En Primeur Bordeaux 2020

Pomerol - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to shopping basket] Conseillante Pomerol £936 6x75cl Low Stock 96-98 98-99 - 96 94-97 96-98
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he 2020 La Conseillante is a supremely elegant, restrained wine that shows the continued move toward finesse here. Silky and gracious, it’s wonderfully classy from start to finish. Lavender, mint, spice and mocha complement the purplish berry fruit nicely, all framed by bright saline and mineral notes that lend energy. Today, the 2020 is quite reserved, with less opulence than some previous vintages. It's the sort of wine that is shy in its youth and then explodes with years in bottle. Yields were just under 40 hectoliters per hectare, very much in line with years like 2016, for example. Harvest took place September 4–19 for the Merlot and 21–30 for the Franc, more or less in line with what has become the norm of late. As usual, the malos were done in steel. Aging is 70% new oak, 27% once-used barrels and 3% amphora. It's a brilliant effort from Technical Director Marielle Cazaux and her team.

Score: 94 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2030

The balance and energy to this is very impressive with blackberry, black-olive, tar and walnut character. It’s full, but very compact with superb tannin quality that is intense, yet so fine-grained, building layers on the palate. A subtle and structured young wine. It really goes on and on.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

There are some beautifully fragrant floral aromatics here with concentration through the mid palate and effortless balance. A little more width and opulence in the 2019 perhaps, but here you get precision and purity, and a feeling of 2010 levels of concentration. An elegant 2020, bright, confident, bursting with life. 70% new oak. A yield of 39hl/ha. 3.67pH. Gravel and clay soils, and to keep freshness they left crop cover on the old vines but on the young ploughed it into the soil so as not to have too much competition for the water. Lowered canopy also but kept shade and leaves around the bunches to protect from the sun. Picked early morning from 7am to noon, harvest of Merlot September 4 to 17, and the Cabernet Franc on September 21 and 30.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2043

The 2020 La Conseillante was picked September 14–17 for the Merlot and September 21–30 for the Cabernet Franc (eight picking days), the yields coming in at 37hl/ha, and matured in 70% new oak. Of the 13 parcels, four underwent vinification intégrale this year. Iridescent purple in color. The nose makes an immediate impression, delivering pure and quite precocious black currants and crushed iris flowers; subtle touches of morello cherries develop with aeration. It is beautifully defined and the oak seamlessly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, ripe tannins that disguise the backbone of this exquisitely balanced Pomerol. A discreet crescendo leads to a pixelated finish of awe-inspiring persistency. The old "iron fist in a velvet glove" cliché rings true here. A deeply impressive and quite profound La Conseillante courtesy of Marielle Cazaux and her team.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029 - 2065

The 2020 Château La Conseillante is a blend of 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc that saw the Merlot brought in between September 4 and 17 and the Cabernet Franc from the 21st to the 30th of September. Still resting in 70% new barrels, it's a juicy, vibrant Pomerol in every sense and has a vivid purple color to go with a great nose of blueberries, cassis, spring flowers, and violets. Showing the vintage's rich, concentrated, yet also pure and straight style, this beauty is full-bodied, has flawless balance, and terrific tannins. It’s another gorgeous wine from Marielle Cazaux that will require a solid decade of bottle age, but it will see its 30th birthday in fine form.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Eglise Clinet Pomerol £1,405 6x75cl Low Stock 96-98 98-99 97-99 96 96-98 96-98
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The 2020 L'Eglise-Clinet is a towering wine. I am not sure what else to say. After having tasted hundreds of 2020s, L'Eglise-Clinet very clearly claims a stake for itself among the wines of the vintage. L'Eglise-Clinet can be a brute in its youth, but the 2020 is all finesse. Sweet red/purplish fruit, rose petal, blood orange and pomegranate are some of the nuances that emerge over time. Perhaps keeping the temperatures a bit cooler in fermentation explains the extraordinary finesse here. The 2020 simply can't be denied.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2060

Wonderfully bright, floral aromas with so much violet character. Such purity and focus. Ethereal on the nose already. Full-bodied, but very polished and deep with finesse and beauty. Incredible structure that fills the mouth.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 L'Eglise Clinet is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The Merlot was picked between the 11th and the 14th of September, and the Cabernet Franc was picked on the 16th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.4% and is aging in French oak barrels, 80% new. Displaying and opaque purple-black color, it needs a bit of swirling to reveal a fascinating array of earthy notes—black truffles, charcoal, mossy tree bark and fallen leaves—over a profound core of preserved plums, blackberry preserves and violets, with a waft of tapenade. The medium to full-bodied palate has exquisitely ripe tannins and bold freshness supporting the seductively ripe, black fruit layers, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note.

Score: 97 - 99 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2028 - 2068

Noémie Durantou has taken over from her late father Denis with this vintage, and has produced a L'Eglise Clinet that is dark ruby in colour, and needs time in the glass as it is built and muscular. You need a little patience for the cassis, bilberry and raspberry fruits to arrange, enjoy instead the silky, velvety texture that stops the tannins being too restrictive and allows the palate to slowly expand. Not as expressive as in some vintages, but still exudes quiet confidence. A yield of 42hl/ha. Harvest from September 8.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2050

The 2020 l’Eglise-Clinet is very deep in color. It has an intense nose featuring blackberry, wild strawberry, touches of Japanese nori and light basalt aromas, gaining in intensity and clarity over the 60 minutes I spent analyzing the sample. The palate has exquisite balance and a silver bead of acidity that slices through the pure black fruit with effortless ease. This is a very harmonious and focused L’Eglise-Clinet, and as always, it is not an immediately crowd-pleasing Pomerol. You have to sit with it and examine its facets, including those that require unlocking with aeration. There is wonderful salinity on the finish, and awe-inspiring persistence. A magnificent testament to a great winemaker.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2055

Always up with the crème de la crème of the vintage, the 2020 Château L'Eglise Clinet is no exception. It boasts a rich, powerful, opulent style that packs loads of ripe black cherries as well as notes of chocolate, earth, tobacco, and graphite. Possessing the pure, elegant, more focused style of the vintage, it still has plenty of mid-palate depth, gorgeous tannins, and one heck of a great finish. This beauty is a thrill a minute and will not hit maturity for another 7-8 years, but it will be a 20-year wine.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Dense and profound, the fruit savoury and pure. Profuse on attack, the fruit bursting on the palate with layered, fine-grain tannins in support. Purity and precision, the detail spot-on, the tannins of the finest weave. Great potential. (JL)

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Evangile Pomerol £1,110 6x75cl 94-96 98-99 96-98 98 95-97 95-97
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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!

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2050

This is so floral and pure, showing crushed-grape character with some walnut and crunchy seeds. It’s full-bodied, juicy and fresh. Purity of fruit. Juicy and long. 88% merlot and 12% cabernet franc.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

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. This 2020 blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc has an alcohol of 14.5% and a pH of 3.8.

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2050

The sculpting of L'Evangile that began over the past few vintages continues, and the 2020 is a gorgeous wine. Pristine fruit, silky with a whoosh of menthol. It elevates over the palate, both dense and light, with blueberry and raspberry fruits, and pulses of bitter almond and honeysuckle on the finish that gives focus and spice. Juliette Couderc joined L'Evangile (from DBR Lafite's Long Dai winery) in September 2020 so for the harvest of this wine, working alongside technical director Olivier Tregoat. 50% first wine, with no Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend this year because it was so over-concentrated that it made too much impact. Increased selective harvesting meant going through vineyard plots six times to bring in the grapes as they ripened. A yield of 32hl/ha. In the final year of organic conversion, so this next vintage 2021 will be certified.

Score: 98 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2050

The 2020 L’Evangile marks the opening of a chapter with a new winemaking team in place. Perhaps now it will begin challenging the Pomerol elite, which it ought to, given its terroir. The nose augurs a different L’Evangile, no question about that. Gone is the wall of new oak that occasionally shrouded the fruit and terroir expression; the oak is still there, but far more assimilated into the attractive brambly red berry fruit, black currant pastilles and light rose petal scents. The palate is smooth on the entry, so much so that it belies the depth of this wine. Complex and quite cerebral, delivering palpable salinity, particularly toward the finish. Veins of black truffle and white pepper come through with aeration over the course of an hour, and with revisits at three-hour intervals. I think there is a little work to do, but what this L’Evangile conveys is newfound personality and soul and a sense of Pomerol typicité. A new chapter opens.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2055

Described as a new age for l’Evangile by the estate, their 2020 Château L'Evangile showed beautifully, with the pure, elegant yet still ripe, beautifully concentrated style of the estate these days. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, black cherries, blueberries, graphite, and violets all emerge from the glass, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a terrific sense of purity, present, ripe yet firm tannins, and a great finish. It's a promising, elegant yet at the same time powerful 2020 that's going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 20-25 years or more. The blend is 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, all raised in 60% new French oak.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Dense and reserved but with a lift of chocolate and berry fruit as it opens. Generous fruit on the palate, the aromatic complexity more pronounced. Burgundian, berry-fruit nuance. Firmly muscular and tannic behind, the tannins solid but well honed. Slightly grippy finish which could be the oak needing to settle. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] Fleur Petrus Pomerol £975 6x75cl Sold Out 94-96 99-100 95-97 97 94-96 97-100
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The 2020 La Fleur-Pétrus is wonderfully elegant and polished. Fine tannins give the 2020 its sophisticated feel. Succulent red cherry, cedar, tobacco, smoke and dried herbs all build. A whole range of floral, savory and mineral notes infuse the finish with tons of character. Medium in body and persistent, with real linear energy, the 2020 is all class. La Fleur-Pétrus is, above all else, a wine of understatement and elegance. The 2020 is especially fine.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2050

Purple berry and blackberry aromas with cracked black pepper, violets and lavender. It’s full-bodied and layered and broadens in the mouth. Gorgeous, ripe tannins. Long and thought-provoking. A milestone for the vineyard.

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Very deep purple-black colored, the 2020 la Fleur-Petrus leaps from the glass with bold expressions of baked black plums, molten licorice, Indian spices and blackberry preserves, plus hints of charcuterie, black olives and crushed rocks with a touch of unsmoked cigars. The full-bodied palate delivers compelling tension to the rich, hedonic black fruits, framed by firm, grainy tannins, finishing very long and tantalizingly savory.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2056

The tannins clamp in on the opening beats of the wine and then spend the rest of the palate gently relaxing to let the juice out from the tight black fruits. The frame is both tactile and fresh, a brilliant La Fleur Petrus full of character and spice, bedded down but with a sense of energy and uplift. Black chocolate shavings shot through with eucalyptus, sage, rosemary, spices and cigar box - all of which really extend through the finish. Harvest September 10 to 20. A yield of around 42hl/ha. Deep gravels over clay.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2045

The 2020 La Fleur-Pétrus has an engaging, complex nose that you want to just keep... well, nosing. It offers a maze of black cherry, bilberry, crushed rock, freshly rolled tobacco and light marine aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with blackberry, cracked black pepper, sea salt and light briny notes. This is quite a serious La Fleur-Pétrus; in fact, it’s not a million miles away from the 2020 Trotanoy. It will deserve cellaring for several years but will be worth waiting for.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

One of my favorite wines in the vintage is the 2020 Château La Fleur-Petrus, which reminds me slightly of the 2016, even though the growing season was quite different. A blend of mostly Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, its dense purple color is followed by a heavenly, ethereal Pomerol offering a powerful, almost Petrus-like sense of stature and density that carries incredible cassis and currant fruits as well as notes of graphite, crushed stone, chocolate, and violets. Flawlessly balanced on the palate, with a dense, layered mid-palate and building, perfect tannins, I just hope it shows this well from bottle! It should, at a minimum, match – and probably surpass – the 2009, 2016, and 2018.

Score: 97 - 100 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

93% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. First sample: a little flat (oxidation?). Second sample: fresher, the fruit very much to the fore, the nose fruity and expressive. Plentiful but fine, filigree tannins ensure a refined but present structure. Freshness and overall harmony. Good potential. (JL)

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Gazin Pomerol £336 6x75cl 94 96-97 92-94 94 - 94-96
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This is really fantastic with so much intensity and focus. Firm, linear tannins frame the wine beautifully. Polished and fine. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and posed. Complex flavors of blackberry, black olive, mushroom and bark. Persistent finish. Best of the trilogy?

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Gazin rolls effortlessly out of the glass with upfront scents of baked black plums, stewed black cherries and mulberries, plus hints of spice cake, chocolate box and cracked black pepper. The medium to full-bodied palate has a solid backbone of firm, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness supporting the muscular black fruits, finishing savory.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2042

I love this, extremely classic Gazin, which has depth and pep, and a jaunty feel to the black fruits. The freshness keeps the core of this wine firm from beginning to end, as do the chewy tannins. This is not an exuberant vintage but at this particular estate it suits the personality because it is always fairly old school and classic. For the first time no Cabernet Franc in the blend, just Cabernet Sauvignon. A yield of 35hl/ha. No added sulphur during fermentation. Tasted twice, there are plenty of tannins here but it is highly successful.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2043

The 2020 Gazin, which contains no Cabernet Franc this year, has a wonderful bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, crushed stone and pressed iris petal scents, very focused and precise, that really whisks you down to Pomerol. The medium-bodied palate displays fine-grained tannins and a silver bead of acidity. Very sapid with a little more dryness on the finish than its peers, which gets the saliva flowing. Classic Pomerol through and through.

Score: 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2055

A quintessential Pomerol with its beautiful red and blue fruits as well as floral, earth, and sappy herb aromas and flavors, the 2020 Château Gazin is medium to full-bodied and has wonderful purity, ultra-fine tannins, and no hard edges. It shines for its purity and elegance and is just a classy, thrilling wine.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,360 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Vines 39 years old. This is apparently the first time ever they have not included Cab Franc in the blend. Deepest crimson to purplish rim. Pure and fragrant with cassis and blackberry, the fruit shining above the oak though the oak is evident at this stage, of course. An attractive touch of stone dust on the nose. On the palate, dry and chewy texture but fresh and nicely structured with the fruit. Not as powerfully built as some but attractive in its slightly lighter touch, the tannins refined. Blind, I would have thought this had more than 10% Cabernet. Juicy freshness on the finish. (JH)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

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