En Primeur Bordeaux 2020

St Emilion - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to shopping basket] Angelus St Emilion £1,524 6x75cl 95-97 98-99 98-100 97 96-98 95-97
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The 2020 Angélus is shaping up to be tremendous. Bright and punchy, with terrific energy, the 2020 is more linear and focused than any recent vintages I can remember tasting. Crushed red berry fruit, iron, smoke, mint, chalk and dried herbs all build in the glass. In 2020, Angélus is less flashy than it can be. That is a very good thing, for those who can wait. Harvest took place between September 18 to 30. One of the major evolutions here in recent years has been the use of foudres to age the Cabernet Franc. Half of the Franc is now raised in large format oak, and that seems to bringing added freshness to the Grand Vin.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2060

This is wonderfully refined and balanced with such pretty depth. Full-bodied and so polished and pure. Subtle at first, then it takes off and keeps coming. Sophisticated. 60% merlot and 40% cabernet franc.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Angélus has an opaque purple-black color, pulling you in with a captivating perfume of kirsch, Black Forest cake, ripe plums, violets and molten licorice, followed by wafts of underbrush, raspberry leaves and graphite, plus a hint of clove oil. The medium to full-bodied palate already offers beautiful balance and expression at this nascent stage, featuring bright, crunchy red and black fruits with remarkable energy and tension. Its amazingly plush, silken texture carries all these shimmering flavors to a very long and fragrant finish. This jaw-dropping expression of 2020 is simply stunning. The blend this year is 40% Cabernet Franc and 60% Merlot, due to be aged 18-22 months in French oak barriques, 100% new, and two new foudres. The wine has pH of 3.65 pH and an alcohol of 14.5%.

Score: 98 - 100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2062

Supple damson fruits, I love the aromatics on this and the striking fruits. Silky in texture, balanced and elegant, there are big tannins that slowly but surely creep up on you through the palate. This is a sleek, poised, and confidently-constructed Angélus, with depth to the olive, chocolate, cassis body and a crushed mint leaf kiss on the finish. As often with this vintage it is not an exuberant hug, it is more about discreet power and gorgeous stealing-up of flavours and textures giving depth and subtle power. 3.62pH, aged in large sized oak cass and oak barrels. A yield of 37hl/ha.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028-2048

The 2020 Angélus was given 30–40 minutes to open. It has a very intense nose of multilayered blackberry, blueberry and wild strawberry scents, crushed violet and hints of iodine. It is quintessential Angélus in many ways, sleek and smooth, harmonious and seductive. Those qualities also come through on the palate. This is framed by fine tannins, the Cabernet components coming through strongly on the midpalate. Quite ferrous in some ways, allspice and subtle minty notes lending complexity toward the finish. It is not quite as persistent as the recently tasted 2018 from bottle, but it comes across a little more chiseled and intellectual.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2055

I loved the 2020 Château Angélus, which has the fresh, pure, incredible style favored by the estate today yet still has beautiful concentration and depth. Lots of ripe black cherries, mulberries, and cassis as well as violets, white flowers, tobacco, and dark chocolate define the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a seamless, incredibly elegant mouthfeel, flawless tannins, and a great finish. While I don't think it's going to match the magical 2018, it's not far off and is unquestionably a gorgeous wine.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Deep purple-black colour. As in 2019 the power inherent but an extra edge of refinement. Ripe but aromatically engaging with floral, dark-fruit and chocolate notes. Beautiful texture with depth of fruit and the tannins velvety and fresh providing solid structure and drive on the finish. Classic Angélus with a little more precision and polish.

Score: 18 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Aromes de Pavie (2nd wine of Pavie) St Emilion £360 6x75cl 90-92 95-96 91-93 - 91-93 92-94
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The 2020 Arômes de Pavie represents a major step up in quality vis-à-vis previous vintages. It is a deep, statuesque wine endowed with tremendous power, richness and resonance. Plum, mocha, licorice, espresso and spice all flesh out in the glass. I can't wait to taste this in bottle. This is the first year in which the blend is equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc, both increasingly from plots dedicated to the Arômes, a departure from the past, when this wine was a selection of younger-vine fruit and lots that did not make it into the Grand Vin.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2040

Second wine of Pavie with wonderful blackberry, black olive and dark chocolate. Full and chewy with a powerful finish. Lots of structure and intensity.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Arômes de Pavie has an alcohol of 14.78% and a pH of 3.57. It is aging in French oak barriques, 70% new. Deep purple-black in color, it needs a little swirling to unleash its exuberant scents of stewed black plums, black cherry compote and boysenberries, plus hints of tar, sautéed herbs and chargrill. The full-bodied palate packs in the black fruit layers, framed by soft tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and earthy.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2041

The 2020 Arômes de Pavie, which comes from specific parcels, contains a much higher percentage of Cabernet Franc, half the blend instead of the 18% in the 2018. It was vatted for 31 days and matured in 70% new oak. Deep in color, it has an intense bouquet of blackberry, pencil lead and a faint touch of tobacco, the new oak conspicuous but in sync with the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, plenty of black plummy fruit laced with bilberry, and a saline undercurrent. A stocky Deuxième Vin, but it manages to maintain decent balance and freshness. I hope we see the Cabernet Franc at this level in the blend going forward.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2038

Always in the running for the best second wine in Bordeaux, the 2020 Aromes De Pavie is brilliant and surpasses any number of estates’ Grand Vins. The blend of the 2020 is equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and it has solid tech numbers, with an alcohol of 14.7% and a pH of 3.57. Dense purple-hued with a great nose of jammy black cherries, cassis, flowers, and chalky minerality, it’s medium to full-bodied and has a supple, up-front texture, ripe tannins, and brilliant balance. It tastes just like a second wine should, like a mini-Grand Vin that will drink beautifully while you give the top wine bottle age.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc. From designated parcels (11 ha) on the plateau. Cask sample. Ripe and pure-fruited but the freshness really comes through with this (first time) 50/50 blend. Chalky, mineral note behind. Fine-grained tannins. Drives on the finish with the fruit and freshness. More than adequate understudy while awaiting the grand vin. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Ausone St Emilion £3,000 6x75cl - - - 98-100 - -
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This is powerful and blows away much of the competition with its depth and layers. This needs you to pull up a chair, take a beat, and let the flavours unroll. There is so much density to the blueberry, bilberry and smoked raspberry fruits that they start out knitted down, then as the oxygen opens them up the body of the wine widens and becomes fleshier and creamier, adding chocolate and mocha notes. The limestone scrape is there in spades through the finish, and this is a cleverly constructed wine. As ever Ausone is just a masterclass in how to take apart and then put back together a terroir. Great stuff. First year of official conversion to organic farming. 100% new oak, some in 30hl oak casks. Could go up after tasting in bottle, a potential 100 points.

Score: 98 - 100 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2048

50% Cabernet Franc, 50% Merlot. Cask sample. Deep and intense with mineral, dark fruit and chocolate notes. Initially broad across the palate then firm, long, fresh and structured. Plentiful tannins but very fine and enrobed in generous fruit. Powerful but elegant with loads packed into the wine. Striking potential. (JL)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Barde Haut St Emilion £131 6x75cl 93-95 94-95 93-95 94 93-95 94-96
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The 2020 Barde-Haut is packed with inky dark fruit, blackberry jam, chocolate, licorice, cloves and new French oak. Deep and muscular in the glass, the 2020 possesses off the charts intensity married to equally imposing tannins. The 2020 is a huge, virile wine that is going to need time to fully come together. It sure is impressive today. Harvest took place between September 15 and 29, a compact time frame by historical standards.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2032 - 2050

A young red with blackberry, chocolate and walnut character that follows through to a medium to full body with creamy tannins and a flavorful finish. Subtle in the end.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Opaque purple-black in color, the 2020 Barde-Haut opens with a beguiling perfume of wild blueberries, dark chocolate and candied violets before giving way to notes of kirsch, forest floor and spice cake with a waft of dried mint. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with juicy black and blue fruits, supported by a lovely line of freshness and beautifully soft tannins, finishing with impressive restraint and a long-lingering mineral note.

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

A good drop of damson and black cherry fruits right up front, and holds its line while the more austere tannins come in towards the finish. Expertly extracted, self-contained right now, firm fruits that don't dip through the mid palate alongside a glossy wash of liquorice, black chocolate, sage and anis. This is clearly going to age well. 60% new oak for ageing. Owned by Hélène Garcin-Leveque, this is located right next to Troplong Mondot.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2042

The 2020 Barde-Haut clearly benefited from its limestone soils in this vintage. Picked September 21–30 at 42hl/ha, it does not disguise its opulent nose and displays more blue fruit than some of its peers, gaining purity with aeration and delivering macerated black cherries, loganberry, crushed violet and very subtle hints of fresh fig. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that disguise the structure of this Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. It has the same harmony and detail as its stablemate, but there is more depth and length toward the finish, which shows real panache. Gorgeous.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2042

Coming from a gorgeous vineyard on the eastern, cooler side of Saint-Emilion, and 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Château Barde-Haut has a bright, juicy, yet powerful bouquet of ripe blue fruits, scorched earth, tobacco, and cedary herbs. It has a kiss of background oak (it’s aging in 60% new barrels), medium to full-bodied richness, a ripe, textured mouthfeel, and serious underlying structure that comes out with time in the glass. It should have some upfront appeal, yet smart money is on giving bottles at least 4-5 years of bottle age, and it will keep for 2-3 decades.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, Vinous.com

[Add to shopping basket] Beausejour Becot St Emilion £258 6x75cl 92-94 96-97 95-97 95 - -
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This has a fantastic finish with crushed blackberries and raspberries and salt undertones. It’s full-bodied, yet really racy and polished with such fine, intense tannins. Love the length to this. Very distinguished and toned. Excellent energy. 85% merlot, 13% cabernet franc and 2% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Displaying a deep purple-black color, the 2020 Beau-Sejour Becot prances out of the glass with showy scents of preserved plums, chocolate-covered cherries, wild blueberries and raspberry preserves, plus suggestions of rose oil, ground cloves and licorice. The elegantly crafted, medium-bodied palate shimmers with energy, offering a fantastic intensity of crunchy red and black fruits, supported by fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and perfumed. Simply stunning.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2050

Velvety rich deep blue fruits, this is powerful and measured, fruit-forward and yet subtle, layered blueberry and raspberry with smoked almonds and mocha on the finish. Sleek and finessed fruit flavours, a sense of forward motion from beginning to end and a burst of freshly-grated minerality on the finish. Extremely good quality. This is the second to last vintage in the new cellar, before building a new cellar for 2023 vintage. They have done a lot of work in the vineyards studying the terroir to understand how smaller sectors and zones within each plot reacts, and this work of studying the plots will help to inform the new cellar. Harvest September 8th to September 29th. 3.5ph. A yield of 42hl/ha. 16 months ageing in 65% new oak barrel, 35% in vats, amphoras and 20hl oak tanks. Thomas Duclos consultant. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com

he 2020 Beau-Séjour Bécot was picked 8 September until 30 September, but mostly between 8-12 September, around 70% of the production. It is one of the highest percentages of Merlot in recent years partly due to restructuring of the vineyard and also higher yields (47-48hl/ha) compared to the Cabernets. With no SO2 used during fermentation and matured in 55% new oak (20hl Stockinger and Taransaud foudres and regular barriques) it is tightly wound on the nose, so I afforded the sample an hour to really open. It offers predominantly red berry fruit, wild mint and traces of dried honey, more floral scents emerging, violet and iris flower blossoming with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, very well judged acidity, a very graceful and unpretentious Saint-Émilion, harmonious with a touch of white pepper enhancing the precise finish. This is a classically styled Beau-Séjour Bécot that conveys a brooding intensity, so I would give it several years in the cellar.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2048

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