgotten for 7-8 years but will evolve for 30 years or more.

Score: 93 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

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