En Primeur Bordeaux 2020

Pomerol - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to shopping basket] Guillot Clauzel Pomerol £390 6x75cl Low Stock 91-93 95-96 93-95 93 92-94 91-93
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The 2020 Guillot-Clauzel is impressive. Inky and voluptuous, it’s a seriously intense, concentrated Pomerol. Blackberry jam, dried herbs, chocolate, licorice and dark spice are all kicked up a few notches. The 2020 has quite a bit of textural opulence that is the signature of a warm, dry summer. A strong oak imprint needs to fully meld into the wine. It will be interesting to see how things turn out in another 18 months or so. Guillaume Thienpont continues to do compelling work at this small estate.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2040

A classy, refined red, highlighting the success in Pomerol for the vintage. It’s full and tight with layered tannins that are polished and gorgeous.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Guillot Clauzel has an alcohol of 14.5% and a pH of 3.72. It is aging in French oak barriques, 50% new. Opaque purple-black colored, it bursts from the glass with bold, opulent scents of crushed black cherries, warm black plums and violets, giving way to hints of raspberry leaves, Sichuan pepper and anise. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of ripe, rich, decadent black fruits with loads of red fruit and floral sparks and a backbone of velvety tannins, with great tension to boot, finishing long and spicy. The consultant winemaker here is Guillaume Thienpont (of Vieux Chateau Certan), and he is doing an amazing job of breathing fresh life into this promising Pomerol site!

Score: 93 - 95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

This has a ton of perfume and charm, so much juice and Pomerol appeal. Plenty of chocolate and autumnal berry fruit a sappy if austere finish. An enjoyable, appealing and heartfelt Pomerol, really one to recommend and to track down. Third vintage with Guillaume Thienpont as consultant and viticulturist, a little less Cabernet Franc this year due to a low 30hl/ha yield.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2024 - 2038

The 2020 Guillot-Clauzet is overseen by Guillaume Thienpont of Vieux-Château-Certan. Picked September 15–28 and matured in 50% new oak, it has quite a lush black cherry, raspberry coulis and black truffle bouquet that unfurls in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins and very well-integrated oak. This Pomerol has lovely balance; it’s not powerful and ostentatious, but refined. There’s a judicious sprinkling of black pepper toward the finish. This is well worth seeking out.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

The deep ruby/purple-hued 2020 Château Guillot-Clauzel has a classy, textbook Pomerol perfume of ripe red and blue fruits, leafy herbs, sappy spring flowers, and chocolate. With medium to full-bodied richness, it has a wonderful sense of elegance, polished tannins, and the depth as well as purity that's common from this appellation in 2020. This is one sexy Pomerol to drink on release and over the following 15+ years.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Property managed by Guillaume Thienpont of Vieux Château Certan. Cask sample. Deep colour. Floral aromatics. Sweet attack then fine fruit and tannins. Smooth texture. Very precise. Slight glow on the finish but lots of charm. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] La Violette Pomerol £1,440 6x75cl Sold Out 91-93 94-95 94-96 95 91-93 94-96
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The 2020 La Violette is bold and luscious in the glass. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, licorice and lavender gain resonance and depth with a bit of coaxing. There is quite a bit of richness, in keeping with the style here. Sadly, this sample was not particularly fresh when it arrived, and that only begs the question: Why even bother sending a sample that was old before it left Bordeaux?

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

Plenty of blackberry, dark-chocolate and treacle-tart character, yet it remains fresh and vivid. It’s full-bodied with vivid fruit and intensity. Creamy tannins and a fruity finish. Fine texture. Framed and formed.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 La Violette has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and fragrant notes of chocolate-covered cherries, plum preserves and wild blueberries, followed by nuances of rose oil, sandalwood and ground cloves. The medium to full-bodied palate gives layer upon layer of black and blue fruit preserves, framed by silky tannins and lovely freshness, finishing with fantastic length and incredibly perfumed.

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2048

As ever this is silky, seductive and broad shouldered. Essence of Pomerol and yet entirely itself. Michel Rolland and Mikael Laizet consultant. A yield of 30hl/ha, just 1.7hap

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2044

The 2020 La Violette has a sumptuous rather than decadent bouquet of billowing black cherries, crushed blueberry, kirsch and touches of orange pith, well defined and gaining even more intensity with aeration. The palate is full-bodied with very ripe, plush black fruit laced with marmalade, white pepper and light prune and date notes. I do find this a little too heady and alcoholic toward the finish, unlike some recent vintages that have displayed more precision and restraint. This is a modern Pomerol that oozes hedonism, but this year, I find Le Gay more to my taste.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

Emerging from the team at Château Le Gay, the 2020 Château La Violette is just a stunningly elegant, medium to full-bodied Pomerol that’s as pure as they come, offering gorgeous notes of red, blue, and black fruits, violets, iron, and chalky minerality. It’s relatively forward and supple on the palate, with moderate acidity, but the balance is spot on, it has silky tannins, and it just sings on the finish. This thrilling Pomerol is going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and cruise for two decades.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Le Gay (Pomerol) Pomerol £450 6x75cl Low Stock 95-97 98-99 94-96 94 - 94-96
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This is a young red with great intensity and vision that starts off slowly and builds with energy and verve. It’s so minerally with salty, chalky and spice undertones to the cool and vibrant, purple and subtle-fruit flavors. The tannins are wonderfully toned and polished and build on the palate to deliver something very special.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Le Gay erupts from the glass with scents of molten licorice and dark chocolate, giving way to a tantalizing core of baked black cherries, prunes and blackberry preserves, plus a hint of cardamom. The full-bodied palate is rich and decadent, featuring layers of black fruits and exotic spices with a firm yet velvety texture and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length. A hedonic powerhouse!

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2048

Careful and seductive oaking, this develops and builds in power and finesse over the palate, and is a seriously enjoyable Pomerol, just packed full of appellation typicity. A yield of 35hl/ha, vinified in new oak barrels, and will stay in barrel for 18 months.

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

The 2020 Le Gay needs a little coaxing from the glass, but responds with blackberry, bilberry, pressed iris and subtle brine scents that gain intensity with aeration; the oak is very well integrated. The medium-bodied palate features fine, grainy tannins and beautiful, very pure black fruit tinged with licorice. Superb delineation toward the finish, which fans out with style. This is a wonderful Pomerol, Le Gay fulfilling its potential as one of Pomerol’s dark horses. Superb.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2050

One of my favorite estates in Pomerol is Château Le Gay, and their 2020 looks to be a gem, offering a ripe, forward, medium to full-bodied style as well as classic cassis and assorted darker fruits intermixed with white flowers, tobacco, and violets. It has plenty of background oak, sweet tannins, beautiful overall balance, and outstanding length on the finish. I don’t think it has the density of the 2016, but it still shows plenty of concentration as well as the fresh, elegant, incredibly pure style of the vintage.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,305 g. Cask sample taken 2 April. 97% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, vines 35 years old. Consultant Axel Marchal. Darkest cherry red. Rich and spicy black fruit, both savoury and sweet at the same time, with a light charry note but not dominated by the oak. For such a young wine, the tannins are remarkably silky and cool, adding a freshness that balances the richness of fruit. This is more digestible than some of the turbo-charged Pomerols in this smallish line-up. Just a touch of oaky sweetness on the finish. (JH)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Petit Village Pomerol £540 6x75cl 91-93 97-98 93-95 93 92-94 91-93
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The 2020 Petit-Village is a gorgeous wine. In fact, it is one of the best wines I have tasted here. Inky, aromatically expressive and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2020 is compelling right out of the gate. The 2020 boasts superb energy, tension and class. Could this be a turning point for the estate? We will see. For now, the 2020 is certainly compelling. The 2020 represents about 50% of the estate's production as opposed to two-thirds, which was more the norm when Petit-Village was part of AXA.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2040

Firm and linear tannins frame this young Bordeaux beautifully with blackberry, walnut and hazelnut character. Gorgeous center palate. It’s racy and refined. Creamy-textured tannins with length. Really pure and focused. Very transparent. Finesse. Best ever? 60% merlot, 32% cabernet franc and 8% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the opaque purple-black colored 2020 Petit Village storms out of the glass with powerful scents of blackberry preserves, plum pudding and blueberry pie, plus hints of mocha, molten licorice, dried mint, sassafras and violets with a hint of vanilla pod. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers mouth-coating black fruit preserves with loads of spicy and floral accents, supported by plush tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a lingering minty note. Impressive!

Score: 93 - 95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2043

Plenty of changes to keep track of here, as they look to focus the blend on the historic heart of the vineyard (around 50% of the total), and also keeping separate any young vines (meaning under eight years), and any that have viruses. Elegant, inky damson colour, a ton of density and intensity, but the tannins are supple and fragrant, they cradle rather than close in. Pulses of saltine crackers ripple through the blackberry fruit, and this has a ton of charm. Aged in 50% new oak, and using some larger sized oak casks and a few amphora as an experiment. A yield of 27hl/ha. First year in organic conversion. Harvested 8 September to 15 for the Merlot, and for the Cabernets just one day on September 23. Technical director Diana Berrouet-Garcia. Rainfall low in both July and August as everywhere in Pomerol - 2mm in July and 25mm August. New owners (the Moulin family of Galeries Lafayette, shared with neighbouring estate Beauregard). 3.8pH. You will also find a slightly lighter bottle as of this vintage, and a new label.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026 - 2038

Having been acquired by the Moulin family, the 2020 Petit Village has undergone a makeover with a spanking new label and wax seal. As for the wine itself, the nose is fragrant and pure, featuring dark cherries, boysenberry, hints of marmalade and light estuarine scents. The palate is medium-bodied with a structured opening. This feels quite firm and contains that charcoal trait that I remarked upon apropos of the 2018. Fresh and full of tension, the Cabernet component drives the finish, traces of dark chocolate lingering on the aftertaste. I think the tannins here just need a little more refinement, and maybe that will come during élevage. This shows an improvement over underperforming recent vintages, but give it another 3–4 years to see what this Pomerol is really capable of.

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

Checking in as a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Château Petit-Village should certainly be an outstanding wine, and then some. Brought up in 60% new French oak, with the sum of the Cabernet Franc and Merlot brought up in larger barrels, it has a terrific nose of ripe black fruit, chocolate, tobacco, and graphite. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, with a dense, concentrated mid-palate, it displays a rather focused, firm mouthfeel, ripe, building tannins, and a great finish.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,374 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. I think this is the first time I have seen a cask sample with a wax seal. This is the first vintage under the ownership of the Moulin family (who already own neighbouring Ch Beauregard). Now in conversion to organic farming. 60% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. 50% aged in new oak. A small percentage aged in amphora. Black core right out to the purplish rim. Very ripe black fruit – damson and black cherry – sweet-smelling, and more so with the sweetness of the oak. Firm, dry, smooth texture, like many layers of paper. Big but with such refined tannin texture – and not what I expected when it smelt so ripe. Just enough freshness and lots of dark chocolate on the finish. For those who love balanced and elegant richness. Long and promising in that style. (JH)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] Petite Eglise (2nd label of Eglise Clinet) Pomerol £206 6x75cl Sold Out 91-93 95-96 92-94 93 92-94 91-93
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La Petite Eglise is once again fabulous in 2020. Elegant, silky and wonderfully nuanced, the 2020 hits all the right notes. This is the first vintage that includes fruit from a recently replanted plot near the winery. All the elements are impeccably balanced from start to finish. Quite frankly, La Petite Eglise is better than many top wines in Pomerol. Pretty floral and spice notes add delicacy to the perfumed finish.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2040

Very fresh, perfumed aromas of blackberries, black olives and some white pepper. The palate is full and extremely polished with lovely depth and length. Lovely second wine. Serious.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 La Petite Eglise is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The Merlot was picked on the 9th and the 16th of 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 colored, it leaps from the glass with bold notions of black raspberries, Black Forest cake and baked plums, plus hints of red roses, cardamom and forest floor. The medium to full-bodied palate possesses incredible poise at this youthful stage, delivering plush tannins and integrated freshness to support the generous black fruits, finishing long and full of energy. An anticipated 4,500 bottles will be made

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

Plenty of changes to keep track of here, as they look to focus the blend on the historic heart of the vineyard (around 50% of the total), and also keeping separate any young vines (meaning under eight years), and any that have viruses. Elegant, inky damson colour, a ton of density and intensity, but the tannins are supple and fragrant, they cradle rather than close in. Pulses of saltine crackers ripple through the blackberry fruit, and this has a ton of charm. Aged in 50% new oak, and using some larger sized oak casks and a few amphora as an experiment. A yield of 27hl/ha. First year in organic conversion. Harvested 8 September to 15 for the Merlot, and for the Cabernets just one day on September 23. Technical director Diana Berrouet-Garcia. Rainfall low in both July and August as everywhere in Pomerol - 2mm in July and 25mm August. New owners (the Moulin family of Galeries Lafayette, shared with neighbouring estate Beauregard). 3.8pH. You will also find a slightly lighter bottle as of this vintage, and a new label.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2023 - 2040

The 2020 La Petite Eglise is noticeably deep in color. It has a tightly wound bouquet, broody at first, unfurling to reveal blackberry, briar, touches of seaweed and light oyster shell aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, a fine line of acidity and a silky-smooth, utterly harmonious finish. This is a sensual La Petite Eglise, pure and refined, almost pixelated. Outstanding.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2040

The second wine of Château L'Eglise Client, the 2020 La Petite Eglise tastes like a mini–Grand Vin with its lively black cherry and cassis fruit as well as notes of tobacco, leafy herbs, and damp earth. Medium to full-bodied, fresh, and focused, with a solid spine of acidity, it’s a terrific second wine to enjoy over the coming 10-15 years.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Ripe and zesty with berry-fruit notes and a hint of chocolate and spice from the oak. Gourmand on the palate, again with vivid fruit. Finely etched tannins provide a neat rather than powerful structure. A real temptation in the short to medium term. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

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