En Primeur Bordeaux 2020

Sauternes - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Coutet Sauternes/Barsac £162 6x75cl 92-94 91-92 - - 92-94 -
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The 2020 Coutet is wonderfully dense and creamy from start to finish. Dried pear, marzipan, white flowers, mint and tangerine oil build in this super-expressive, deep Barsac. The 2020 has so much to offer.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

Lots of honey, dried apples and lemons with some spices. Medium-to full-bodied, attractive phenolic texture and almond, dried-apple and lemon character at the end.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Aline Baly kindly furnished me with background information on the 2020 Coutet. "The first sorting occurred on September 16 and 17 to harvest the botrytis resulting from the thunderstorms of August 15," she told me. "The second and third passeage were organized quickly, as the climatic conditions were becoming unfavorable. The teams were ready to harvest within the hour, as soon as a weather window emerged. This second phase of harvest finally took place on September 23 before a thunderstorm that resulted in a cumulative rainfall of 38mm. Then the harvest continued September 29 and 30 before 77mm of precipitation. A new passeage was initiated, initially, on October 8 and 9, but 140mm of rain accumulated since the first sort strongly impacted concentration levels, encouraging us to be patient until October 12. We resumed the harvest under normal conditions until October 22 but with a very capricious forecast. A fifth and sixth sort followed one another, and the harvest ended on October 26.” Coutet has a very perfumed and more floral bouquet compared to, say, the de Fargues that happens to precede it, aromas of dandelion and apricot mingling with saffron and light chamomile. The palate is well balanced, very pure and lightly spiced, displaying a tang of marmalade and quince toward a finish that is marked by Coutet’s trademark acidic bite. Quintessentially Coutet, this should give 25–30 years of drinking pleasure.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2055

95% Se´millon, 4% Sauvignon Blanc, 1% Muscadelle. Greenish hint to the golden hue. Very classic with a botrytis note and some real freshness. Weight and integrity here with a savoury, even bacon-fat, finish. Not one of the sweetest wines, or what I probably mean is that the acidity is more pronounced than in many of its peers. Sleek and fresh. But probably for relatively early drinking.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JamesSuckling.com Maturity: 2034-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Doisy Daene Sauternes/Barsac £144 6x75cl 95-97 90-91 - - 94-96 -
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The 2020 Doisy-Daëne is rich, creamy and wonderfully expressive. Lemon confit, marzipan, coconut, dried flowers, apricot and tangerine are some of the notes that build in the glass. All the elements meld together gracefully. Beautifully layered and sensual from to start to finish.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

Bright and vivid with lots of crushed-grape and sliced-apple character. Medium body. Crisp finish.

Score: 90 - 91 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Doisy-Daëne, pure Sémillon this year picked at 16hl/ha over three to six tries through the vineyard, presents a well-defined nose that, compared side-by-side with Doisy-Védrines, is actually quite similar in terms of the dried honey, honeysuckle, candle wax and quince aromas that unfurl from the glass. The palate is beautifully balanced with a fine bead of acidity, and such purity on the finish that it endows this Barsac with wonderful weightlessness. Magnificent.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2060

Full bottle 1,380 g. 100% Sémillon (although there is Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle planted in the vineyard). 16 hl/ha. Picked in three to six passes through the vineyard by experienced pickers. Cask sample. Aged for 10 months in barrel followed by nine months in tank. Coppery gold colour. Very exuberant on the nose and with dramatic, expressive botrytised fruit on the palate. Very rich but edgy and energetic too. Firm and fresh with a floral note. A modern Barsac! Impressive to have managed this quality and this (relatively) generous yield.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

[Add to shopping basket] Doisy Vedrines Sauternes/Barsac £166 6x75cl 92-94 90-91 - 95 92-94 -
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The 2020 Doisy-Védrines is wonderfully effusive. A whole range of floral notes open first, followed by scents of tangerine oil, mint, ginger and spice. There is something about Doisy-Védrines that is quite exotic in 2020. Such a classy wine.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2045

A bright, fresh Sauternes without a lot of weight, but some attractive honey, sliced-apple and pear character. Medium-sweet. Fresh finish.

Score: 90 - 91 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Powerful fleshy exotic fruits - the juice comes in from the first moment and doesn't let up, ensuring the apricot and mango fruits are shot straight through the core of steel. A brilliant showcase of what the soils of Barsac can do. A yield of 11hl/ha, 18 months in barrel. Tasted twice.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2020 - 2048

The 2020 Doisy-Védrines has an elegant bouquet, well defined and perhaps more poised than recent vintages from this Barsac estate. Dried honey, orange pith and light marmalade notes gradually unfurl in the glass, followed later by hints of candle wax and lemon verbena. The palate is well balanced with a lovely touch of orange zest that counterbalances the rich, honeyed fruit, and superb tension on the finish This is a wonderful Doisy-Védrines.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2055

Full bottle 1,295 g. 85% Se´millon, 12% Sauvignon, 3% Muscadelle. 11 hl/ha. Cask sample. Aged in oak for 18 months. Deep straw-gold. Hint of ginger on the nose. Firm and sweet on the palate. Not quite luscious but certainly refreshing. Something floral and lifted about this. A little bit of chewiness on the finish which fades just a little fast.

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2024 - 2034

[Add to shopping basket] Guiraud Sauternes/Barsac £201 6x75cl 91-93 94-95 - - 93-95 -
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The 2020 Guiraud is fabulous. Usually a more opulent wine, the 2020 impresses with its translucent personality. Orange confit, apricot preserves, chamomile and dried flowers all develop in the glass. I very much like the energy here. A classy, impressive wine.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

Spicy and intense with dried-apple, peach and some stone character. It’s medium-bodied and sweet, yet fresh and vivid.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Guiraud, picked at 8.32hl/ha and matured in 90% new oak, has a lifted nose, not as intense as some of the other 2020 Sauternes that I tasted, but well defined, offering scents of honeysuckle, quince and touches of peach. The palate is smooth on the entry and very harmonious. Not a deep or powerful Guiraud but focused and tensile. Élevage will add some needed weight and girth.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2044

65% Sémillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc. Organic certification since 2011. Yield just 8.32 hl/ha. Fermentation and ageing in oak barrels (90% new) for 18 to 24 months. Very introvert aromatically at the moment although there is a bit of botrytis on the palate. Waxy, round texture and really pretty sweet. Lots of interest here. 13.5%

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Lafaurie Peyraguey Sauternes/Barsac £232 6x75cl 93-95 96-97 - - 94-97 -
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The 2020 Lafaurie-Peyraguey is one of the most exotic, alluring wines of the year. Tropical fruit, crème brûlée, apricot, tangerine preserves and white flowers are all beautifully lifted. Deep and layered, but not at all heavy, the 2020 impresses with its exquisite balance and totally seductive personality. It is the sort of wine that is hard to move on from in a tasting. Memorable.

Score: 94 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2050

This is a dense, layered Sauternes for the vintage, with lots of dried apple, peach and orange, as well as spicy undertones from the botrytis. It’s full-bodied and flavorful. Serious for the vintage.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Lafaurie-Peyraguey, picked at 7hl/ha and matured in one-third new oak, has a very perfumed, quite floral bouquet of yellow flowers fusing with the honey, orange pith and white peach scents. The palate is beautifully balanced with a viscous texture, hints of stem ginger joining the chorus line of tangerine, marmalade and quince notes, and harmonious on the finish. This is lovely Sauternes in the making. Tasted four times.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2055

Full bottle 1,290 g. Undated cask sample. 88% Sémillon, 12% Sauvignon Blanc. Yield just 7 hl/ha. 15 days' fermentation then ageing in fine-grained French oak barrels (30% new) for 12 months then six months in tank. Deep, dark gold. Very sweet and rich on the nose. Then a bit diffuse/loose on the palate. Could do with a little more focus.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2023 - 2029

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