En Primeur 2020

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Aile d'Argent Dry Whites £432 6x75cl 91-93 - - 93 - -
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The first year made entirely under the direction of Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy. I was expecting this to be the wine in the Mouton stable with the most evident transition from Philippe Dhalluin, and certainly you see a little less exuberance, a little more sculpting rather than width, with sea breeze and citrus aromatics. Plenty of bright pineapple and apricot flavours, with nuance and balance, and the salty cracker finish that you always want from this wine. Will be bottled in June 2021. Harvest began on August 24 (same as 2011, joint earliest on record) through to 28. No more malolactic during winemaking as you saw (usually just 5-10%) under Dhalluin, and no skin contact, but the rich mouthfeel is instead found through a higher proportion of Sauvignon Gris, and no longer co-fermented with the Sauvignon Blanc.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2022 - 2030

The 2020 Aile d’Argent was picked early, from August 24, to keep the acidity, with no skin contact and no malolactics in the final blend. The winemaking team used all the Sauvignon Gris to obtain richness, and the wine will be bottled in early June. It has an alluring, perfumed bouquet of honeysuckle, orange pith and lime scents, very well defined and the oak skillfully integrated. The palate is smooth in texture, displaying just the right amount of bitterness to lend edge on the entry, and quite tangy compared to recent vintages, featuring lime, melon and gooseberry notes, touches of lemongrass coming through toward the finish. Delicious.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2030

[Add to shopping basket] Alter Ego de Palmer (2nd wine of Palmer) Margaux £303 6x75cl Low Stock - - - 93 - -
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Chocolate shavings and smoked coffee bean on the nose, it's a vintage where you can't get away from the tannins, but here they have sinew and juice, like the best translation of the tannins in the year. This has real purity of fruit (very low SO2 addition at Palmer), together with the gourmet touch that you want in Alter Ego. 45% of overall production. 3.73pH. Survived mildew better than in 2018 because of experience in dealing with the conditions. August 15 to 29 for the harvest. A yield of 31hl/ha.

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

50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Very much in the Alter Ego mould – lively, fruit-driven with that vineyard-fresh feel but with a little more structure than previous years. Pure and appetising but will age. (JL)

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026 - 2035

[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] 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 shopping basket] Beaumont Haut Medoc £51 6x75cl 89-91 92-93 87-89 - 90-92 -
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The 2020 Beaumont is dark, fleshy and wonderfully expressive. Charcoal, scorched earth, lavender and spice give this dark, plummy Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois Superieur so much character and personality. Expressive spice and floral notes reappear on the long, beautifully articulated finish. This is a winner.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

A linear and polished young red with compact, silky tannins that are polished and beautiful. Lots of blackberry, blackcurrant, mushroom and spice character. Very solid wine from here.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Beaumont opens with expressive notions of baked red cherries, mulberries and redcurrant jelly, plus hints of dried mint, pencil shavings and charcoal. The medium-bodied palate delivers a good amount of crunchy red fruits with soft tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with an herbal lift.

Score: 87 - 89 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Decanter.com Maturity: 2023 - 2031

The 2020 Beaumont has a well-defined bouquet of blackberry, briar and light pine cone scents plus a welcome touch of orange peel. The palate is medium-bodied and classic in style, with dry-ish tannins, but in no way austere; in fact, it displays fine depth and commendable salinity toward the finish. What they used to call "English gentleman’s claret," a.k.a. a good solid Haut-Médoc. Enjoy over 12–15 years.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

Full bottle 1,251 g. Cask sample. A cru bourgeois supérieur. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot. Dark purplish crimson with black core. Fragrant with cassis and a touch of cassis leaf and just a hint of the sweeter black-plum fruit. Fine, almost gentle tannins for a wine so young, dry but without much friction, almost chalky. A little bit flat on the palate with a charry darkness and less fruit than in the aroma. Could turn into something more elegant but at the moment it is rather slight. (JH)

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Beauregard Pomerol £273 6x75cl 92-94 95-96 90-92 - - 93-95
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Very impressive purity of fruit with blackberry, black-olive, and earth character. Some black truffle, too. It’s full-bodied and very compact with firm, racy tannins. Goes on for a very long time. Could be better than the super 2016. From organically grown grapes. 70% merlot and 30% cabernet franc.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Beauregard gives up pronounced notes of baked black plums, blackberry pie and black cherry preserves, plus hints of tar, aniseed, tilled loam and chargrill, with a touch of fried herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate offers chewy tannins and soft acidity to support the black berry and savory layers, finishing on a stewed tea note. The tannins should become a lot more polished after barrel aging, but based on this tasting, I've been conservative with my score.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

The 2020 Beauregard was picked from September 8 at 37hl/ha (winemaker Vincent Priou told me that having been organic for almost a decade, the vineyard is very stable in terms of yield). Matured in 45% new oak, it has a very pure and refined bouquet, one of the best that I have found on a Beauregard at this stage. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannins, a slightly grainy texture and a spicy undercurrent. Very cohesive and silky-smooth on the finish. This just might be the best Beauregard made to date. Bravo!

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2045

From another estate that’s been on the uptick lately, the 2020 Château Beauregard offers a beautiful perfume of jammy black and blue fruits as well as classic Pomerol floral and earthy mineral aromas and flavors. Fleshy, soft, up-front, yet concentrated, with a solid spine of tannins, this is another one of those Pomerols that delivers wonderful purity of fruit along with a rare mix of richness and elegance. It will drink well for 20-25 years.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,349 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, certified organic. Fermented in concrete tronconic vats. Aged in 45% new oak. Deepest purple-crimson with purple rim. Surprisingly subtle but deep aroma of pure black fruit with only a gentle hint of the leafiness I expect from the Cab Franc. On the palate, concentrated black fruit, slightly savoury/rocky in that darkness, chewy but not astringent tannins. Lovely freshness on the finish to balance the whole, and a gentle fruit sweetness on the finish. (JH)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.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

[Add to shopping basket] Beausejour Duffau St Emilion £540 6x75cl 93-95 - 95-97 - - 95-97
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Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse) charges out of the glass with bold notions of plum preserves, wild blueberries and boysenberries, plus hints of dark chocolate, molten licorice, lavender and fennel seed, with a waft of Sichuan pepper. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers bags of juicy black and blue fruits with a soft texture and seamless freshness, finishing long and with beautiful purity.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2043

The 2020 Beauséjour Duffau Lagarrosse was tasted both as a sample sent to my home in the UK and then just a couple of days later at the château itself with new co-proprietor Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse. The assemblage is almost the same as Nicolas Thienpont’s but with an extra component: all the Cabernet Franc in the vineyard, representing 19% of the blend. Dark purple in color, this has a perfumed, floral bouquet, scents of wilted iris flower and rose petal combining with the black cherry and black plum aromas. There is a subtle undercurrent of seaweed and shucked oyster shell. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins and a little chalkiness to the texture (more so in the sample at the château). The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins, fine tension and acidity, and quite mineral-driven, leading to an almost pixelated, precise finish. This is a seriously fine debut from Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

A blend of 81% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Château Beausejour (Duffau-Lagarrosse) should end up being up with the top wines in the appellation. Showing the more straight, focused style of the vintage, it has a monster of a mid-palate, full-bodied richness, building tannins on the palate, and incredible minerality on the finish. Loaded with cassis fruit as well as lead pencil and graphite notes, this dense, powerful beauty almost requires a fork. It’s brilliant all the way and will have 30-40 years of longevity.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Belair Monange St Emilion £725 6x75cl Low Stock 95-97 97-98 95-97 98-100 95-97 96-98
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The 2020 Bélair-Monange is exceptional. A bold, dramatic wine, the 2020 hits all the senses with layers of intense dark fruit, chocolate, cake, spice, leather and espresso. In some vintages, I have felt Bélair-Monange to be perhaps just a bit pushed in terms of ripeness. The 2020 has plenty of richness, but also more than enough energy to provide balance. Clean, mineral underpinnings extend the persistent finish beautifully. I expect the 2020 will reward readers with several decades of thrilling drinking.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2060

It’s full-bodied, showing loads of violets, blackberries and blueberries with salt and white-pepper character. Minerally. It’s very fine-grained with a fascinating finish. Intense and long. 98% merlot and 2% cabernet franc.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Belair Monange displays an opaque purple-black color, unfurling slowly to reveal a nose of blueberry preserves, stewed plums and Morello cherries, giving way to a fragrant undercurrent of Chinese five spice, incense and dried rose petals, plus hints of fallen leaves, Sichuan pepper and oolong tea. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers a fantastically plush texture with mouth-coating black and blue fruits and loads of exotic spice sparks, gently lifted by soft acidity, finishing long and fragrant.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2052

The gunsmoke character is immediately evident on the nose, as is richly expressed damson and raspberry fruit. This is pared back and held back right now, elegant, showing a seductive edge without trying too hard. The texture is softly-brushed velvet, these tannins are front and centre but so fine and so precise that they don't get in the way of the fruit. Salinity from the limestone is evident on the finish, bringing a moreish juiciness and you can scrape your tongue against the pumice stone texture. Austere in all the right ways, with just the most incredible depth and layers. I love it. Harvest September 15 to 23. 98-100.

Score: 98 - 100 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

The 2020 Bélair-Monange continues its impressive run of form under the JP Moueix family, having rapidly ascended to the highest rank within the Saint-Émilion appellation. This latest release is another stunning articulation of its propitious terroir, which lies adjacent to Ausone. You could lose yourself in the kaleidoscope of aromas: black cherries, Dorset plum, crushed stone, violet and background pencil box, beautifully defined and growing in intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannins and quite firm (maybe a tad more than I anticipated), displaying fine grip. This is a strict yet utterly compelling Bélair-Monange with wonderful salinity coming through toward the finish. There is a lot of substance to this wine and it is perhaps less immediate than other recent vintages, indicating that it may require long-term cellaring. Outstanding.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

A quintessential Saint-Emilion, the 2020 Château Belair-Monange reveals a dense purple/plum color as well as classic Saint-Emilion minerality that covers lots of ripe black fruits, graphite, tobacco, and violet aromas and flavors. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and concentrated, you could almost eat it with a fork and yet it still stays light on its feet, has building, polished tannins, and a great finish. It's a brilliant wine in the making.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Wisp of fruit and soil on the nose with a red-berry and chalky nuance. Beautifully textured, the plentiful tannins smooth and filigree fine. Poised, fresh and juicy as well, the finish long and palate-cleansing. Precisely executed, the terroir showing through. (JL)

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Bellevue Mondotte St Emilion £543 6x75cl 90-92 98-99 96-98 93 95-97 95-97
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The 2020 Bellevue Mondotte is a dark, brooding Saint-Émilion, from just two hectares of vineyards. Graphite, gravel, scorched earth, inky dark fruit, chocolate and cloves stain the palate. Deep and explosive, with tremendous energy, the Bellevue Mondotte is magnificent and also one of the most distinctive wines in the appellation. In 2020, it’s 100% Merlot, as the small parcels of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon that once were used here have been budded over to Merlot. What a wine!

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

This is a terrific wine that has everything, from seamless texture to great depth of fruit. Full-bodied, yet agile and energetic. Pure merlot. One of the best I have had from here.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Bellevue Mondotte is made from 100% Merlot, with an alcohol of 14.92% and a pH of 3.54. It is aging in French oak barriques, 90% new. Displaying an opaque purple-black color, it sashays out of the glass with flamboyant notes of plum preserves, blackberry compote and blueberry pie, plus hints of hoisin, Chinese five spice and camphor with a touch of dried rose petals. The concentrated, seductive, full-bodied palate delivers layer upon layer of black and blue fruit preserves, accented by exotic spices and supported with firm, ripe, rounded tannins plus fantastic freshness. The finish is epically long and achingly fragrant. Wow!

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2060

This is dominated by crème de cassis, giving a flash of heat, which threatens to overpower. The tannins build up fairly swiftly, but alongside is a full on cascade of dark berry fruits. This is intense and architectural - it closes down firmly on the finish, but will open back up over the next decade. 3.54pH. A yield of 18hl/ha. 2ha vineyard, right up on the clay-limestone plateau, malolactic fermentation in large vats, 90% new oak.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com

The 2020 Bellevue-Mondotte was picked on September 23 at just 18hl/ha and matured in 90% new oak and 10% one-year-old barrels. It has a very intense nose of Dorset plum, black currant and quite potent marine, almost briny aromas; it kind of bludgeons your olfactory senses. The medium-bodied palate features sappy black fruit laced with crushed stone and cracked black pepper. Very dense and powerful, the finish just a little alcoholic (14.92° under analysis). There is something slightly static about this Saint-Émilion, built to impress rather than seduce. Just not my cup of tea (or wine).

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2050

Coming from a tiny site above Pavie and slightly deeper clay soils over limestone, the 100% Merlot 2020 Bellevue Mondotte is a medium to full-bodied, rich, concentrated Saint-Emilion that shows the straight, focused style of the vintage yet brings beautiful mid-palate depth and richness. Cassis, blueberries, crushed rocks, violets, and classy oak all define the bouquet, and it packs loads of fruit, tannins, and apparent minerality on the palate. It’s another killer wine from the team at Pavie.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

100% Merlot. Cask sample. Purple-black hue. Tightly wound and structured but has the fruit to match. Dark and steely on the nose. Solid tannic frame but the tannins fine grained. Reserved and intense but precise. Needs patience. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Beychevelle St Julien £347 6x75cl - 94-95 94-96 94 94-96 95-97
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The 2020 Beychevelle opens with the most exotic bouquet imaginable. Wild flowers of all sorts, spice, lavender and inky dark fruit all saturate the palate. As always, Beychevelle is an overt, flamboyant wine, but all of the elements are so well out together. The 2020 is sexy, alluring and impossible to resist. Time in the glass brings out redder tonalities of fruit along with sweet floral notes that add striking inner perfume. Even as a barrel sample, I am so tempted to just drink it.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2055

Sweet-berry and tobacco character with blackberries and violets. It’s full-bodied with firm, polished tannins and a fresh finish. Very fine at the end.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Beychevelle offers up vibrant notes of black raspberries, fresh black cherries and cassis, plus hints of wild sage, chocolate mint, rose hip tea and fallen leaves, with an exotic hint of Indian spices. The medium to full-bodied palate offers layers of crunchy black fruits with a firm, grainy texture and just enough freshness, finishing long and perfumed.

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2046

Smoke, grilled almond on the nose, even a touch of rubber from an edge of reduction. This has depth to black chocolate and bilberry fruit, it is well balanced and seductive. Enjoyable, it's pretty broad shouldered but it sits well within the successful run of vintages at Beychevelle. A yield of 47hl/ha. 18 months ageing. 55% first wine. Drinking Window 2029 - 2044

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com

This Saint-Julien estate has produced wonderful wines from their new winery in recent years under head winemaker, the congenial Philippe Blanc. But my job is to tell it like it is and the truth is that all three bottles of the 2020 Beychevelle tasted from different sources, including one directly from the château and with different sample dates, left me scratching my head. It was picked from 14 September to 29 September and cropped at 47hl/ha. Initially, it has a backward and herbal nose, attractive black fruit with touches of tobacco and mulch, the latter turning slightly vegetal. The palate is medium-bodied with blackberries tinged with bay leaf and a touch of white pepper. However, the first bottle exhibited some unwanted green/stalky notes that poked out on the finish. It was less evident on the second bottle sent directly from the estate that was given 90 minutes' aeration. Unexpectedly a third bottle arrived, this taken from barrel later on 17 May. I was hoping it would disprove my findings, so I had it served blind. I picked it up again - just like the first. Now, maybe this will be assimilated during its élevage after all, I occasionally notice this trait on Brane-Cantenac and with time it becomes subsumed, even enhancing complexity. But because all three samples left me vexed, I will refrain from scoring this wine and revisit the bottle later on. The only thing I can promise is that I will tell you exactly what I find.

Score: - Neal Martin, Vinous.com

Based on 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot, the Grand Vin 2020 Château Beychevelle is a stunner that does everything right, offering a monster bouquet of black and blue fruits as well as candied violets, incense, flowers, and toasty oak. A ripe, full-bodied, incredibly sexy wine in every sense, it has a great mid-palate, ripe, velvety tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's one of the more up-front, exotic wines in the vintage and should be accessible with just short-term cellaring.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,245 g. Cask sample taken 31 March. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Concentrated purple. Headily aromatic with mulberry perfume and just a hint of oak. Silky tannins and marked freshness. Neat and the opposite of opulent. Classic wine for the table.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Blanc de Lynch Bages Dry Whites £180 6x75cl 89 95 - 94 - -
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Really fresh and vivid with sliced grapefruit, lemon, green apple and white peach. Apricot, too. Medium to full body with phenolic texture and a long, vivid finish. 70% sauvignon, 20% semillon and 10% muscadelle. Drink or hold.

Score: 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Less of the citrus flavours of recent vintages and more apricot and nectarine stone fruits, taking its cue from Sémillon and Muscadelle. Relaxed and effortless while still maintaining both lift and tension, with a saline wet stone lick on the finish. I tasted the 2019 on the same day, as it had just been bottled, and the 2020 is less of a classic Lynch Bages Blanc, but still utterly delicious, with clear weight and impression through the mid palate. 3.35pH. 50% new oak for six months. Fermentation below 20°C. A yield of 40hl/ha.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2022 - 2032

The 2020 Blanc de Lynch-Bages, fermented in temperature-controlled barrels, raised in 50% new oak and bottled in April 2021, has a well-defined bouquet, scents of yellow plum intermingling with gooseberries and crushed stone. The palate is well balanced; the 20% Sémillon transcending its “bit part” in the blend by furnishing this white Bordeaux with a slightly honeyed texture and subtle tropical notes of white peach and passion fruit. This is all counterbalanced by a fine bead of acidity, and though it does not possess enormous length, there is a precision that is very appealing.

Score: 89 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2030

[Add to shopping basket] Bourgneuf (Pomerol) Pomerol £225 6x75cl 92-94 94-95 91-93 94 92-94 93-95
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Bourgneuf has been on a roll for a number of vintages. The 2020 is another terrific showing from the Vayron family. A spine of fine tannins gives the 2020 its drive and overall sense of proportion. Black cherry, grilled herbs, menthol, licorice, chocolate and spice all open in the glass. The 2020 is a serious, rather somber Bourgneuf that is going to need at least a few years to be at its best. Tasted two times.

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

A dense, sexy red with blackberry, black-truffle and bark character with a full body, chewy tannins and loads of structure at the end. Lovely, ripe tannins. Fresh on the finish.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Bourgneuf sashays out of the glass with expressive notes of crushed black cherries, boysenberries and prunes, plus wafts of melted chocolate, Indian spices and cedar chest, with a hint of cardamom. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of spicy/peppery black fruit preserves, framed by ripe, rounded tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and earthy.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

Inky plum colour, clear coffee grounds on the attack but this is also full of Pomerol richness, bitter chocolate shavings and damson plum fruit. You are definitely in a concentrated, knitted-down style here with plenty of muscle that delivers appellation signature. Tasted twice. Harvest September 14 to 25.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027-204

The 2020 Bourgneuf is a Pomerol château that has stepped up another level in recent vintages, and this latest release continues that trend. It has a quintessential Pomerol nose of black-truffle-infused black fruit, hints of orange blossom and light tertiary scents. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins. A well-structured Bonalgue, yet with plenty of freshness and maybe the most precise finish that I have encountered from this estate. Chapeau to winemaker Dominique Vayron; this is outstanding. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

Rocking levels of ripe black fruits, smoked tobacco, chocolate, camphor, and spicy oak emerge from the 2020 Château Bourgneuf, and it's a medium to full-bodied, nicely textured, balanced Pomerol that comes in on the richer, more mouth-filling side of the vintage. It's going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age but is one sexy, pleasure-bent beauty I'd be happy to have in the cellar. My note finished with "love it."

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, aged for 12–14 months in barriques (35% new). Deep crimson. Really fresh – much less obviously sweet and opulent than a typical Pomerol. Rich and lively. Nice wine even if not for very long ageing. Flattering without being too sweet. Smart, clean, medium finish.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2035

[Add to shopping basket] Branaire Ducru St Julien £186 6x75cl 92-94 93-94 91-93 - 94-96 92-94
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The 2020 Branaire-Ducru is utterly magnificent. A wine of extraordinary depth and dimension, the 2020 possesses tremendous intensity right out of the gate. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, new leather, licorice, cloves and lavender build as into the explosive, palate-staining finish. I don't think I have ever tasted a Branaire quite like this.

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

A polished, creamy red with blue fruit, such as blackcurrants, and pretty, ripe and fine tannins that fill your mouth.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Branaire-Ducru displays a deep garnet-purple color and pronounced blackcurrant cordial, plum preserves and boysenberries scents, plus hints of sautéed herbs, unsmoked cigars and graphite. The medium-bodied palate has a lot of verve, delivering appealing tension among the tightly wound black fruits and grainy tannins, finishing with an herbal lift.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2042

The 2020 Branaire Ducru has a tightly wound bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, freshly tilled loam and distinct sea spray scents, all well defined, albeit 15­–20 minutes after opening my sample bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, and very cohesive, displaying a keen thread of acidity. Unlike previous vintages, there is impressive density on the midpalate where it once was a little lean, and plenty of energy and tension conveyed by the finish. Excellent.

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

The 2020 Château Branaire-Ducru is vivid purple in color, with a classy, slightly exotic nose of blueberries, plums, violets, and orange blossom, and a kiss of marine-like iron emerging with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, and focused on the palate, it’s not massive by any means yet shines for its balance, purity, and length.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,350 g. 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. 18 months' ageing. Deep crimson. Pale rim. Rather luscious fruit initially but a bit tart on the finish and just a little skinny on the mid palate. Relatively short.

Score: - Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] Brane Cantenac Margaux £300 6x75cl Sold Out 95-97 96-97 91-93 94 94-96 94-96
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The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is deep, fleshy and savory. Strong Cabernet accents open first, leading to a core of inky dark fruit, lavender, spice, mint and chocolate. There is some new oak that needs to integrate, but time should take care of that. I especially admire the sense of classicism and energy here. This is a superb showing from Brane-Cantenac and the team led by Henri Lurton.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2050

Extremely floral and beautiful with blackberry and blackcurrant aromas that follow through to a full body with a solid core of fruit and loads of dark fruit, sweet tobacco, bark and earth. Chewy, fine tannins. Perhaps the best of the trilogy years.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carménère and 1% Petit Verdot. It weighs in with 13.7% alcohol and a pH of 3.71. Deep purple-black colored, it has a beautifully expressive nose of fresh redcurrants, blackcurrant jelly, kirsch and rose oil, plus hints of tobacco leaf, wild sage and crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled with a plush texture and plenty of freshness supporting the red berry and earthy flavors, finishing fragrant.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2040

Violet-edged, lovely vibrant colour. A low-yield wine that has kept an impressively fresh core, with expressive fruits and a vibrant grip through the centre of the wine. Powerful, tight tannins and the concentration becomes clearer in the glass, a ton of bilberry, sage and rosemary aromatics, with a generous helping of graphite and crushed stone. All of these wines are going to need very careful ageing - although the reasonable alcohols should help. A yield of 31hl/ha. 18 months ageing in a mix of new oak barrels and amphoras. 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère completes the blend. Tasted twice.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028-44

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac was picked September 14–28 and includes 13% vin de presse. It has exactly the same blend as last year since Henri Lurton and his team did not limit the Grand Vin to the 30-hectare plateau, a similar approach to Pichon-Baron when they reorganized their own vineyard. I allowed my sample an hour to open (during which I was discussing the wine with Lurton over Zoom). It has a beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, fresh mint and light bay leaf scents. I have sometimes found a little greenness on the nose, but there is none in 2020. The palate is very well balanced with finely chiseled, precise tannins and beautifully judged acidity. Harmonious and poised, this is an absolutely fantastic Brane-Cantenac, in my mind superior to the previous two vintages, exuding wonderful mineralité on the finish. A must-buy.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2057

Deep purple-hued, the 2020 Château Brane-Cantenac is another remarkable 2020 in the making. Beautiful blackberry and cassis fruits as well as notes of chocolate, lead pencil, and flower all define the nose, and it has the vintage's pure, focused, surprisingly fresh profile while still being concentrated and textured. The balance is spot on and the tannins are polished as well, so it should have some up-front appeal, yet smart money will be on giving this at least 4-6 years of bottle age.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,325 g. Cask sample taken 19 April. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% each of Petit Verdot and Carmenère. Cabernet Sauvignon was picked 17 to 28 September, Merlot 14 to 18 September, Cabernet Franc 18 to 25 September, Petit Verdot 21 to 22 September, Carmenère 30 September. Deep, dark purple. Very fragrant with hints of bergamot. Decidedly aérien on the nose and then super-gentle on the palate. Much lighter than most of its peers but by no means vapid. The tannins are almost negligible – apparently – but they dig in on the end of the palate. Very long. A decidedly graceful wine.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Cabanne Pomerol £150 6x75cl 90-92 94-95 91-93 - - 91-93
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A firm, linear red with blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors. Medium body and very fine, racy tannins. Pretty length to this. Structured. Best of the trilogy?

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 96% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 La Cabanne has a deep purple-black color and notes of ripe, juicy black plums, fresh blackberries and black cherry compote, plus hints of star anise, clove oil and sandalwood with a touch of lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of rich, ripe black fruits, supported by velvety tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long with a spicy kick.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2042

The 2020 La Cabanne has a very intense bouquet of black cherries, black truffle and light violet aromas, plus just a touch of blood orange in the background. The palate is well balanced with sappy black fruit and a touch of white pepper and truffle, gaining weight on the midpalate and culminating in one of the spicier finishes you will find in Pomerol. This has good potential and may well end up at the top of my banded score.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2042

Lots of ripe, lifted cassis and black cherry fruits as well as spice, licorice, and chocolate notes emerge from the 2020 Château La Cabanne, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a plush, layered texture, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It's certainly an outstanding wine and should be in the same ballpark as the 2016, 2018, and 2019.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,331 g. Cask sample. 96% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Very dark with purple rim. Lifted red and black fruits on the nose, with a hint of cough linctus. Oaky and a little charry too. Ripe and fresh at the same time, giving a sweet-sour finish. Nice freshness to balance all that fruit. Straightforward but should gain complexity in the bottle. Tannins already smoothed by the oak. (JH)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] Calon Segur St Estephe £469 6x75cl Sold Out 92-94 95-96 95-97 98 88-90 95-97
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The 2020 Calon Ségur is deep, dark and massively concentrated. Huge, brawny tannins give the Grand Vin a brooding, rustic feel. Quite frankly, it is hard to see the 2020 being in balance. There is too much of everything - too much ripeness, too much tannin and too much heaviness. Perhaps this sample was not perfect. We will see.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2050

Tobacco and tea aromas with currants and wet earth. Full-bodied and chewy with blackcurrant flavor. Tannins build on the finish with lots of structure and intensity. Quite muscular.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Calon-Ségur is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It is aging in 100% new French oak barrels for an anticipated 18 to 20 months. The alcohol is 13.8%. Displaying a deep purple-black color, it straight away springs up with bright scents of freshly picked black raspberries, kirsch and blackberries, needing considerable swirling to reveal a vast array of nuances—rose oil, cardamom, iron ore, graphite, lavender and aniseed. The medium-bodied palate has a solid structure of firm, ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness supporting the tightly wound red and black fruit layers, accented by lots of mineral and floral sparks, finishing with impressive length and depth. Beautiful, beautiful wine!

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2060

A return to form in my eyes for Calon Ségur after the atypical 2018, rippling with elegance, balance and savoury blue fruits of Cabernet, with rose and peony flowers. Concentrated, chiselled and juicy, this has clear personality and equals the great, classically balanced vintages of Calon like 2016. A yield of 33hl/ha, 3.85pH, 100% new oak. Vincent Millet is now overall director as well as technical director, since the departure of Laurent Dufau in 2020. Drinking Window 2029 - 2048

Score: 98 Jane Anson, Decanter.com

The 2020 Calon Ségur was picked from 24-30 September at 33hl/ha and after a 3-day cold soak at 10°C it underwent a 18-21 cuvaison. Matured entirely in new oak, it is backward on the nose, well defined, but broody and requires coaxing from the glass. It eventually reveals blackberry, cedar, wild mint and pressed iris petal aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, a little angular on the entry, good acidity. The second half, though, feels just a little brutish at the moment, granular and grippy on the saline, briny finish. I appreciate the way in which the DNA of this estate comes through, though the 2019 showed far more finesse and panache. It may end up at the top of my banded score if it can pull together more clarity and complexity.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2040

The flagship 2020 Château Calon Ségur is also brilliant and certainly brings up the intensity, depth, and richness, although it’s nowhere near the exotic, almost over-the-top style of the 2018. Gorgeous crème de cassis, tobacco, roasted coffee beans, lead pencil, and sappy herbs all define this beauty, which is full-bodied, beautifully balanced, and has incredible purity of fruit. It might have some up-front appeal as well, yet smart money will hide bottles for at least 7-8 years.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Classically structured and Cabernet-driven without the opulence of 2018 or the finesse of 2019. Pure and precise on the nose with cassis notes prevalent. Crunchy fruit on the palate with powdery tannins that build and drive to a dry finish. Verticality as in 2019. Perhaps a little chew but clean and saline on the finish. (JL)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Canon La Gaffeliere St Emilion £326 6x75cl 93-95 95-96 95-96 94 94-96 95-97
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The 2020 Canon La Gaffelière is a strict, severe wine, almost unnaturally so. At this stage, the 2020 is all acid and tannin, and yet behind that lies a vibrant core of fruit. The big Franc aromatics, often such a signature, are nowhere to be found. Inky red berry fruit, blood orange, spice and star anise emerge with a bit of coaxing, all framed by a spine of serious tannins that are at once incisive and well-balanced. Readers should plan on being patient, as the 2020 is going to need years to come around. Despite its reticence, the 2020 appears to have significant potential down the line. -- Antonio Galloni

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2032-2050

Very refined and polished with minerally, almost salty character. Full body and beautiful, compact tannins. Racy finish. Excellent drive to this at the end.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Very refined and polished with minerally, almost salty character. Full body and beautiful, compact tannins. Racy finish. Excellent drive to this at the end.

Score: 95 - 96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Concentrated and intense, with juicy liquorice and blackberry flavours dominant on the attack. This is an excellent wine showing beautiful tension with slate and crushed stone texture. Chocolate shavings, bitter and intense, give a kick on the finish. Even better after 24 hours of opening, which is an extremely good sign for an en primeur sample. A yield of 32.5hl/ha. 50% new oak.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027-2044

The 2020 Canon-la-Gaffelière is beautifully defined on the nose, featuring lavish black cherries, boysenberry, tobacco and cracked black pepper aromas. This is endowed with impressive precision and the oak is very well integrated. The medium-bodied palate delivers sappy black fruit, fine balance and poise and a lightly spiced, edgy, almost citrus-like finish. Packed to the rafters with vim and vigor, this is a superb Saint-Émilion.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2045

Lots of blue fruits, leafy herbs, chocolate, and earthy goodness emerge from the 2020 Château Canon-La-Gaffeliere, a medium to full-bodied, dense, focused, elegant Saint-Emilion that needs plenty of air to show at its best. The purity of fruit is remarkable, and while it starts out tight and focused, it blossoms with air, showing a more expansive, layered, rich yet still fresh texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. It’s a thrilling Saint-Emilion readers should snatch up.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample. Almost earthy, vineyard-fresh feel to the nose and palate. Flows gently, building discreetly to a persistent finish. Attractive fruit and fine-grained tannins. Ageing potential. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Cantenac Brown Margaux £206 6x75cl 94-96 96-97 91-93 93 94-97 92-94
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The 2020 Cantenac Brown is an outrageously beautiful wine. Ample, vertical and soaring in its intensity, the 2020 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Punchy red berry fruit, lavender, spice, mint and rose petal abound. What I like most about the 2020 is the way it balances fruit intensity with vibrancy and energy. Cantenac Brown is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage.

Score: 94 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2060

Fantastic depth of fruit with layers of firm, chewy tannins that are medium-grained and long in the mouth. Full and dynamic. One of the best ever.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

eep garnet-purple in color, the 2020 Cantenac Brown slides effortlessly out of the glass with pronounced notes of licorice, tar, tapenade and fertile loam over a core of warm cassis and plum preserves, with a waft of charcuterie. The medium-bodied palate is refreshing, bursting with crunchy black fruit and herbal sparks with a well-managed, grainy texture, finishing long and earthy.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2042

Silky with touches of caramel, chocolate, blueberry, raspberries and boysenberries - all those autumnal fruits that have texture and acidity to them, with the signature gloss of Cantenac Brown. Clear peony, violet notes also. A linen texture that slows the passage of the wine through the mouth. Retasted at UGC and this is again good quality, the austerity on the tannins is marked right now, but there is plenty of life ahead here. New owner Tristan le Lous as of 2019, and this wine also includes the new 9.5ha vines of vines from Château Charmant and la Galiane (bought in July 2020). The fermentation was conducted at temperatures 4-5 °C lower than average to preserve fruit. 60% new oak. Harvest 10 to 30 September.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

Brown The 2020 Cantenac Brown, cropped at 36hl/ha, has quite a precocious bouquet of macerated small black cherries, blueberry, touches of cassis and violet, all very generous and seductive in style. The palate is beautifully balanced and extremely pure, offering succulent ripe tannins, perfectly judged acidity and layers of blueberry, Dorset plum, crushed stone and light graphite notes toward the finish, which has just the right amount of salinity. This is a sophisticated and quite cerebral Margaux in a series of excellent recent releases from the estate. Highly recommended.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

I loved the 2020 Château Cantenac Brown, a pure, medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured Margaux that shines in the vintage. Offering up lots of classy cassis fruits as well as spicy oak, violets, and flowers, it has plenty of mid-palate depth, outstanding balance, and a great finish. There’s no trace of the often firm chewy tannins found in this appellation in 2020, and it’s unquestionably a beautiful wine.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot. Cask sample. Delicately floral and fruity on the nose with just a hint of oak. Soft and supple on entry then a lingering freshness. Adequate juice and fine tannins with a leafy, Cabernet note on the finish. More refined and less chunky than in the past. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Capbern St Estephe £97 6x75cl 88-90 92-93 89-91 - 87-89 94-96
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The 2020 Capbern is a potent, virile Saint-Estèphe. Huge, muscular tannins give the 2020 its imposing personality. Black cherry, gravel, smoke, espresso, cured meats and dark spice all open with a bit of coaxing. In 2020, Capbern is a brute.

Score: 87 - 89 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

This is really solid and powerful with lots of tannins and blue fruit. Spicy. Full and chewy. A little coarse now, but will improve with barrel aging.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Capbern is composed of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, weighing in with 14.1% alcohol. It is due to be aged for around 18 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Capbern sings of black cherries, mulberries and redcurrant jelly, with hints of candied violets, wild sage and fertile loam. The medium-bodied palate has impressive verve and freshness, featuring soft, well-managed tannins, red and black berry layers and a mineral-tinged finish.

Score: 89 - 91 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2023 - 2035

The 2020 Capbern has a delineated, earthy nose with predominantly black fruit and light estuarine scents, although it needs a little more intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with a tannic, slightly austere opening, saline and lightly spiced with a pleasant bitter edge towards the finish. Maybe a little short? It should fill out during its élevage so let’s see if it just gains persistence then.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2033

Readers looking for an off-the-charts value should snatch up the 2020 Château Capbern, which emerges from the same team as Calon Ségur. Offering a vivid bouquet of cassis, leafy tobacco, violets, damp earth, and chocolate, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, perfectly ripe fruit (not overripe, not underripe), ultra-fine, integrated tannins, and the mix of freshness and richness that’s part of all great wines. It’s a hidden gem in Saint-Estèphe.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to waiting list] Carmes Haut Brion Graves £680 6x75cl Sold Out 94-96 97-98 95-97 - - 96-98
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Exotic fruit aromas of blackberry, blueberry, peach and orange peel. It’s full-bodied with a vertical flow of layered, chewy tannins that are integrated and intense. Extremely polished and focused. Crushed stone to the fruit in the aftertaste. Some bark and forest flowers, too. Great potential.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Les Carmes Haut-Brion issues forth a beguiling array of savory scents—black olives, charcuterie, bouquet garni and Sichuan pepper—over a core of bright redcurrant jelly, black cherries and cassis scents, plus fragrant hints of rose petals and preserved mandarin peel. The medium-bodied palate is refreshing and elegantly styled yet with a rock-solid backbone of firm, finely grained tannins and bags of freshness, finishing long and perfumed. This is a stunning expression of the vintage that should be long lived and age with fantastic grace.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2057

The 2020 Les Carmes Haut-Brion was picked at 38hl/ha and matured in 80% new oak, 11% foudres and the remainder in clay amphorae. It has an intense bouquet of blackberry and wild strawberry, plus some light torrefactory scents, undergrowth and black pepper, all delineated and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with beautifully defined black fruit and delicate touches of mint, bell pepper and cracked black pepper. Though it shares the same surname, it is interesting to see how, stylistically, it is cut from a totally different cloth than Haut-Brion and La Mission, which each possess their own distinct attributes. Quite thickly textured and weighty on the finish with a long, spicy aftertaste, this is a serious Les Carmes Haut-Brion with a very long future ahead.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

On another level, the flagship 2020 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion is one heck of a dense, backward, concentrated wine that’s going to require bottle age. Coming in with the same technical analysis (acidity and alcohol) as the 2018, this full-bodied beauty offers a thrilling nose of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, charcoal, and gravelly earth. Full-bodied on the palate, with a terrific mid-palate and wonderful purity, it holds things close to its vest yet has flawless balance, impeccable purity, and just a great, lengthy finish. Nevertheless, this is one big bruiser of a wine that’s going to demand bottle age. Do your best to hide bottles for 7-8 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following three to four decades.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.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] Chapelle de la Mission (2nd wine of Mission Haut Brion) Graves £360 6x75cl 88-90 93-94 92-94 94 91-93 92-94
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The 2020 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion is rich, dense and so inviting, right from the very first taste. Ripe red purplish/berry fruit, rose petal, spice and gravel all meld together in the glass, but what impresses most about La Chappelle is its exceptional balance. Aromatics, fruit and structure are all so well-balanced. The 2020 is an especially fine La Chappelle.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2035

Blackberries, some crushed stones and iodine with a sandalwood undertone. It’s full and racy with firm tannins.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 44.7% Merlot and 55.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2020 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion has an alcohol of 14.3%. It rolls effortlessly out of the glass with seducing notes of warm black plums, black cherry compote and blackberry pie, plus suggestions of lavender, crushed rocks and underbrush with a hint of sassafras. The medium-bodied palate is delicately played and refreshing, offering lots of soft-spoken black fruit and earthy layers with a soft texture and seamless acidity, finishing with a spicy kick.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2042

You are immediately set at ease by the confidence and sheer easy appeal of this wine. A silky and seductive La Chapelle that rivals plenty of first wines in this vintage. The texture is rich and taut at first, then softens in the glass, with a charge of freshness that keeps the momentum and the energy high. Not many wines that rival the 2010 and 2016s, but here it very much does - exuberant with chocolate and cracked pepper but pulls back at the right moment. Harvests from 7th to 29th September. I love it.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

The 2020 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion has a perfumed, floral bouquet of iris and pitted black olive scents infusing copious black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a little more backbone than the Le Clarence Haut-Brion, plus it is a little drier on the finish. It just needs to develop a bit more flesh and sensuality by the time it is bottled.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2034

Black cherries, currants, tobacco, and leafy herb notes all emerge from the 2020 La Chapelle De La Mission Haut-Brion. and it's medium to full-bodied, with a round, layered mouthfeel, ripe tannins, and just a big, rich, yet concentrated vibe that's very much in the style of the vintage. It's going to have two decades of longevity.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full embossed bottle 1,280 g. Cask sample taken 13 April … nice and fresh! 55.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 44.7% Merlot picked 7 to 29 September. Estimated alcohol 14.3%. Dark purplish crimson. Subtle, saline nose. Really gets the saliva flowing. The tannins are not the supplest – slightly sandy-textured – but the fruit is very dense and correct with real life to it. Medium weight with great balance. Racy wine with good drive – though you'll have to wait awhile for the tannins to recede.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Chenade Lalande de Pomerol £80 6x75cl 91-93 91-92 89-91 - 90-92 92-94
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The 2020 La Chenade is fleshy and succulent right out of the gate. Sweet red cherry, red plum, spice, mint and sweet pipe tobacco lend quite a bit of aromatic presence to this super-expressive Lalande de Pomerol from the Durantou family. As always, La Chenade is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, with the Franc especially marked in this vintage in the wine's aromatics and structural feel. A few years in the bottle will be essential.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2035

This is very creamy and polished with attractive blackcurrant and bitter citrus character. Medium-bodied, polished and lovely.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 La Chenade is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, coming from vines planted to a sandy-gravel soil at the Durantous's Lalande de Pomerol estate. The Merlot was picked between the 9th and the 15th of September and the Cabernet Franc on the 16th of September. It has an alcohol of 14% and is aging in French oak barrels, 30% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes skipping out of the glass with exuberant scents of Morello cherries, boysenberries and crushed red and black plums, plus suggestions of underbrush, damp soil and menthol. The medium-bodied palate is elegant and nicely balanced, with soft acidity and tannins framing the earth-laced red and black fruits, finishing long and minerally. 10,000 bottles are expected to be made.

Score: 89 - 91 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2038

Sit back and enjoy the life and sap through this wine, with earthy wild blackberry notes that I really enjoy. No need to wait too long, enjoyably sculpted if a little concentrated in its tannic sign-off. 3.72pH. A yield of 38hl/ha. La Chenade contains a fairly high amount of young vines, which meant it was more affected than Les Cruzelles by the dry summer, but it has been exceptionally well handled.

Score: - Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2023 - 2032

The 2020 La Chenade is clean and precise on the nose, offering a mixture of red and black fruit, plus hints of licorice and light minty scents loitering in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, veering more toward black fruit. An underlying salinity then encourages the saliva to flow on the finish. This is a beautiful Lalande de Pomerol – elegance personified.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2038

I absolutely loved the 2020 Château La Chenade, and this beautiful, layered, rich, yet fresh Lalande de Pomerol does everything right. Giving up terrific aromatics of ripe back cherries, cassis, tobacco, and lead pencil, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a round, supple texture, ripe tannins, and a great finish. I just hope it shows this well from bottle!

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Fruit-driven, lively and juicy with a light tannic frame. Simple pleasure but falls away a bit at the end. (JL)

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] Cheval Blanc St Emilion £2,325 6x75cl Sold Out 96-98 - - 98-100 - -
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Spice, anis, rosemary, blackcurrant leaf, redcurrants, mint and peonies - the full array of aromatics are on display here, and there is an enveloping aspect to the fruit once you get to the body of the wine. The tannins are compact and powerful but they are wrapped in plump raspberry and blackberry brambled fruits. The wine feels full of life, with acidity that pulls the palate forward from the first moment, before austerity kicks in on the finish and closes things in, suggesting an extremely long life ahead. Hard to argue with this. 71% of overall production. The driest year at Cheval Blanc for 50 years (since 1959). Could go up after tasting in bottle, a potential 100 points. 98-100.

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

The 2020 Cheval Blanc has a limpid deep people hue with noticeable tears in the glass. The bouquet demands several minutes to really open, delivering a payload of intense black cherry and blueberry fruit, pressed violet, a hint of licorice and crushed stone. The palate is medium-bodied with finely chiseled tannins, and quite dense and weighty in the mouth, though not sinewy. Everything is finely proportioned and multilayered, leading to a mineral-driven finish. This is a very serious, long-term Cheval Blanc with a glorious future ahead, though it would be wise to cellar this for a decade if you can resist temptation.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2070

65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. 71% of production. Cask sample. Deep colour. Flattering and floral on the nose but slightly hard-edged on the palate. There’s a fleshy quality to the fruit and freshness as well but the luxurious nature of Cheval seems missing this year. Tight and firm at present, even a little pinched, the tannins overwhelm the fruit at present. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Cissac Haut Medoc £100 12x75cl 86-88 90-91 - - 86-88 -
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The 2020 Cissac takes a few minutes to really coalesce in the glass, eventually revealing blackberry, raspberry, freshly tilled loam and tobacco scents. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly coarse tannins on the entry, moderate depth and fine acidity, though it feels a little simple on the finish compared to other vintages.

Score: 86 - 88 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2035

A medium-bodied red with blackberries, black olives and some herbal undertones. Medium finish. A little hollow in the center palate, but should fill out with the elevage.

Score: 90 - 91 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Cissac takes a few minutes to really coalesce in the glass, eventually revealing blackberry, raspberry, freshly tilled loam and tobacco scents. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly coarse tannins on the entry, moderate depth and fine acidity, though it feels a little simple on the finish compared to other vintages.

Score: 86 - 88 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2035

The estate's reputation for structured wine shows up well in the firm tannins. Along with attendant black currant fruits, the wine will take its time to develop into a fine, balanced always upright wine.

Score: 92 - 94 Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast

[Add to shopping basket] Clarence Haut Brion (2nd wine of Haut Brion) Graves £720 6x75cl 91-93 96-97 91-93 92 91-93 92-94
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The 2020 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a jewel of a wine. Deep, powerful and structured, it captures all of the gravitas of the Grand Vin, but in a more accessible style. Gravel, leather, tobacco, cedar and dried herbs lend quite a bit of aromatic nuance to this powerhouse Pessac-Léognan. I very much like the intensity and drive here.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2035

Very plush and tannic with full body and lots of structure and intensity. Top second wine. Very solid and quite muscular with fine tannins and texture.p

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 60.1% Merlot, 31.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.7% Cabernet Franc and 1.5% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 7th to the 29th of September, the 2020 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion has an estimated alcohol of 15.2%. Deep purple-black in color, it bursts from the glass with notions of baked black cherries, blackberry pie and plum preserves, leading to hints of ripe redcurrants, spice cake and smoked meats, plus a touch of hoisin. The big, rich, full-bodied palate is a full-on decadent mouthful, featuring lovely freshness to lift all that rich black fruit and a velvety texture, finishing long and spicy. A beautiful behemoth that is going to wow the hedonists!

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2040

Concentrated, with impact and punch. It has presence and barely takes a beat through the mid palate, as there is such a wall of blackberry and bilberry fruits. A brambly hedgerow feel, hard to argue with - but be aware that there is heat also; and this is a hedonistic wine. Harvest from 7th to 29th September.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2023 - 2036

The 2020 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion has a succulent bouquet of dark cherries, boysenberry and crushed violet scents, quite heady and bold for a second wine (even the second wine of a First Growth!). The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, pliant tannins that frame the pure black cherry, wild strawberry and black currant fruit. Veins of licorice appear toward the finish. There is a lot of density in this Le Clarence and a little more structure than usual, and it suits it well.

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

The second wine of Château Haut-Brion, the 2020 Le Clarence De Haut-Brion is certainly a gem and well worth seeking out. Offering loads of red cherry and currant-like fruit, this medium to full-bodied, concentrated beauty has lots of graphite, fresh stone, and tobacco aromatics, beautiful mid-palate depth, outstanding length, and ripe, polished tannins. It has everything you look for from this region, all in a character-filled, up-front, undeniably delicious style that should evolve gracefully for over two decades.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full, distinctive, embossed bottle 1,305 g. Cask sample taken 12 April. 60.1% Merlot, 31.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.7% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot. Estimated alcohol: 15.2%. Picked from 7 to 29 September Mid purplish crimson. Rather simple, or at least uncommunicative, on the nose at present, though there is a beguiling combination of ripe fruit and stoniness (warm bricks?) on the palate which has impressive concentration. Comparing it with other celebrated Pessac-Léognans of the same vintage, it is clear that this has some magic dust – as it should considering how much more expensive it is. Lots of leathery tannin underneath but it is the integrity of the fruit that is so impressive.

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Clarte de Haut Brion Dry Whites £432 6x75cl - - - 92 - -
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Powerfully rich with excellent weight through the mid palate. Silky in texture, seductive but balanced by an enjoyable touch of green apple and steel through the close of play. Harvest from 19th to 28th August.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2021 - 2027

[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 waiting list] Clinet Pomerol £399 6x75cl Sold Out 94-96 96-97 96-98 95 93-95 96-98
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The 2020 Clinet is a gorgeous, vivid Pomerol. Today, the Clinet feels a bit closed in on itself, but has terrific energy and plenty of drive. Dark cherry jam, mocha, rose petal, new leather and tobacco start to open with a bit of time in the glass. Readers will have to be patient here. There is plenty to look forward to.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2060

This is extremely polished with ultra fine tannins that are so exquisite, giving this a seamless and weightless mouth feel. Medium-bodied, extremely long and harmonious.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Clinet (a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) has an opaque purple-black color, needing a little coaxing to unleash bold, powerful notes of plum preserves, blueberry compote and black raspberries, followed by suggestions of cracked black pepper, menthol, cedar chest and rose oil with a hint of licorice. The big, rich, full-bodied palate is a powerhouse, bursting with impactful black and blue fruit preserves flavors, supported by ripe, rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and fantastically perfumed.

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2057

Deep cherry damson red in colour, clear depth. Touches of kicking spice right from the start, I like the surprise of the battle between richness and bitterness. It feels like a heavy blanket of fruit which is burrowing down but then kicks off to let the air in alongside velvet stroking tannins, very Pomerol with coffee and chocolate. Feels confident and powerful, good stuff, if broad shouldered. A yield of 38 hl/ha. Will see at least 16 months in barrel. Tasted twice, also at Pomeol Seduction; and this is a big, seductive wine.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2044

The 2020 Clinet was picked September 14–17 for the Merlot and September 24 for the Cabernet Sauvignon, at 38hl/ha, and matured in 80% new oak. Its 15.0° alcohol is the highest ever. The bravura nose delivers copious black cherries, blueberry and violet aromas that explode from the glass. This is a Pomerol that really wants to make an impression. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannins, hints of chocolate chip infusing the mixture of black and blueberry fruit. Lavish and satiny in texture toward the long finish. This is a bold and extravagant Clinet that I hope will just find a little refinement and more terroir expression during its élevage. If it does, it should land at the top of my banded score.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2055

I continue to love the wines from this estate, and the 2020 Château Clinet is no exception. Straight-up sensational notes of blueberries, cassis, violets, tobacco, and earth all emerge from the glass, and this beauty is full-bodied, with a rich, concentrated mid-palate, flawless balance, and a great finish. It shows the tighter, fresher, more focused style of the vintage, yet it still brings plenty of mid-palate depth as well as an expansive texture. It has enough oak to warrant short-term bottle age but will have 25-30 years of overall longevity. This is a gorgeous wine.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,360 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Vines 39 years old. Very dark right to the purplish rim. Rich and sumptuous aroma of pure, sweet, black fruit, entwined with oak's sweet spice. Powerful and a little charry on the palate, the tannins thick and compact but already smooth. A big, alcoholic beast of a wine but ends with unexpected freshness, and, even with this high alcohol, just about in balance. Long, chewy finish. Wholesome, powerful. (JH)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Clos du Marquis St Julien £225 6x75cl 92-94 94-95 93-95 92 91-93 94-96
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The 2020 Clos du Marquis is plush, sensual and inviting, with soft contours that make it a real pleasure to taste today. Inky red/purplish fruit, lavender, spice, rose petal, mint and cedar all take shape as this sexy Saint-Julien shows off its allure. All the elements are so nicely balanced. In 2020, only 25 of the 46 hectares of the property were used for the Grand Vin.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

A tighter, more linear red with blackcurrant, olive and floral character. It’s medium-to full-bodied with a firm, racy finish. Tight. Sweet tobacco. 61% cabernet sauvignon, 6% cabernet franc and 33% merlot.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Clos du Marquis is composed of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, weighing in with an alcohol of 13.57%, a pH of 3.76 and an IPT (tannins index) of 84. The Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from the 26th to 29th of September, the Merlot from the 11th to the 16th of September and the Cabernet Franc from the 18th to the 29th of September. Deep purple-black in color, it bursts from the glass with flamboyant notes of crushed blackberries, ripe, juicy plums and blackcurrant pastilles, with suggestions of licorice, red roses and espresso. The medium-bodied palate is completely coated with perfumed black fruits, framed by firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and fragrant. Simply gorgeous.

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

This has the most gorgeous savoury fruit edge, a brilliant Marquis with a sappy chalky quality, concentrated and intense but still keeps the St-Julien balance. 40% new oak.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2024 - 2036

The 2020 Clos du Marquis was picked September 11–29 and matured in 40% new oak with 13.57° alcohol. This Saint-Julien displays copious blackberry and raspberry scents on the nose, intermingling with freshly rolled tobacco and subtle estuarine aromas. There is something almost… gentle about the aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with satisfying sappiness on the entry that gets the saliva flowing. Quite classic in style, in keeping with the leitmotif of the vintage, this fans out toward the finish while retaining ample structure and a sense of linearity. This excellent Clos du Marquis brims over with breeding and should drink well for 20–30 years.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

Pure crème de cassis, tobacco, black cherries, lead pencil, and a wonderful sense of minerality emerge from the 2020 Clos Du Marquis, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a pure, elegant texture, plenty of ripe tannins, and the vibrant, focused, lengthy style of the vintage front and center. It's going to need 4-6 years of bottle age, possibly more, but the balance, purity, and precision are all brilliant. The blend is 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, raised in 40% new French oak. The technical information checks in with the alcohol at 13.57%, pH of 3.76, and an IPT of 84. This will be a long-lived Saint-Julien!

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Clos Fourtet St Emilion £469 6x75cl Low Stock 95-97 95-96 96-98 96 96-98 97-99
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A wine of stature and breeding, the 2020 Clos Fourtet is absolutely breathtaking from barrel. A rush of lavender, graphite, spice, licorice and espresso hits the senses. Vibrant and powerful, yet also remarkably light on its feet, the 2020 has so much of offer. All the elements are so crisp, so beautifully defined. The 2020 is all class. It is one of the most promising wines of this young vintage and a fabulous effort from the Cuvelier family. Don't miss it.

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

This is really something with so much tension and focus and a persistent, long finish that lasts for minutes. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and so long. Such polish and finesse. Elegance with power.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Clos Fourtet is a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 15th to 30th September and weighing in with an alcohol of 14.5% and a pH of 3.6. It is being aged for 14-18 months in 50% new oak barrels, 48% second-fill barrels and 2% amphora. Deep garnet-purple in color, it comes bounding out of the glass with ripe, expressive notes of crushed black plums, juicy black berries and black cherry preserves, followed by hints of ground cloves, cinnamon stick, camphor and cedar chest. The medium to full-bodied palate is jam-packed with bright, vivacious black fruits, framed by velvety tannins and bags of freshness, finishing with great length.

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2057

Plush damson and blueberry on the nose, there is juice and a tightrope walking concentration of fruits. An excellent Clos Fourtet, with a juicy edge where the magic of limestone in dry summers is very much showing through. A yield of 40 hl/ha. 14 to 18 months ageing in underground limestone cellars. 2021 sees 20 years of the Cuvelier family at Clos Fourtet and this is an excellent wine to showcase what a brilliant job they have done here. Score could go higher after barrel ageing.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

The 2020 Clos Fourtet was picked September 15–30 at 40hl/ha and matured in 50% new oak. It has an expressive, winsome bouquet of red and blue fruit, crushed rose and iris, touches of blood orange coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannins and wonderful acidity. Harmonious and almost crystalline toward the finish. This is a very impressive Clos Fourtet that brims with freshness and persistence, gaining weight and depth over the course of an hour. It will battle the 2019 for supremacy.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2060

One of the biggest successes on the upper plateau is the 2020 Château Clos Fourtet, and it does everything right in the vintage. A magical, perfumed bouquet of red plums, black cherries, white truffle, and white flowers just screams Saint-Emilion, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, flawless overall balance, a dense mid-palate, and a liqueur of rocks-like minerality on the palate. Building incrementally with time in the glass, this is thrilling stuff that should offer some up-front appeal in its youth yet benefit from 7-8 years in the cellar and keep for 30 years or more. Bravo! The blend is 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Cabernet Franc that’s still resting in 50% new French oak.

Score: 97 - 99 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,355 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc. Fermentation of whole uncrushed berries in 25 small temperature-controlled tanks; extraction via manual pigeage; vatting period lasting 22 to 30 days; malolactic conversion in vats, jars and barrels. Deep purple. Pretty heady, complex nose. Appetising palate. Round, ripe tannins lurking beneath some pretty sophisticated fruit. Finishes dry and spreads out on the very end like a peacock's tail. Much drier than most St-Émilions, with seriously interesting freshness.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Clos l'Eglise Pomerol £325 6x75cl Low Stock 93-95 96-97 93-95 94 95-97 95-97
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The 2020 Clos L'Eglise is outrageously vivid and hauntingly beautiful. Inky red fruit, wild flowers, mint and rose petal come alive in the glass, all framed by powerful yet well-balanced tannins. Although the 2020 is a young, structured wine, its balance is absolutely impeccable. I can't wait to taste it from bottle. It is a super showing from Hélène Garcin and Patrice Lévêque.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2050

A Pomerol with gorgeous crushed-berry, walnut, hazelnut and chocolate character, as well as a full body with ultra fine tannins that frame the wine beautifully. Extremely long finish. Three super wines in a row since 2018.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Very deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Clos l'Eglise leaps from the glass with vivacious notes of crushed black cherries, redcurrant jelly and ripe, juicy blackberries, leading to an undercurrent of camphor, graphite and cedar chest, plus a touch of crushed rocks. The medium to full-bodied palate is bursting with ripe black fruits, supported by rounded, approachable tannins and seamless freshness, finishing on a persistent mineral note.

Score: 93 - 95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2049

Inky ruby colour, a muscular big-styled Pomerol which will win plenty of friends. Velvety tannins, great persistency, confident, contemporary and deftly walks the line between concentrated and nuanced.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2040

The 2020 Clos l’Eglise is backward and initially reticent on the nose, gaining its voice with aeration, the mixture of red and black fruit augmented by black truffle and incense aromas and later a hint of ground chalk. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and fine acidity, quite lithe and harmonious, revealing hints of truffle and almost ash-like notes toward the firm finish. It does not quite display the panache of its Saint-Émilion stablemate Barde-Haut, although it does have impressive grip and backbone, suggesting that it will require 5–7 years in the cellar.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

Based on 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc raised in 70% new French oak, the 2020 Château Clos L'Eglise is a beauty that’s going to match the magical 2009 and 2016. Dense purple-hued, with stunning notes of black cherries, cassis, graphite, licorice, and crushed stone, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, classic Pomerol elegance and purity, and a great finish. This is a magical, concentrated, blockbuster of a wine that somehow stays and delicate and ethereal as they come. Don't miss it!

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[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] Cos d'Estournel St Estephe £900 6x75cl 95-97 97-98 96-98 97 94-96 95-97
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The 2020 is a gorgeous wine from a very unusual year in which the Merlot is a bit more prominent in the blend than usual because of dehydration in the Cabernet. Even so, the 2020 is a wine of mid-weight finesse more than opulence. All the elements are impeccably balanced throughout.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 030 - 2050

This is a very refined, polished Cos with superb finesse and length. Medium-to full-bodied, very fine and persistent. Really long with beautiful tannins. Rich, but fresh and linear. Yet, the alcohol is around 13.5%. 62% cabernet and 38% merlot.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Cos d'Estournel is composed of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot. The harvest took place September 10–24 with a yield of 39 hectoliters per hectare. The alcohol weighs in at 13.46% with a pH of 3.9 and an IPT (total phenolic index) of 80. It is being aged in French oak barrels, 55% new. Deep purple-black in color, it pops with explosive scents of ripe red and black currants, black cherry preserves and black raspberries, followed by sparks of violets, wild sage, pencil lead and clove oil, with emerging hints of iron ore and damp soil. The medium-bodied palate has amazing elegance and grace contrasted by jaw-dropping energy, featuring a firm frame of finely grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with a whole firework display of mineral nuances. I love the way this Cos d'Estournel shimmies and shines—a unique vintage signature expressed so beautifully at this estate!

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2028 - 2060

You need to take a little time to let the concentrated flavours seep out, this is a long hauler. The tannins build slowly but surely through the palate, sombre and serious right now, particularly for an estate that is known for its exuberance. The opulence is there if you give it time, and as the tannins elongate and relax, richer notes of bilberry fruits, toasted cedar, salted chocolate, turmeric and black pepper spice arrives. Harvest September 10 to 24. A 3.9pH is the highest since 2003, but any threat of low acidity is balanced by high tannins, and relatively low alcohol. A yield of 39hl/ha (43hl/ha in 2019).

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2044

The 2020 Cos d’Estournel is a very different proposition to the Les Pagodes, more so than in other years. Much more intense on the nose of intense black fruit, it is beautifully defined, with enticing scents of blackberry, Dorset plum and topnotes of blueberry and briar. After 30 minutes in the glass, it develops more Saint-Estèphe-like traits: freshly tilled soil, cigar box and touches of warm gravel. There is an openness to these inviting aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins (so different from the "iron girders" of yore). There is freshness and a sense of light in this Cos d’Estournel, though the backbone remains in situ on the cedar and mint finish (a nod to neighboring Pauillac, perhaps), then a lingering marine/seaweed note on the aftertaste. This is a finely crafted, very succinct Cos d’Estournel that may well be hiding something up its sleeve for after bottling, and I suspect it will gain more spine during its barrel aging.

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

The Grand Vin 2020 Château Cos D'Estournel is based on 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot that was brought up in 55% new French oak. An inky-hued, concentrated, yet flawlessly balanced wine, it has gorgeous cassis and dark currant fruits, medium to full-bodied richness, ripe, building tannins, and just a wonderful sense of purity and elegance backed up by ample concentration. It stays tight, focused, and seamless, and is a brilliant example of the vintage. The 2020 hit 13.4% natural alcohol with a pH of 3.9 and an IPT of 80.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot. Cask sample. Purple-black colour to the rim. Deep and dense (like an endless pool) but aromatically restrained. Some cassis with aeration. Big and bold with marked tension and supercharged but finely hewn tannins. Enough fruit to provide unctuosity. Fresh, dry and saline through to the finish. Powerful but sculpted. Very long ageing. (JL)

Score: 18.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[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] Croix Canon £144 6x75cl - 95-96 90-92 93 89-91 -
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The 2020 Croix Canon is bright and perfumed right out of the bottle. There's not a ton of structure here, but then again, this is a second wine. Crushed red berries, mint, rose petal, cedar and a touch of blood orange give the 2020 lovely complexity. This is very nicely done. I expect it will be a lovely mid-term drinker.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2035

A fantastic second wine with a dense center palate of tight, racy tannins and dark fruit. Spicy and almost salty. It’s full, yet very compact with excellent structure and length. Very serious.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Croix Canon is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, aging for 18 months in French oak, 30% new. It weighs in with 14.5% alcohol and a pH of 3.53. Deep garnet-purple colored, it drifts out of the glass with alluring scents of plum preserves, blueberry pie and mulberries, plus touches of potpourri, Chinese five spice and fallen leaves. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of juicy black and blue fruits, supported by plush tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long and spicy.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2037

This is an excellent second (from a separate plot) wine, bright, poised and delicious. Fruit ripeness is just at the point where it is teetering on the brink between deep, spicy and textured while still remaining fresh and juicy. Great stuff. Mildew made an impact but not drought, so ended up with 40hl/ha yields. Harvest September 4 to 23, 30% new oak. 3.53pH.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2023 - 2036

[Add to shopping basket] Croix Ducru Beaucaillou (2nd label of Ducru) St Julien £180 6x75cl - - 89-91 95 - 92-95
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The 2020 La Croix de Beaucaillou is composed of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. It has 13.75% alcohol and a pH of 3.78 with an IPT of 91. It is set to age for 12 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with vibrant scents of crushed redcurrants, black raspberries and fresh black berries, plus hints of bay leaves, lavender and damp soil. The medium-bodied palate is full of energetic red and black berry layers with a grainy texture and just enough freshness, finishing with an herbal lift.

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

So much purity and definition, this is a beautiful wine with clarity of flavour. Touches of grilled almond and rosemary, mocha, smoke and coffee bean, there is so much freshness, with juice rushing in between the muscles and a mint leaf finish. 3.78pH, 60% new oak. Yields were 25-30hl/ha. In a year where second wines in the Médoc have sometimes suffered from over-concentration, La Croix de Beaucaillou is a standout success.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026 - 2042

The second wine of the estate is the 2020 La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou, composed of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot brought up in 60% new French oak. It's a much more concentrated, structured wine offering classic cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with notes of scorched earth, tobacco, graphite, and chocolate. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it has a great mid-palate as well as the vintage's rich, deep, powerful style. It's going to have some up-front appeal given its balance as well as the quality of the tannins, but this is a serious wine for reserving 2-4 years in the cellar, and it should easily have 15-20 years of prime drinking.

Score: 92 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Cruzelles Lalande de Pomerol £107 6x75cl 90-92 92-93 91-93 94 91-93 91-93
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The 2020 Les Cruzelles is a wine of tremendous depth and power. This part of the vineyard, planted on gravel and clay, along with the pedigree of the fruit, yields a Lalande de Pomerol built on textural resonance and power. Black cherry, spice, chocolate and menthol all come together effortlessly. This potent, virile wine has a ton to offer.

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

Black earth and clay with dark-berry and violet character. It’s medium-to full- bodied with creamy tannins and a fresh finish. More opulent than the 2019.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Les Cruzelles is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, coming from gravelly clay soil. The Merlot was picked from the 10th to the 15th 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 in color, it bursts with impactful notes of plum preserves, blueberry compote and kirsch, plus suggestions of violets, mocha and pencil lead. The medium to full-bodied palate explodes with vibrant black fruits and fantastic freshness, framed by ripe, velvety tannins, finishing long and fragrant. 18,000 bottles are expected to be made.

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

Stands out from La Chenade in the vintage, with its velvet texture and a more serious sculpted feel overall. Tobacco and liquorice notes besides black cherry and raspberry fruits, good tension, serious but with Lalande-de-Pomerol unfussy appeal. 3.72pH. A yield of 38hl/ha.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2023 - 2034

The 2020 Les Cruzelles offers plenty of brambly red fruit on the nose, where touches of undergrowth, menthol and cassis unfold with time. Compared to the La Chenade, there is a little more showiness here. The palate is medium-bodied with superb acidity that cuts through the graphite-tinged black fruit. Displaying wonderful focus and energy from start to finish, this is a classy Lalande de Pomerol that should give 12–15 years of drinking pleasure. Superb.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2038

Rocking levels of black raspberries, plums, camphor, and new leather emerge from the 2020 Château Les Cruzelles, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a round, beautifully layered texture, a solid spine of acidity, and outstanding length. It’s a Lalande de Pomerol well worth seeking out.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Aromatic nose and palate with lifted red-berry notes. Lively, juicy and smooth, the tannins tempered and fine. Some persistence but a touch dry on the finish. Joyful and balanced but probably for earlier drinking. (JL)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Dame de Montrose (2nd wine of Montrose) St Estephe £174 6x75cl - - - 92 - -
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A ton of dark fruits on offer in the form of cassis, bilberry, blackcurrant, brambles of blackberry and raspberry, a ton of spice and sinew. Bitter almond and chocolate notes come in on the finish and add to the feel of a signature Dame de Montrose. Not the exoticism of 2018, this is more of a return to classicism, closer to the 2019 or 2016. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. A yield of around 29hl/ha.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

49% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Lithe and fruit-driven with dark-fruit, mint and herbal notes. Tannins finely etched. Nothing forced. Natural feel and flavour. Clean, dry finish. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[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] Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Dry Whites £398 6x75cl 91-93 96-97 - - - -
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A dense, creamy DC white with lots of rich cooked-apple, mineral, cream and praline character. It’s full and very layered with chewy intensity and a long, bitter-lemon and almost honey finish. Pretty phenolic tension, too.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc was cropped at 43hl/ha and will spend 18 months in barrel. It has a very composed bouquet of green apple, kiwi fruit, crushed rock and dried white flower aromas. There is nothing extravagant on the nose, but it is beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine bead of acidity, displaying light honeyed notes on the entry mixed with chamomile and almond and hints of marzipan. Very harmonious from start to finish, this is a refined and classy Domaine de Chevalier Blanc.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

[Add to shopping basket] Domaine de Chevalier Rouge Graves £282 6x75cl 93-95 96-97 95-97 95 95-97 95-97
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The 2020 Domaine de Chevalier is going to need a number of years to unwind. Rich, heady and super-concentrated, the 2020 is so impressive, right out of the gate. Crushed rocks, rose petal, cedar, pomegranate and mint all build as the 2020 shows off its vibrant, layered personality. Domaine de Chevalier remains one of the most under the radar wines in all of Bordeaux. The 2020 is an absolutely brilliant effort from Olivier Bernard and his team. Tasted two times.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2055

Iron, black mushroom and dark berry with some burnt orange peel. Flowers, too. It’s full-bodied with round tannins that turn linear and tight at the end. Excellent energy. Brightness and purity.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2020 Domaine de Chevalier comes skipping out of the glass with energetic scents of ripe red and black currants, fresh blackberries and boysenberries, plus nuances of wild sage, cloves and cedar with a waft of lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate surprises and delights with an unexpected richness and depth that remains locked away on the nose, revealing layers of fragrant earth and floral notions framed by fantastic freshness and firm, finely grained tannins, finishing with the most gorgeous, long-lingering perfume.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2053

Concentrated ruby red colour, a little subdued on the nose, built with structure and power, concentrated and should age well. Classical, powerful, not exuberant, an impressive Chevalier that has tannins and fruit and freshness, nothing shouting too loud. As it opens, you see a peony floral edge that is very attractive. Easily among the best in Pessac. A yield of 38hl/ha.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2042

The 2020 Domaine de Chevalier, which was cropped at 38hl/ha, is deep purple with glints of blue. The bouquet is very clean, precise and focused, not dissimilar to the impressive Malartic Lagravière that I tasted alongside, touches of wet granite and truffle emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. This Domaine de Chevalier has a deeply impressive structure counterbalanced by equally impressive freshness and elegance, fanning out wonderfully on the finish, which is very persistent. Just a shade off the outstanding 2019... perhaps.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2058

From an estate that’s been on fire over the past decade, the 2020 Domaine De Chevalier is another brilliant wine in the making and checks in as 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Offering impressive cassis and darker berry fruits, it has complex notes of crushed flowers, violets, and damp earth-like nuances. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, with ultra-fine tannins and a silky, layered, seamless texture, it shines for both its richness and its balance. It also shuts down quite quickly, so if you’re going to drink bottles, try one in its youth. Otherwise, be sure to give bottles 7-8 years in a cold cellar. It should have 30-40 years of overall longevity.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Delicately perfumed and smoky, even slightly ethereal. Juicy and long with medium-bodied weight. Compact but refined tannins offer a firm structure. Dry and very Graves. Slightly chewy finish. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Dome St Emilion £725 6x75cl 93-95 94-95 97-99 96 94-96 94-97
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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: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2050

Extremely perfumed with chewy, polished tannins that are fine and gorgeous. Minerally undertones to the berry, wet-earth and spice character.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Le Dome is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot with an alcohol of 13.9% and a pH of 3.69. The Merlot was harvested on September 29th, with the Cabernet Franc on October 8th and 9th. It is being aged in 80% new French oak barrels. Deep garnet-purple in color, it comes storming out of the glass with thunderous scents of stewed plums, blueberry preserves and chocolate-covered cherries, followed by impactful, fragrant notions of rose oil, ground cloves, eucalyptus and pencil shavings. The palate is jaw-droppingly elegant, considering the power of the nose, featuring elegantly crafted black and red fruit layers with very ripe, finely grained tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and perfumed.

Score: 97 - 99 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2057

Sappy, intense, beautifully fresh florals and well defined tannins, with the signature muscled broodiness of Le Dôme. There is a gorgeous chalkiness on the finish giving clear uplift without taking away from the generosity of the blueberry and raspberry fruit. New cellars, designed by Sir Norman Foster, will be opening fully for the 2021 harvest, and there is a hope that Le Dôme will be classified in next year's 2022 ranking (if so, this 2020 vintage would have the right to put it on the label). 80% new oak,

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2045

The 2020 Le Dôme has a backward nose that demands coaxing, eventually revealing very attractive blackberry, wild strawberry, blood orange and crushed stone aromas. The way this builds with aeration is very promising. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins, quite structured and maybe a little more austere than recent vintages. That comes through on the finish, which seems to be clamped down at the moment. It will require several years of bottle age, but it will be worth the wait.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2046

Jonathan Maltus’s 2020 Le Dôme looks to be a brilliant wine. Mostly Cabernet Franc from a site not far from Angélus, it has a beautiful array of darker berry fruit (as well as some blue tinges) to go with medium to full-bodied richness, a pure, seamless texture, and ultra-fine tannins. Thomas Duclos now consults here, and the wine today plays more in the finessed, elegant, classically styled end of the spectrum while not giving up much with regard to fruit, richness, or texture. The freshness and purity of this 2020 is something, and it’s going to shine with 4-6 years of bottle age yet keep for two decades.

Score: 94 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot. Cask sample. Aromatically reticent on the nose, the floral note more evident on the palate. Big tannic frame but again tight, firm and hard-edged. Juice and freshness all the way through but slightly dry and chewy on the finish. Benefit of the doubt it will harmonise and open. (JL)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Ducru Beaucaillou St Julien £960 6x75cl Low Stock - 98-99 95-97 98 - 97-99
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Really perfumed and complex with blackberries, blackcurrants and flowers. Gorgeous cabernet sauvignon character. Full-bodied with really fine, polished tannins. Superb length and intensity. Very compact and seamless. Ethereal. Just goes on and on.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Ducru-Beaucaillou is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot, aging for approximately 18 months in 100% new barriques. It has a pH of 3.83, 13.5% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 90. Opaque purple-black colored, the nose slowly unfurls to reveal tantalizing scents of crushed blackcurrants, wild blueberries and boysenberries, leading to suggestions of chocolate mint, star anise, red roses and unsmoked cigars with a waft of cedar chest. The medium-bodied palate delivers impactful, muscular black fruits with a firm frame of ripe, fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and fragrant.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2052

An amazing Ducru, one of the wines of the vintage. Hugely persistent, chiselled and precise, yet succulent in its berry and cassis fruit character. The slate and pencil lead finish slows things down and grabs hold of you, I love the push-and-pull of the tannins. Always a confident and well-finessed wine, really flexing its muscles in 2020. 100% new oak barrels. 3.83pH.

Score: 98 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2045

A blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot, brought up in new oak, the 2020 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou offers a gorgeously pure nose of crème de cassis, graphite, crushed stone, toasty oak, and lead pencil shavings. Full-bodied, concentrated, and structured, it reminds me of a hypothetical mix of the 2010 and 2016, offering serious concentration paired with a gorgeous sense of precision and purity. It's going to take a decade of cellaring to hit the early stages of maturity (it will have some up-front appeal if you're interested) yet evolve for 50 years or more. Along with the Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, it might be the wine of the vintage from the Médoc.

Score: 97 - 99 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.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] 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 shopping basket] Figeac St Emilion £936 6x75cl 96-98 97-98 - 96 95-97 96-98
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A super-classic wine, the 2020 Figeac sizzles with vertical energy. The château has made a number of tremendous wines in recent vintages, but I don't remember a Figeac with this much saline-drenched intensity and mineral drive. The 2020 is superb, but it won't be ready to drink anytime soon. The mixture of soil types and varieties, with the high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, that is such a signature here, was a huge help in maintaining balance and energy in the wine. Technical Director Frédéric Faye certainly seems to have gotten the most out of the vintage.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2060

This is a really sophisticated young wine with tobacco, crushed stone, currants and dark chocolate on the nose, following through to a medium to full body with intense yet linear tannins and a spicy, fresh finish. Some cloves and black pepper. Graphite at the end. Very long. 37% merlot, 32% cabernet franc and 31% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

This delivers concentration and intensity, a ton of black fruits, definitely Cabernet dominant in terms of fruit, and its slightly serious character, with a whoosh of juice on the finish. An extremely elegant and controlled wine, with savoury bilberry and loganberry, then peony and tobacco leaf as it opens. Tannins are finely layered but there are a lot of them. Not an exuberant Figeac, but this is rarely a wine that rushes out to seduce, it takes its time and has ageing potential in spades. The gravel soils in the drought of the summer meant the grapes slowed their ripening process, although only the youngest vines suffered blockages, and that combined with the high Cabernet content of Figeac means lower alcohols than the past few years, giving a classic balance and a feeling of effortless success. 75% of the production went into the first wine. Harvest September 4 to October 1, a full five weeks. Their final yield here was around 37hl/ha, (higher than in 2019 at Figeac, which was 34hl/ha). As with on the Left Bank, the Cabernet Sauvignons were the lowest yield (30hl/ha), with tiny berries so had to be careful with the extraction. First vintage in the new cellars.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2046

The 2020 Figeac was picked from September 4 to October 1 and underwent vinification free of SO2. Deep purple in color, it is initially backward and sultry on the nose, necessitating 60 minutes before it really opens. It then reveals intense scents of cranberry, raspberry and touches of cassis intermingling with white pepper. Given that the Cabernets comprise 63% of the blend, this has a typical Left Bank personality but with Right Bank precocity. The palate conveys a sense of vibrancy and vigor on the entry, a dash of black pepper and allspice mingling with the mélange of red and black fruit. The tannins are satin-like in texture, and there’s dark berry fruit and hints of pencil lead and black truffle shavings toward the Pomerol-like finish. This is a magnificent Figeac from head winemaker Frédéric Faye and his team. This sample really came into its own 2–3 hours after opening.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2065

I loved the 2020 Château Figeac, and this beauty offers everything you could want from this site, revealing a dense purple/ruby color to go with gorgeous notes of cassis, tobacco, sappy herbs, and spring flowers as well as an almost Pauillac lead pencil note that develops with time in the glass. A blend of 37% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, it's full-bodied and has perfect balance, ultra-fine tannins, and a great, great finish. It brings ample power yet has a weightless elegance and riveting precision reminiscent of the 2016. Don't miss it.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

37% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon. 77% of production. Cask sample. Gentle, juicy and pure with nothing overdone. Merlot provides the broad-brush sweetness on attack, the Cabernet the fresh, minerally notes on the finish. Fine grain of tannin and aromatic complexity on the nose and palate; the finesse is there. (JL)

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Fleur Cardinale St Emilion £168 6x75cl 91-93 95-96 93-95 94 92-94 92-94
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The 2020 Fleur Cardinale is elegant and refined from the first taste. Bright red berry fruit, spice, blood orange and cedar lend terrific brightness. In 2020 Fleur Cardinale is elegant, polished and restrained. All the elements come together so gracefully. I imagine the 2020 will flesh out a bit over time. Today, it is a bit restrained, but that is not at all a bad thing. A second bottle was even better. The 2020 could very well turn out to be a jewel of a wine.

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

Vivid and lively with blackberries, earth and some flowers. It’s full and layered with tannins that spread across the palate. Broader form to this young Bordeaux. Lots of tannins at the end.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 77% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, with an alcohol of 14.5% and a pH of 3.57, the deep purple-black colored 2020 Fleur Cardinale bursts from the glass with powerful notes of crushed blackberries, stewed black plums and Morello cherries, plus suggestions of star anise, pencil shavings and black truffles. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of softly textured, juicy black fruits, countered by fantastic tension, finishing with great length and loads of earthy layers.

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

A ton of depth and body to this wine, you feel the cool blue fruit of a later-ripening terroir, plenty of tannic grip and bite, curls up with graphite, cigar box, liquorice root and a tiptoe balance of slate and baked earth. Plenty of juicy acidity on the finish, this is precise and elegant with a punch, and continues the run of successful vintages at Fleur Cardinale. A yield of 43hl/ha. 100% new oak. New cellar just finished up at the estate.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026 - 2044

The 2020 Fleur Cardinale has a well-defined and intense bouquet of black cherries, crushed strawberry, star anise and light floral scents, gaining more composure as it opens in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent tannins, graphite-tinged black fruit and a thumping, powerful finish that leaves a peppery aftertaste. This will require 3–5 years in bottle just to shave some of its edges and is likely to need several years in the cellar. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029 - 2050

I tasted the 2020 Château Fleur Cardinale from three separate bottles, all of which showed brilliantly. Offering lots of red and black fruits as well as dark chocolate and rocky, earthy minerality, it’s a full-bodied, firm yet promising wine with terrific overall balance and length as well as purity of fruit. Short-term cellaring is the name of the game here, but it’s going to shine for at least two decades. It’s well worth seeking out.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,345 g. Cask sample taken on 7 April. QR code gives a ton of background information such as that this is the first vintage vinified in their new cellars. They are experimenting with microvinifications and have bought two large 'amphorae'. Assemblage of the 2020 is 77% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. They are reforesting, in the RSE sustainability programme and collaborating with Franco-Senegalese poet Souleymane Diamanka. Ain't modern technology grand?! Very dark purplish crimson. Mellow, appetising, layered nose. Really very distinctive and luscious with those tannins very beautifully disguised beneath interesting, cashmere-textured fruit with some mineral notes on the end. Very successful. It certainly isn't soft but you could almost drink it tonight. Exciting and flattering. Lots of energy.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Giscours Margaux £246 6x75cl 93-95 96-97 92-94 95 93-95 93-95
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The 2020 Giscours is surprisingly juicy and forward, with lovely mid-palate richness from the Merlot that comprises 44% of the blend. Inky dark fruit, new leather, spice, menthol and dried herbs all meld together effortlessly. In 2020 Giscours is a real charmer. I imagine it will drink well with minimal cellaring. Harvest started on September 8 for the Merlot and finished with the last of the Cabernets on October 3, which is a good week ahead of schedule. Yields are down about 25% from the 2019, mostly because of heat and dry weather during the summer. New oak is 50%.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2050

Aromas of crushed berries, dried flowers and spices with undertones of ink and iron. Full-bodied with wonderful, fine tannins that are totally embedded in the structure. Endless length and such refinement. Rather ethereal. Another winner from Giscours.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, the 2020 Giscours reveals a deep garnet-purple color and compelling notes of crushed redcurrants, plum preserves and Morello cherries, leading to hints of lavender, wild sage, damp soil and black truffles with a touch of licorice. The medium-bodied palate bursts with vibrant red and black fruits and lots of savory accents, supported by soft, very well managed tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2044

This is an excellent Giscours, extremely precise, well drawn and seductive. There is both concentration and spice, and a vivid sappy feel to the raspberry and bilberry fruits, all drawn out through the palate as the slate texture kicks in. Plenty of things to keep track on here, not least that this is now the only estate in Margaux owned by the Albada family, as they have sold du Tertre. The focus is now entirely on Giscours, and I would expect to see a concerted effort to raise the visibility of the property. Changes include Thomas Duclos as consultant since 2019, and vineyard choices such as intra-plot harvesting, meaning going in waves through the plots picking individual vines when they are at full ripeness. Plus, Jerome Poisson is the new technical director (a French Canadian, who worked in Napa, Italy, Chile, Cognac and Alsace), replacing Lorenzo Pasquini. 50% new oak for ageing. A yield of 35hl/ha.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

The 2020 Giscours was picked from September 21 to October 2. The huge difference in quality between the Grand Vin and Deuxième Vin is apparent on the nose of crystal-clear black fruit intermixed with raspberry, crushed stone and light crushed violet aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, taut and crisp, and quite tensile, leading to a classically styled, sapid finish. This is a classy Giscours with plenty of breeding.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2050

One of the most seamless Margaux in the vintage, the 2020 Château Giscours checks in as 56% Cabernet Sauvignon and 44% Merlot, brought up in 50% new French oak. Offering a wonderful, rich, powerful style that's classic Giscours, it has lots of cassis and darker currant fruits as well as notes of dried flowers, sandalwood, licorice, and earth. The tannin quality is spot on, which is rare in Margaux in 2020, and it has medium to full body, a great mid-palate, and a silky, layered mouthfeel. It's a beautiful Margaux.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot. Deep crimson hue. Reined-in and reserved at present but leans towards a dark-fruit expression. Mouth-filling fruit on the palate with just a touch of sweetness and fine-grained tannins that support and build behind. Supple texture, good persistence and freshness all the way through. Potential. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Gloria St Julien £158 6x75cl 93-95 93-94 92-94 92 91-93 93-95
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The 2020 Gloria is impressive. Bright and punchy, yet quintessentially medium in body, Gloria impresses for its exceptional balance. Sweet red cherry, blood orange, mint, white pepper and rose petal give this bright, chiseled Saint-Julien so much character. Gloria is such a pretty and inviting Saint-Julien. Tasted two times.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

Very focused and poised with blackberry, blackcurrant and graphite character. It’s full-to medium-bodied with racy tannins and a long, dynamic finish. Will be interesting to see if 2020 is better than 2019.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Opaque purple-black colored, the 2020 Gloria comes soaring out of the glass with notes of blackcurrant cordial, preserved plums and blueberry compote, followed by suggestions of powdered cinnamon, cedar chest and menthol, plus a waft of graphite. The medium to full-bodied palate is completely coated with juicy black fruits, framed by grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 11% Petit Verdot, aging for approximately 14 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. The alcohol is 13.3%.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2043

I love the clear depth to the blueberry and blackberry fruit on the nose here, a sense of elegance and glamour. Silky yet with a kick, this is enjoyable with a saltine cracker twist on the finish - an excellent St-Julien, but a little disappointing for this particular estate when considered next to recent vintages. Tasted twice.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026 - 2042

The 2020 Gloria has an intense nose of penetrating blackberry, raspberry, crushed violet and crushed stone aromas. After 20 minutes, this just blossoms in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, fine acidity and just a touch of espresso and orange peel toward the finish, which remains taught and focused. What a wonderful Gloria! This might actually surpass its sibling, Château St. Pierre, this year.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2050

Playing in the same class as the 2016, 2018, and 2019, the 2020 Château Gloria reveals a vivid purple hue as well beautiful blue fruits intermixed with gravelly earth, graphite, and crushed stone. I was able to taste this on two separate occasions and it was brilliant both times, offering medium to full-bodied richness and a powerful yet weightless mouthfeel as well as silky tannins. It also has a terrific sense of freshness. It will drink well relatively young yet keep for two decades.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,295 g. Cask sample taken 31 March. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 11% Petit Verdot. Aged for just 14 months in cask. Deep crimson. Very lively and well-balanced with the acidity and fruit and tannin all in nice harmony. Restrained but fully ripe. Classic and successful. Very appetising and long finish.

Score: 17 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

[Add to shopping basket] Grand Puy Lacoste Pauillac £303 6x75cl 95-97 96-97 91-93 95 93-96 92-95
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The 2020 Grand-Puy-Lacoste is an explosive, vibrant Pauillac. The bouquet alone is captivating. Lavender, grilled herbs, menthol, chocolate and crème de cassis all race out of the glass. A wine of vertical structure and precision, the 2020 is a total stunner. It simply dazzles from start to finish.

Score: 93 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2032 - 2050

This full-bodied red builds on the palate in a fantastic way with tight, compact tannins that grow and grow on the finish. Plenty of blackcurrant and graphite character and a flavorful finish. Same level as the excellent 2016.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Grand-Puy-Lacoste offers notes of freshly crushed black and red currants, fresh blackberries and mulberries, plus hints of pencil lead, damp soil and black olives. The medium-bodied palate is delicately styled and refreshing, delivering soft, skillfully managed tannins and just enough freshness to frame the juicy black fruits, finishing savory.

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

Enjoyable, powerful, concentrated, not the most generous of GPLs but they have captured the essence of Pauillac, and it's hard to resist. Sappy juicy finish, full of cassis, mint leaf and pencil lead along the way with a clear tightness to the tannic frame. A yield of 31hl/ha. 75% new oak for barrel ageing.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2046

The 2020 Grand-Puy-Lacoste has a very refined, almost understated bouquet at first, but it opens in glorious fashion to offer precise blackberry and wild strawberry fruit, crushed stone and wild mint, gaining intensity at its own pace. The palate is beautifully balanced with fine-grained tannins, a keen thread of acidity, layers of intense black fruit and quite a spicy, vibrant and certainly persistent finish. This is a brilliant GPL from the Borie family.

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

The 2020 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste is a more fleshy, textured Pauillac that still plays in the concentrated, focused, structured style of the vintage. Ripe black cherries, currants, toasty oak, chocolate, and tobacco leaf notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, richly textured 2020 that has velvety tannins, good mid-palate depth, and a great finish. Do your best to hide bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following 20-25 years or so.

Score: 92 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot. Cask sample. Bright crimson hue. Classic in form and constitution. Firm and stately on the nose with graphite and dark-fruit notes. Juicy and fresh on the palate, the tannins smooth and refined but driving behind. Long, linear and persistent. Should age gracefully. (JL)

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Gruaud Larose St Julien £347 6x75cl - - - 95 - -
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Elegant yet driven with gentle power, nothing going overboard or trying too hard. This takes a beat, then it comes strongly - evident spice and flesh, full of raspberry, blueberry, blackcurrant pastille, fennel, hawthorn and liquorice. The tannins build up through the palate and press in on the final moments. Virginie Salette winemaker since 2017. A yield of 32hl/ha. Vinify at around 22-23°C, so an extremely low and slow extraction. Harvest was from September 14 to 29. A big shouldered St-Julien but with a wide nuance of flavours.

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

[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 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] Haut Bailly Graves £576 6x75cl 95-97 99-100 96-98 92 95-97 96-98
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Deep, rich and explosive, the 2020 Haut-Bailly is magnificent from the very first taste. Dark fruit, chocolate, licorice and spice give the 2020 a level of unctuousness that is absolutely thrilling. Readers should be patient, as the 2020 is going to need time to come around. Yields are down 25% from 2019, and that richness comes through loud and clear.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2032 - 2060

This has incredible power and drive with blackberry, black olive and graphite. It’s full-bodied, yet dynamic and agile, with so much polished and muscular tannin. Yet, it remains in harmony and balance. So much character. The head of the chateau calls it diabolical beauty. 25% less production than the 2019. 52% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot.

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2020 Haut-Bailly was harvested from the 9th to 25th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.3%. Deep purple-black in color, it prances out of the glass with naturally beautiful notions of fresh black cherries, violets, mulberries and boysenberries, giving way to hints of redcurrant jelly, star anise, tilled soil and menthol. The medium to full-bodied palate is delicately crafted with velvety/grainy tannins and fantastic freshness framing the perfumed red and black berry layers, finishing on a lingering fragrant-earth note.

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

Inky colour, pencil lead and smoke concentration, where the tannins lend a sense of pressure bearing down on the fruit, keeping things moving and building in tension through the palate. Tiny edge of peony and iris flower as it opens in the glass. Harvest September 9 to 25th. Extremely well extracted, this is not a delicate wine but it is a measured one, and it has the sense of slowly building towards the close of play that is most enjoyable. 30% of overall production in HBII this year. Not vinified in the cellar, but will be aged in it.

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

The 2020 Haut-Bailly was picked September 9–25 in what the estate has called the "year of reinvention." Having left my sample to open for 30 minutes and then assessed it over the following three hours, I found that it has a mercurial nose of gorgeous blackberry, briar, white pepper, incense and hints of blood orange. It gains intensity and becomes more floral with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple but firm tannins that provide backbone. There is plenty of black fruit laced with white pepper and clove. Perhaps less rich on the finish compared to the last two vintages – a virtue as far as I am concerned, as it allows more terroir to show through. This is an impressive Haut-Bailly to coincide with their new winery, which I hope to visit very soon.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2065

A legendary Haut-Bailly in the making, the 2020 sports a dense purple color to go with powerful notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, scorched earth, and graphite. Reminding me of the 2010, it takes plenty of air to show at its best yet is full-bodied, has a seamless texture, massive of ultra-fine tannins, and a blockbuster of a finish. It's one of the most structured, powerful Haut-Bailly I've ever tasted, yet it still has the classic elegance, nuance, and length of this terrific terroir. It will need 5-7 years (or more) of bottle age but will have 50 years of overall longevity. The 2020 is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and 3% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Powerful, deep-coloured wine with a considerable tannic core. Mellow fruit provides a suave texture but the pixelated tannins are still palpable. Intense, brooding with lots of extract, the finish warm, the oak just present. Needs time to knit. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Haut Batailley Pauillac £230 6x75cl 92-94 94-95 92-94 93 91-93 92-94
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The 2020 Haut-Batailley is a powerful, brooding Pauillac. Black fruit, grilled herbs, menthol, licorice, smoke, dried flowers and leather add to the wine's virile feel. Here, too, the tannins are pretty imposing. It will be interesting to see what time brings.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2045

This is really minerally and stony with lots of chewy tannins. Medium-to full-bodied with a clean, fresh finish. Very classic Pauillac. Salty at the end with bitter citrus.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot aging in French oak barriques, 60% new, the 2020 Haut-Batailley weighs in with 13.6% alcohol, a pH of 3.85 and an IPT of 81. Deep purple-black in color, it opens with seducing, beautifully pure notes of blackcurrant jelly, juicy blackberries and warm plums, plus hints of chocolate mint, lilacs and forest floor with a touch of ground cloves. The refreshing, medium-bodied palate gives a great burst of crunchy black berries, framed by finely grained tannins, finishing with a minty lift.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2042

Clear salinity and the fennel aniseed touch that I get in Verso de Haut-Batailley also. Gorgeous texture here, this has real balance and a sense of careful walking through the palate, a juice and a tension, with a saline kick. An enjoyably sleek wine, not as powerful as the Lynch Bages, and not intended to be either. Some chocolate notes as it opens, but this has an elegance to it that almost makes it more of a St-Julien, certainly not the powerhouse Pauillac that you get in Lynch Bages. Harvest from September 14 to 29. 3.85pH, 60% new oak, for 14 months. The Cazes family has almost doubled the size of the vineyard since taking over, up to 39ha.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2024 - 2037

The 2020 Haut-Batailley was opened for a good hour before I commenced penning my note. This will be matured for 14 months in 60% new oak. It gently unfolds in the glass to reveal blackberry, faint sea spray scents (a whiff of the old Gironde estuary) and just a touch of crushed stone. This is well defined though not powerful. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins on the entry that frame the bright blackberry and raspberry fruit. This Pauillac conveys superb energy, especially toward the Japanese nori-infused finish, awakening and revivifying the senses. It is a classically sculpted and very harmonious Haut-Batailley that will give 25–30 years of drinking pleasure, but should be cellared for 5–6 years.

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

Also made in a more medium-bodied, elegant style, the Grand Vin 2020 Château Haut-Batailley offers a beautiful perfume of both black cherry and darker berry fruits as well as classic Pauillac cedar, chocolate, and leafy herb-like aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and seamless on the palate, they’ve done a wonderful job with the tannins, the purity of fruit is spot-on, and this will certainly be an impressive Pauillac, with 20-25 years of prime drinking ahead of it.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,345 g. Cask sample taken 16 April. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot. Merlot was picked 14 to 18 September and Cabernet 22 to 29 September. Three successive triages. 14 months' ageing in barrel (60% new) envisaged. Deep purple. Intense, savoury nose and silky-soft tannins. Classic modern Pauillac from a ripe vintage – which is to say that it is definitely sweeter than 'usual', whatever that is. (I wonder whether, now that the Cazes family own this property as well as Lynch-Bages, they feel a sense of competition between these two wines?) Not dense but beautifully textured with good freshness.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Haut Brion Graves £2,598 6x75cl 96-98 99-100 98-100 96 97-99 98-100
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The 2020 Haut-Brion is shaping up to be one of the wines of the year. Substance, depth and textural intensity elevate Haut-Brion into the realm of the sublime in 2020. All the elements are so wonderfully balanced. Inky dark fruit, gravel, lavender, violet and dark spice build as the 2020 gradually opens with some aeration. Wow.

Score: 97 - 99 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2070

This is a superb Haut-Brion with incredible tannins that are wonderfully fine-grained. It’s really powerful. This is very primary with so much grape-generated tannin structure. Very, very long, going on for minutes. Seductive and friendly at the start and then takes you on at the finish with so much structure. Wine of the vintage?

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Haut-Brion is a blend of 42.8% Merlot, 39.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17.5% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 7th to 29th September, with an estimated alcohol of 15% and a pH of 3.8. Opaque purple-black colored, it leaps from the glass with a first wave of vibrant black raspberries, ripe blackberries and mulberries scents, followed by a powerful core of warm cassis, dark chocolate and violets, before bursting into an array of crushed rocks, iron ore, tree bark and black truffles notes. The concentrated, densely packed, full-bodied palate is not in the least bit heavy, delivering a refreshing backbone of red berry and dried herbs suggestions, framed by seamless acidity and very finely grained tannins, finishing on an epically long, fragrant earth note. Simply stunning.

Score: 98 - 100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2029-2064

Concentrated, powerful and precise; this takes a grip and holds on, layers of liquorice, grilled coffee bean, chocolate, blackcurrant pastille, cassis bud and a more steely wet stone edge that gives a much needed balance to the richness of the overall feel of this wine. Gunsmoke curls out of the glass after half an hour - this is going to need serious ageing, impressive and powerful stuff. Harvest from 7th to 29th September.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2030-2050

The 2020 Haut-Brion was picked September 7–29. It has a more opulent, more precocious bouquet compared directly with its neighbor across the road, resplendent with layers of black cherry, wild strawberry, black olives and a touch of inkwell. Perhaps it displays slightly less mineralité compared to La Mission Haut-Brion? The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins and a disarming satiny texture matched by a perfect line of acidity. It builds beautifully in the glass, and yet as I constantly return to the La Mission, it does not possess quite the same thrilling tension and pixelation. This is still a magnificent, bold and almost audacious Haut-Brion and I am intrigued to see how it develops in barrel.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2055

Unquestionably one of the top wines in this impressive vintage, the 2020 Château Haut-Brion checks in as 42.8% Merlot, 39.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Cabernet Franc, all of which will spend 15-18 months in 77% new French oak. Its deep purple color is followed by a thrilling nose of mineral-laced blackcurrants, black raspberries, toast, spice, scorched earth, and graphite. Possessing an almost Lafite-like elegance on the palate, it nevertheless has huge dry extract, full-bodied richness, flawless balance, and beautiful tannins. Per the spec sheet, the alcohol is an estimated 15% with a pH of 3.78, so it’s no shrinking violet, yet it never shows a hint of headiness or being over the top. I finished my note with “Where can I buy some?” I suspect this wine will require a solid decade to hit the early stages of maturity and will be a 30-, 40-, or possibly a 50-year wine.

Score: 98 - 100 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full, distinctive, embossed bottle 1,305 g. Cask sample taken 12 April. 42.8% Merlot, 39.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17.5% Cabernet Franc. Estimated alcohol 15%. Picked from 7 to 29 September. More obviously aromatic and lifted than the second wine, Le Clarence de Haut-Brion. Intensely seductive nose in fact. Very savoury, tobacco-leaf palate entry and then quite a tingle. Acidity is a feature of the finish. Very muscular indeed but clearly with more flesh and less obvious tannin than La Mission 2020. Almost juicy. Too early for much of the 'warm bricks' nose to have developed, I assume. Long and emphatic with a little more zest than Haut-Brion often has at this early stage.

Score: 18.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Issan Margaux £253 6x75cl 93-95 97-98 93-95 96 - 93-95
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Extremely floral and fruity with currants and blackberries. It’s full-bodied and very layered with delicious, dense character. Full-bodied with dusty, layered tannins. Rich, but not heavy. Long and chewy on the finish. 55% cabernet sauvignon, 39% merlot, 3% cabernet franc, 2% petit verdot and 1% malbec.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 D'Issan is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, aging in French oak barriques, 50% new. It has an alcohol of 13.29%, a pH of 3.71 and an IPT (tannin index) of 73. Displaying an opaque purple-black color, it has vibrant notes of Bing cherries, boysenberries, ripe redcurrants and juicy black plums, plus hints of pencil shavings, wild thyme, lavender and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate has impressive energy with crunchy red and black fruits and compelling tension, framed by fine-grained tannins, finishing long and mineral laced.

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

This is a sinewy, powerful and forward-moving wine with a sense of momentum. Moreish, with the elegance and plump damson fruits that Issan delivers so well, but more muscular than some years with the impact of both Petit Verdot and Malbec that are in the blend for the first time in this vintage. These add layers of spice and the overall architecture is clear. Peony and violet notes add a kick upwards on the finish, this has a delicacy even though it is intense. Less Cabernet in the blend in 2020 than in 2019, as is often the case in the Médoc due to low yields. This new blend in Issan will be seen going forward after the addition of plots from the purchase of Château Pontac-Lynch.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2045

The 2020 Château d’Issan, picked from September 17 to October 2 and blended in early January, then matured in 50% new oak, has a beautiful and very pure bouquet of blackberry, blueberry and light cranberry notes intertwined with crushed stone and subtle potpourri and violet scents, all wonderfully focused and exquisitely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle but insistent grip on the entry. The tannins are very chiseled and the acidity lends plenty of tension that is palpable from start to finish. This is a sophisticated Margaux in the making, full of breeding and class.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 205

More backward, dense, and concentrated, the Grand Vin 2020 Château D'Issan offers darker currant and cassis notes as well as gorgeous floral, sandalwood, graphite, and chocolate nuances. Medium to full-bodied, voluptuous, and layered on the palate, with sweet yet building tannins, this is a gorgeous Margaux that brings ample depth and richness while still showing the classic elegance of the appellation. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, raised in 50% new oak, and it’s a selection of only 45% of the total production. It's going to have some up-front appeal and a broad, lengthy drink window over the following 2-3 decades. Tasted twice.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec (the latter three from parcels of Pontac-Lynch acquired in March 2020 – the Petit Verdot planted in 1948). 45% of the production. Classic Issan but with more aromatic complexity and a tad more length. Intense, floral with smooth, elegant tannins and balancing freshness. Persistent finish. (JL) 13.3%

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2045

[Add to waiting list] La Clotte St Emilion £280 6x75cl Sold Out - - - 93 - -
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Anis, almond and marzipan on the nose. There is a subtle interplay of tannin and acidity, linear and direct, finishing up with a clementine and orange rind bitterness that also gives a sense of forward propulsion through the palate. Has definition and personality, and continues its improvements under the Ausone team. Moulin St Georges has more breadth, depth and texture through the palate - this has more of a limestone squeeze, giving plenty of choice depending on what you are looking for.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2045

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Definitely on an upward curve these days. Lovely pitch of pure, dark fruit. Hint of liquorice as well. Energy and concentration on the palate, the plentiful but silky tannins providing power and persistence. Shows both muscle and finesse. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] La Gaffeliere St Emilion £350 6x75cl Sold Out 96-98 96-97 96-98 95 - -
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Blackberry and black-olive aromas and flavors. Full-bodied with layers of fine tannins that fill the mouth. Expansive finish. The tannins are very fine, but abundant. Really impressive.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 La Gaffeliere gallops out of the glass with exuberant scents of crushed black plums, boysenberries and fresh blackberries, plus hints of eucalyptus, dark chocolate, crushed rocks and iron ore, with a waft of lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate shimmers with compelling energy, delivering layers of black and red berries with fantastic tension and finely grained tannins, finishing very long and wonderfully minerally.

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

An run of successful vintages at La Gaffeliere, and this again proves why it is an estate to watch, striking an expert balance between power and finesse. Offers a ton of cassis, blackberry, black cherry and damson fruits, licorice root and crushed stone, just gorgeously juicy and stretches out across the palate. Austere tannins at this point, plenty of limestone character, a little tight on the finish but with a velvet texture and promises to age with grace. A yield of 42hl/ha.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

The 2020 La Gaffelière has an intriguing, complex nose, a mélange of red and black fruit, cigar box, undergrowth and mint, quite mercurial in the glass as it opens with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins, a beautiful seam of acidity and perhaps the most satin-like texture I have encountered on a young La Gaffelière. It sashays to a harmonious and precise finish and lingers with wonderful mineralité. This is a magnificent prospect.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2060

Full bottle 1,365 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc. The grapes are kept for 12 hours in a cold room at 7 °C before passing through the optical sorter. Vinification by parcel in stainless-steel temperature-controlled tanks, filled by gravity without SO2. Alcoholic fermentation with both pumping over and punching down. Malolactic conversion in tanks (75%) and barrels (25%). Dark, deep crimson. Very interesting and distinctive on the nose – fresher than most. Luscious and sweet on the palate with a little hint of oak. I have to say that I much prefer the nose to the palate at this juncture. But my score is for that impressive aroma and the nudging but (just) not-too-insistent tannins.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] La Mondotte St Emilion £798 6x75cl 95-97 97-98 - 94 95-97 96-98
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The 2020 La Mondotte is inky and powerful, but also very much closed in on itself. Inky blue/blackish fruit, spice, lavender, gravel, new leather and coffee all take shape with a bit of air. Like all of Stephan von Neipperg's 2020s, La Mondotte deftly marries textural richness with energy. The result is a deep, potent La Mondotte that has so much to offer. The clean, vibrant finish is a thing of beauty. Superb.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2050

This is really spicy and flavorful with a solid core of fruit and chewy tannins that are polished and very long, providing this wine with super structure and tension.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Ruby and violet-laced colour, glass-staining berry fruit, clear limestone influence, sappy and a little austere, slate and juice. Muscular in its colour and aromatics on the attack, then it contracts halfway through the palate and the grippy tannins come into play. A yield of 36hl/ha. Good stuff.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2040

The 2020 La Mondotte does not mess about, delivering a payload of ripe, opulent blackberry, cassis, India ink and figgy scents, exotic but very sensual and managing to retain impressive delineation. The balanced palate presents succulent tannins and a satiny texture. There is real depth to this La Mondotte, yet the acidity keeps it light on its toes, and there is impressive salinity toward the finish. This constitutes one of the finest La Mondotte releases in recent years. Chapeau!

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

A true blockbuster in the vintage is the 2020 La Mondotte, which comes from a tiny 12-acre parcel of limestone soils located near Troplong Mondot, Pavie, and Larcis Ducasse, on the upper limestone plateau. Emerging from the talented team of Stephan von Neipperg and brought up in new barrels, it has a wonderfully pure, clean, medium to full-bodied style offering integrated oak, a straight, focused texture, and incredible purity in its darker berry fruits as well as notes of gravelly earth and liquid violets. It’s common for the wines from the upper plateau to show more perfumed ethereal aromatics (as opposed to more richness from wines on the hillside), and this is incredibly perfumed, elegant, and aromatic while still offering density, structure, and length. It’s going to take 7-8 years to hit maturity, but it should see its 30th birthday in fine form.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

100% Merlot. Cask sample. Purple-black hue. Tightly wound and structured but has the fruit to match. Dark and steely on the nose. Solid tannic frame but the tannins fine grained. Reserved and intense but precise. Needs patience. (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] Labegorce Margaux £115 6x75cl 91-93 92-93 89-91 93 91-93 93-95
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The 2020 Labégorce is a dark, brooding Margaux. Black cherry, gravel, licorice, spice and bittersweet chocolate play off the wine's considerable density and pure power. Labégorce is not exactly subtle, but it sure packs plenty of punch. This is an especially plush style, and it works well.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2040

A tight, compact Labégorce with blackcurrant, walnut and some graphite. It’s medium-to full-bodied with a solid core of tannins and fruit. Some lead pencil. Very structured for this estate.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Labégorce is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, aging in French oak barrels, 40% new. The alcohol is 14%. Medium to deep purple-black in color, it slides out of the glass with open-knit scents of redcurrant jelly, kirsch and black raspberries, plus hints of bay leaves and lavender. The medium-bodied palate is refreshing and elegant with plenty of vivacious red berry flavors and a soft texture, finishing with an herbal lift.

Score: 89 - 91 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2039

Smoked cedar oak on the nose, a welcome touch in a vintage where tannins have frequently been turned up to 11. Grilled almonds; really a campfire edge. I like this, works well with the vintage. The fruit softens through the mid palate but the team has done a great job of finding extra layers flavour and complexity. Good stuff. 40% new oak. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Yields around 32hl/ha. Just 20mm of rain in August here, which meant veraison was more difficult. Tasted this also at the estate, and both times I was impressed. Less opulent than 2019, more classic and serious but this is great. Harvest September 16 to October 1.

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

The 2020 Labégorce was picked 16 September to 1 October and raised in 40% new oak, the remainder one year old. It has a perfumed bouquet with brambly red fruit, wild strawberry mixed with raspberry preserve and rose petal, hints of orange rind emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins, classic in style with a fine bead of acidity that imparts plenty of freshness. More black fruit on the palate compared to the nose with a saline finish, this is a fine Margaux that has a suppleness suggesting it will drink early after bottling.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2042

I continue to love the wines from this estate in Margaux, and the 2020 Château Labegorce is no exception. Rock star crème de cassis, graphite, roasted herbs, iron, and loamy earth nuances all define the bouquet, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a relatively soft, plush, forward style, good mid-palate density, and wonderful purity of fruit. It’s going to benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age and drink nicely for 15-20 years. It should be a terrific value as well.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,357 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. Very informative sample label giving varietal composition and harvest dates: 45% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2 % Petit Verdot. Harvested 16 September to 1 October. 40% new oak. Deepest cherry red. Inviting and open nose of sweet and scented black and dark-red fruit and just a hint of oak's sweetness. On the palate, juicy with those same fruit flavours and lovely freshness to balance. The oak is carried lightly and is well integrated. The tannins fine and dry on the finish. (JH)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[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

[Add to waiting list] Lafite Rothschild Pauillac £2,940 6x75cl Sold Out 96-98 99-100 96-98 97 95-97 97-99
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The 2020 is a super-classic Lafite-Rothschild of grace and finesse. A reticent introvert, Lafite impresses with its vertical lift and palpable energy. It is a wine of regal bearing that does not feel the need to say much, and yet everything is very clearly there. Bright acids and strong, saline notes come alive in the glass as the long, persistent finish unfolds with remarkable grace. The 2020 is simply exquisite. It's a fabulous showing from the team led by Technical Director Eric Kohler.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2060

Rather ethereal and so refined with finesse, focus and brightness that provides incredible energy and pedigree. It’s full-bodied with ultra fine tannins that go on and on. Superb presence with tannins that melt into the wine. This is 12.8%. I love the wine. Lots of dark fruit and fresh tobacco. Lead pencil, too. 92% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot and 1% petit verdot.

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Displaying a deep purple-black color, the 2020 Lafite Rothschild takes a little swirling and coaxing to unlock scents of freshly crushed blackcurrants, boysenberries and spiced plums, followed by emerging nuances of red roses, raspberry preserves, underbrush and unsmoked cigars, with a waft of cedar chest. The medium-bodied palate is an exercise in elegance and finesse, featuring tightly wound layers of red and black berries and loads of mineral sparks, framed by finely grained tannins and well-poised tension, finishing with fantastic length and the most stunning perfume. Magnificent achievement. This 2020 is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, coming in at 12.8% alcohol and a pH of 3.9.

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2028 - 2063

This is pretty much as close to entirely Cabernet Sauvignon as Bordeaux gets (92%) and yet it has an incredibly fine, gentle richness to the tannins. They build up pretty quickly though, so that by the end of the palate you start to feel the closing in and tightening, deftly underscoring how well this will age. The kaleidoscope of flavours and aromatics that Lafite does so well is fully on display, nothing trying too hard, a velvet texture to the tannins where the cassis fruit, earth, crushed stone and graphite is held in from beginning to end. Impressive that even in dry vintages like 2020 with the real concerns over global warming, the top Bordeaux estates can still produce wines of this quality.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2046

The 2020 Lafite-Rothschild is much more intense and complex compared to the Carruades this year. This First Growth bursts from the glass with beautifully defined blackberry and wild strawberry scents laced with sprigs of wild mint and juniper berries. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins that frame the pixelated black fruit. This is quintessential Lafite in that it is not a powerful or immensely structured wine, but rather a First Growth with unerring balance and harmony, one that is unashamedly classic in style. There is just the right amount of dryness on the finish to urge you back for another sip. So Lafite it has its name tattooed onto its DNA. It will begin to soar after 10 years in the cellar.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2070

The 2020 Château Lafite-Rothschild checks in as 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot brought up in roughly 90% or more of new French oak. It's a deep, inky-hued Lafite boasting incredible notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, graphite, crushed stone, and gravelly earth-like minerality. Full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with terrific purity of fruit, it has ripe tannins, a layered, seamless mouthfeel, and a great, great finish. It should surpass the 2015 and 2017 and be in the same realm as the 2018 and 2019. Despite its richness and depth, it hit just 12.8% alcohol, with an IPT of 72 and a pH of 3.5. It’s going to be just about immortal.

Score: 97 - 99 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. A very masculine Lafite with a powerful tannic frame (bigger than 2019 and 2018). Deep, intense and stately on the nose with mineral-graphite notes to the fore. Palate rich but with a massive charge of fine-grained tannin and lingering freshness. Enormous length on the finish. Incredible potential. (JL)

Score: 19 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Lafon Rochet St Estephe £162 6x75cl 92-94 93-94 - 93 93-95 93-95
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The 2020 Lafon-Rochet is fabulous. The aromatics along are dazzling. Gracious and yet effusive, with tons of nuance, the 2020 dazzles from start to finish. Inky dark fruit, new leather, spice, lavender and menthol fill the room with soaring intensity. Silky, elegant and so pure, Lafon-Rochet is shaping up to be one of the real under the radar gems of 2020. It's a terrific effort from Basile Tesseron. Don't miss it.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2050

Blackberry and spice with firm, chewy tannins that show polish and focus. It’s medium-to full-bodied with excellent energy. Blackberry and blackcurrant character on the finish with a touch of cedar and spice.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Attractive, well-paced fruits, plenty of clarity to the flavours, together with a feeling of linearity to the tannins. Austerity through the mid-palate constrains the brambled cassis fruit, but things build back up again and this is a measured, successful wine that will age well. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. First year with Eric Boissenot accompanying Jean-Claude Berrouet as consultants.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2042

The 2020 Lafon-Rochet was picked September 15–20 and marks the first collaboration between consultants Jean-Claude Berrouet and Eric Boissenot, who both worked on the blending. It has a really lovely bouquet of blackberry, briar and faint estuarine scents, hints of crushed iris flower emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and modest depth, and quite fleshy; lip-smacking salinity urges you to take another sip. Intriguingly, it comes across a tad Pomerol-like on the finish, completing a top-notch Lafon-Rochet that may well end up at the top of my banded score.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2044

I loved the 2020 Château Lafon-Rochet, a rich, powerful, concentrated Saint-Estèphe that stays beautifully balanced and elegant. Lots of pure cassis and darker currant fruits as well as tobacco, chocolate, and damp herb notes define the nose, and it's medium to full-bodied, with plenty of mid-palate depth, building tannins, and a great finish. It's going to take 7-8 years to hit the early stages of maturity, but it's a brilliant wine. The blend is 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, with an alcohol of 13.5 and a pH of 3.68. Tasted twice.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle an admirably light 1,290 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Deep lustrous purplish crimson. Interesting vitality to the nose, almost as though biodynamic techniques were employed here. Lovely balance of ripeness and vitality. This is a very successful 2020. It may be dismissed by some because the tannins are not obvious but it's a delightful drink – already! Very distinctive. Perhaps not for seriously long-term cellaring but well done Basile Tesseron for producing something so appetising and groundbreaking. The finish is impressively persistent.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Lagrange (St Julien) St Julien £212 6x75cl 93-95 93-94 94-96 90 91-94 94-96
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The 2020 Lagrange (Saint-Julien) is bright, punchy and wonderfully energetic. Red-toned fruit, sweet spice, cedar and pipe tobacco are all beautifully delineated in this mid-weight, vibrant Saint-Julien. I very much like the depth and tension in this barrel sample.

Score: 91 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2040

Blackberry and currant with light graphite undertones. It’s medium-bodied with fine, creamy tannins and a flavorful finish.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Lagrange leaps from the glass with vibrant notes of redcurrant jelly, ripe blackcurrants and minted blackberries, followed by nuances of dark chocolate, star anise and mossy tree bark. The medium-bodied palate is both super intense and super elegant, featuring exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness to frame the bright, crunchy black and red fruits, finishing long and mineral laced.

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

Juicy, well balanced, slowly and carefully delivering its white peach and soft citrus flesh. Made with skill and style, an enjoyable white Graves.

Score: 90 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2021 - 2025

The 2020 Lagrange has a sensual, beautifully defined bouquet of mineral-infused black fruit, briar, touches of wild mint and crushed stone, conveying wonderful energy and precision. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, tensile and focused, delivering plenty of energy and an almost steely but persistent finish. This is a classy Lagrange from winemaker Matthieu Bordes and his team. I always feel this Saint-Julien is underrated, but it will challenge the best 2020s from the appellation.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2050

A wine that excels in the appellation, the 2020 Château Lagrange has a slightly modern vibe, with plenty of oak, yet still brings classic Bordeaux tobacco, lead pencil, and earthy minerality as well as pure cassis fruits. Medium to full-bodied, balanced, and just about seamless, it’s going to require 5-6 years of bottle age but should cruise for 20-25 years in cold cellars.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,360 g. Cask sample taken 2 April. 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, aged for 21 months in barrels of which 60% were new. Bright, deep crimson. Nose a little smudgy with a hint of acidity and then sweetness. Tannins notably well masked. Very dry, even austere, uncompromising finish.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Lagune Haut Medoc £162 6x75cl 91-93 93-94 92-94 93 92-94 -
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The 2020 La Lagune is a real standout. Intense, soaring aromatics give this racy Haut-Médoc tons of allure. Graphite, dried herbs, leather, menthol and licorice explode from the glass. A wine of unreal dimension, pedigree and class, the La Lagune is simply lights out in 2020. Time in the glass brings out gorgeous red/purplish fruit intermingled with sweet floral notes that add striking inner perfume.

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

A firm, polished red with tight, focused tannins that flow across the palate. It’s medium-to full-bodied with good length and a gorgeous finish. From organically grown grapes.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 La Lagune strides confidently out of the glass with bold, fantastically pure black fruit notes of crushed black plums, ripe blackcurrants and juicy blackberries, plus hints of tar, dried Provence herbs, star anise and smoked meats, with a hint of black truffles. The medium-bodied palate delivers tightly wound, bright, crunchy black fruits with plenty of freshness and an approachable, grainy texture, finishing long with loads of earthy and herbal sparks.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2042

This comes in strong with both grip and attitude. Some austerity that shows through in the abundant tannic frame, but there is a juiciness that runs through the palate, a sense that it is light on its feet. Liquorice, black chocolate and a spiced tomato leaf adds layers, but things close down on the finish. This is certified organic and in biodynamic conversion. A yield of 30hl/ha.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2040

The 2020 La Lagune offers intense Cabernet scents on the nose, the black fruit, tobacco, humidor and light cedar scents bursting from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins that frame the crisp black fruit. This is a classic Médoc with just the right amount of structure and dryness, partnered with assiduous sapidity that gets the saliva flowing. It should gain a little flesh during its élevage. You might call this "proper Claret."

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

Full bottle 1,356 g. Cask sample. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Certified organic and in conversion to biodynamic farming. Very dark with purplish rim. Pure left-bank Cabernet aroma that is both intensely cassis but also with a layer of cedar and a hint of stone-dust minerality. A freshness to the aroma without obvious herbaceousness. Super-fine tannins. Pure and fresh on the palate, a hint of dark chocolate and already showing real elegance in the finesse of the dry almost sinewy tannin texture. Lovely young wine without extremes. (JH)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Lanessan Haut Medoc £59 6x75cl 90-92 92-93 - - 90-92 90-92
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The 2020 Lanessan is impressive, to say the least. Dark, layered and mysterious, the 2020 packs serious punch, the blackberry jam, incense, scorched earth and leather all melding together. I especially admire the wine's depth and textural intensity. Beautifully done.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2040

Very beautiful, fine-tannined red with blackberry and blueberry character. Lovely chocolate and hazelnut undertones. Fine tannins. Fresh finish.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Lanessan presents a very perfumed nose of dark cherries, cassis, cedar and background tobacco aromas, turning quite minty with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, a crisp line of acidity, plenty of tightly wound black fruit and a saline finish. This is a classy Lanessan, quite complex and intense yet refined.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2045

Readers looking for a great buy in the vintage should check out the 2020 Château Lanessan, which offers ample dark (almost blue) fruits, cassis, and spring flower notes to go with a medium-bodied, nicely concentrated, balanced beauty that has enough tannins and structure to warrant 2-4 years of bottle age.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Undated cask sample. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Machine-harvested and aged in concrete. Purple. Nicely balanced Médoc fruit in a dry wine with marked tannin. Straightforward club claret for a typical old-fashioned gentleman's club – or would the gentlemen find it too ripe?

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Langoa Barton St Julien £179 6x75cl 92-94 93-94 93-95 92 90-92 94-96
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The 2020 Langoa Barton is an absolute delight. It offers the radiance of the year but in the mid-weight, understated style that is such a Langoa signature. Bright red cherry fruit, blood orange, mint, rose petal and cedar give the 2020 a whole range of bright aromas and flavors that bristle with energy. This is such a pretty wine.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2040

Very pretty blackberry and blueberry character with blackcurrants and mint. It’s medium-to full-bodied with linear, tight tannins that are polished and fine.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Sporting a deep purple-black color, the 2020 Langoa Barton needs a little swirling to unlock youthfully muted scents of warm cassis, black cherry preserves and boysenberries, plus hints of menthol, graphite, tilled soil and bouquet garni. The medium-bodied palate is delicately played with impressive freshness delivered by the red berry and herbal sparks within a black-fruit core, with grainy tannins to support, finishing long and invigorating.

Score: 93 - 95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2050

Not quite as generous as Léoville Barton, replaced with classicism and subdued tannins, as we see the impact of a slightly cooler terroir. Juicy finish, black fruits, plenty of life and lift through the palate. Enjoyable, but closed in with clove spice that is very clear on the finish. Tasted twice. A yield of 34hl/ha. Harvest September 14 to 28.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027-2042

The 2020 Langoa Barton has a really gorgeous, very pure bouquet of crushed violets infusing black cherry, blueberry and black plummy scents. The new oak seems a little more pronounced compared to recent vintages and yet it is in sync with the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannins that disguise the structure underneath, the counterbalancing acidity line keeping everything focused and fresh. This is quite an audacious Langoa, and you what? It pulls it off.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2055

Loads of red and black currants, lead pencil shavings, tobacco, and dried flower notes emerge from the 2020 Château Langoa Barton, a gorgeous looking 2020 offering medium to full-bodied richness, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It has the concentrated, backward vibe of the vintage yet brings remarkable opulence and texture. It's impressive.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,345 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 53.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 8.5% Cabernet Franc. Healthy deep purplish crimson. High-toned, fully ripe nose that is rather seductive before a glossy, polished-tannin dry finish. Promises well for the future while being relatively charming even now. Not the most concentrated 2020 but everything is in balance. Well done. Sappy, dry finish. Very St-Julien. Some restraint despite the initial seduction.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] Larcis Ducasse St Emilion £332 6x75cl Sold Out 94-96 97-98 96-98 97 95-97 96-99
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The 2020 Larcis Ducasse captures all the pedigree of the year in its savory, mineral-driven personality. Graphite, dried herbs, lavender, spice and menthol lend striking aromatic intensity. The 2020 is a rich, deep wine, yet it retains the classic midweight sense of structure that is a signature of the estate. The 2020 is quite simply a dazzling Larcis.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2060

Blackberry and asphalt with cool minerals and a hint of mint. It’s full-bodied and chewy with intense flavors and a long, flavorful finish. Lots of chalk and an almost salty undertone.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Larcis Ducasse has a deep purple-black color, leaping from the glass with bold notions of redcurrant jelly, plum preserves, kirsch and red roses, followed by hints of licorice, fragrant earth and spice cake, with a touch of woodsmoke. The medium to full-bodied palate is laden with fragrant red berries and profound black fruit preserves, supported by ripe, rounded tannins and lovely tension, finishing very long and fantastically layered. Absolutely, stunningly singular.

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

Great consistency over the past few years at this property but this is really stepping things up a level. With poise and depth of flavour, we are digging down through the layers. Extremely elegant, a wine that is precise and pared back and totally delicious. You can almost feel the points of minerality poking into your tongue, but then they melt into a softer more luxurious whole, with blackberry, cassis and black chocolate. Great stuff. Tasted several times, and every time it shows itself to be something out of the ordinary. A brilliant wine that I thoroughly recommend getting hold of. 50% new oak. A yield of 38.5hl/ha. Owned by Famille Gratiot-Attmane, but with the Nicolas Thienpont team overseeing winemaking.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2046

The 2020 Larcis Ducasse has a ripe, exotic bouquet lavished with blueberries, cassis, touches of date and crushed violets. The aromatics are rich and powerful. The palate is medium-bodied with rounded tannins and a fine bead of acidity, displaying more puppy fat than its peers. The precocious finish offers crushed strawberry, maraschino and faint dark chocolate scents. This is a typical Larcis Ducasse in many ways, perhaps not one for those seeking a more traditional Saint-Émilion, but very sensual and ravishing.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2055

A wine that’s going to flirt with perfection is the 2020 Château Larcis Ducasse. It’s a Saint-Emilion with an almost Pomerol-like depth and power paired with classic Saint-Emilion aromatics and minerality. Incredibly pure notes of black cherries, blackberries, white flowers, truffle, and leafy herb notes all emerge on the nose and it’s full-bodied, with a layered, multi-dimensional texture, thrilling tannins, and a finish that won’t quit. If you get a chance, buy it. The blend is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, aging in 55% new French oak.

Score: 96 - 99 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

ull bottle 1,320 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Dark purplish crimson. Black fruit flavours – mulberries? – on the nose. Rich, sweet and almost buttery in texture. Then a whack of dry tannins kick in. Very youthful with zestiness on the end.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Laroque St Emilion £113 6x75cl 93-95 94-95 94-96 92 93-95 95-97
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The 2020 Laroque is silky, sensual and polished right out of the gate. Crushed flowers, cedar, mint and sweet pipe tobacco meld into a core of red/purplish berry fruit. What I like most about the 2020 is its incredible finesse and impeccable balance. This is another terrific effort from Laroque under the leadership of technical director David Suire. Tasted two times.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2040

This is really focused and linear with tight, minerally tannins that are polished and energetic. It’s medium-to full-bodied with dark and blue fruit in the center palate. Long and focused.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Laroque is a blend of 99% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc, aging for around 16 to 18 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. The alcohol is 14.5%. Displaying a deep purple-black color, it slowly unfurls in the glass to reveal fantastically opulent notes of Indian spices, rose oil, dark chocolate and licorice, over a core of blueberry preserves, stewed plums and mulberries, plus a hint of dried mint. The medium to full-bodied palate is packed with layers of black and blue fruits, accented by exotic spices and supported by a racy backbone and velvety tannins, finishing long and perfumed. Gorgeous.

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2044

Plenty of sappy, well defined juice running underneath the moody tannic frame, but you need to look away right now because this is closed and subdued. Blueberry purée and a limestone scrape helps build momentum through the mid-palate - give this time. David Suire manages the winemaking.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

The 2020 Laroque was cropped at 34hl/ha, picked September 21–30. It has a very composed bouquet of blackberry, wild strawberry and crushed limestone scents, beautifully defined with very well integrated oak. You could just nose this all day. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, blueberry and a judicious pinch of black pepper. This is very harmonious and as fresh as a daisy. Possibly the best Laroque that winemaker David Suire has overseen to date.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2047

Possibly one of the best buys out there, the 2020 Château Laroque comes from a cooler, clay and limestone terroir on the eastern side of the appellation, and this is exactly what you wanted in this vintage. Revealing a vivid purple hue as well as stunning notes of blueberries, cassis, liquid violets, and white truffle, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a seamless, elegant texture, and gorgeous length on the finish. It plays in the more nuanced, elegant end of the spectrum yet still brings ample fruit, richness, and texture. It’s a stunning bottle of wine all about finesse and elegance. Tasted twice.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,340 g. Cask sample taken 7 April. Deep crimson but not impenetrable. Mellow, rather unflashy nose with well-integrated acidity and a certain mineral element. Really lively and fresh and rather sleeker than some of the more exhibitionistic St-Émilions. Obviously a long-term, and rather exciting, bet. Bone-dry finish and a fair amount of ripe tannin but not lean or drying, and with a persistent, silky finish. Rather sophisticated.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Lascombes Margaux £300 6x75cl 88-90 94-95 92-94 92 92-94 92-94
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The 2020 Lascombes is gorgeous. Inky and deep, the 2020 is brimming with character. There is a bit less opulence than in some recent vintages, but that is not a bad thing. And plenty of inky dark fruit, leather and spice flavor. The 2020 is an attractive, mid-weight Lascombes with a good deal of richness and fine balance. Lavender, cloves, spice and new French oak linger on the suave finish.

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

Blackberries and spices, such as cloves and nutmeg, as well as licorice and hints of graphite. It’s full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins, yet they are polished and beautiful. Structured. Solid.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2020 Lascombes comes skipping out of the glass with bright, cheery scents of raspberry coulis, blackberry preserves and fresh blackcurrants, plus suggestions of pencil shavings, dried roses and charcuterie with a waft of bouquet garni. The medium to full-bodied palate has great tension and energy, delivering crunchy red and black fruit layers and a firm, grainy frame, finishing long with an herbal lift.

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

A château that is used to finding charm and exuberance whatever the vintage, and it has avoided overly concentrated flavours. There is plenty of charm to the cassis and damson fruit but they are a little heavy through the mid palate which emphasises the grilled coffee and chocolate and adds bitter touches to the end of palate. Serious. A yield of 40hl/ha.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2040

The 2020 Lascombes has a straightforward, delineated bouquet of gentle red berry fruit laced with Earl Grey and very subtle ash scents. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, fine acidity, cracked black pepper sprinkled over the black fruit and a little bluntness on the finish. I stayed with this sample for an hour to see if it would gain more flesh, but it somehow remains a little austere.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2038

A terrific success in the vintage, the 2020 Château Lascombes sports a dense purple color as well as gorgeous black and blue fruits interwoven with plenty of toasty oak. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it has velvety tannins, good mid-palate density, and beautiful overall balance. It’s one of those wines that brings plenty of ripe fruit yet always has a solid sense of elegance and purity. Tasted twice.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,353 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Very dark core with deep crimson rim. Initial impression is a little bit toasty from the oak but rich dark fruit lies below, both blackcurrant and something a bit more lively like mulberry. Smooth but slightly thick tannins, a bit flat and a little too dry on the finish. Rather severe. (JH)

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Latour Martillac Graves £127 6x75cl 93-95 93-94 90-92 94 90-92 92-94
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The 2020 Latour-Martillac is a potent, brooding wine. Graphite, crushed rocks, game, scorched earth, menthol, lavender and chocolate are all kicked up in this searingly intense Pessac-Léognan. It will be interesting to see if the 2020 softens at all. Today, it is pretty tight, and yet there is quite a bit of potential.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2040

This really builds on the palate with blackberry, blueberry and stone aromas and flavors. Medium to full body. Creamy finish.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Latour Martillac needs a little swirling to release scents of wild blueberries, fresh black-currants and mulberries with hints of chocolate box, aniseed and mossy tree bark with a touch of charcoal. The medium-bodied palate is soft, juicy and refreshing, offering a savory finish.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2040

Chocolate, liquorice, some bitter points that accompany the fruit from beginning to end, this is one of the best in terms of focus and precision. There is clearly excellent colour extraction, you get real glass-staining purple, but the flavours are more austere and tannic than the colour might suggest. Well chosen coffee and chocolate expression that remains elegant and pointed. Good stuff, needs time, but will grow into a classic elegant wine. A yield of 38hl/ha.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

The 2020 Latour-Martillac offers an enticing bouquet of black fruit infused with black olive, background citric scents lending a bit of zest. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, well-integrated oak and impressive depth. This is a very assured and confident Latour-Martillac that continues their strong run of form. Perhaps one of the dark horses of the appellation in 2020, this should be on your primeur shopping list.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2055

The deep inky colored 2020 Château Latour-Martillac is another classic Graves from this vintage with loads to love. Lots of red, blue, and black fruits, notes of flowers, chocolate, and gravelly earth, medium to full-bodied richness, impeccable balance, and silky tannins all make for an outstanding, undeniably impressive 2020 that shines more for its elegance and purity than outright power and richness. It will benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age and cruise for two decades.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,355 g. Undated cask sample. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. Dark purple. Notably well-integrated nose. Sweet purple fruits on the palate entry and more than a hint of oak overlay. Quite chewy on the end. Tannins and fruit very separate at the moment. I wouldn't have minded a little more freshness of fruit. A little dry and chunky on the slightly sudden finish.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.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] Le Prieuré St Emilion £188 6x75cl 94-96 - 93-95 94 95-97 91-93
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The 2020 Le Prieuré is fabulous. Inky and deep, with tremendous vibrancy, it dazzles from start to finish. Blueberry jam, graphite, menthol and lavender build as the 2020 gradually shows off its pedigree. Bright saline and mineral notes punctuate the mouthwatering finish. Technical Director Pénélope Godefroy has taken the farming and winemaking principles she learned at Latour and the other Artemis Group properties and applied them at Siaurac, Vray Croix de Gay, and the crown jewel Le Prieuré, all of which are now owned by French insurance company Suravenir. The results have been nothing short of remarkable. Le Prieuré is quite simply one of the most beautiful, striking wines being made in Saint-Émilion today.

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

The 2020 Le Prieure is a blend of 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc, with 14.3% alcohol. It is aging for an anticipated 16 months in French oak barriques, 35% new. Deep purple-black colored, it needs a little swirling and coaxing to reveal fragrant notes of lilacs, underbrush and sandalwood over a core of Morello cherries and plum preserves, plus a waft of woodsmoke. The medium to full-bodied palate has beautiful energy and tension, featuring layers of juicy red and black fruits with a plush texture, finishing long and perfumed. What a stunner!

Score: 93 - 95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024-2049

Textured with depth to the hawthorn, raspberry and blackberry fruit that travels down several layers. The frame is drenched with juicy and taut limestone minerality, with almost a juniper and saline sting. Hard to argue with the quality here. First year with new owners, Suravenir of Calon-Ségur, Penelope Godefroy is still the winemaker. A yield of 30hl/ha, organic winemaking.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027-2040

The 2020 Le Prieuré is very intense on the nose of pure blackberry, raspberry preserve and subtle blueberry scents, the oak extremely well integrated. The medium-bodied palate delivers velvety tannins and a mélange of red and black fruit laced with blood orange and hints of marmalade. This is a nimble, tensile Saint-Émilion with real puissance toward the finish and a persistent spicy aftertaste. Wonderful.

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

A rich, ripe, opulent wine that shows more and more freshness and elegance with time in the glass, the 2020 Château Le Prieuré offers an outstanding array of black raspberry and mulled cherry fruits as well as background leafy herbs and chocolate. With high-quality tannins, good overall balance, and a great finish, it should easily be an outstanding wine and keep for 15+ years. It’s every bit as good as the 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,250 g. Cask sample taken 7 April. Property acquired by the Pinault family's Artémis wine group and now converted to biodynamic viticulture, but sold, along with their other right bank ventures Chx Siaurac in Lalande-de-Pomerol and Vray Croix de Gay in Pomerol to Suravenir, the insurance group that also owns Ch Calon Ségur. More transparent crimson than most of its peers. Subtle but confident nose. Nothing obviously sweet about this. Very appetising and engaging with real 21st-century grip and authenticity. The team, led from Ch Latour in Pauillac presumably, really seem to have sprinkled some refinement magic dust on this wine. Very distinctive and much drier and less obviously tannic than most 2020 St-Émilions. I wonder whether it was picked a bit earlier? Impressive freshness and drive without notable acidity.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Leoville Barton St Julien £365 6x75cl 94-96 96-97 93-95 94 94-96 95-97
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The 2020 Léoville-Barton marries the richness of the vintage with the classically restrained style that is so typical of Léoville-Barton. Graphite, licorice and dark spice are all laced throughout a core of inky dark fruit. The 2020 is powerful and linear, with tons of depth lying in reserve, just waiting to emerge. I won't be surprised if Léoville-Barton is one of the last Saint-Juliens to enter its prime.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2055

A full-bodied red that builds on the palate with lots of blackberry and blueberry character, as well as chocolate. Mineral and graphite undertones. Chewy, yet very integrated. Excellent, as expected.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Léoville Barton reveals a deep purple-black color, springing from the glass with vivacious scents of crushed black cherries, cassis and black raspberries, plus hints of cinnamon toast, wild sage, red roses and sassafras. The medium to full-bodied palate is packed with muscular black fruits, framed by grainy tannins and loads of freshness, finishing long and perfumed.

Score: 93 - 95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2047

Packed full of black chocolate shavings, liquorice, cocoa bean, concentrated cassis and bilberry fruits. Good quality, will bed down and age extremely well, with depth and character but also classicism. As with many in this corner of the Médoc peninsula in this vintage, the austerity to the tannins is very much to the fore right now. May be upscored when in bottle.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2045

The 2020 Léoville Barton was picked September 15–16 and matured in 70% new oak. It is one of the best vintages that I have encountered in barrel. Wow! This shoots from the glass with beautifully defined black fruit, mineral-rich aromas, pixelated with laser-like focus. The palate is medium-bodied with chiseled tannins, a perfect line of acidity, layers of vibrant, vivacious black fruit and a very persistent finish that is pure class. If you don’t have this in your cellar, then there will be a Léoville Barton–shaped hole to fill.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2055

Deep purple – almost blue – in color, the 2020 Château Léoville Barton offers up an exotic, vibrant, perfumed nose that carries loads of pure cassis fruit interwoven with violets, sappy green herbs, and floral aromatics. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and concentrated, this thick, chewy, powerful Saint-Julien has good acidity, building, firm, yet ripe tannins, and a great finish. My money is on this requiring 15 years to come anywhere close to maturity. It doesn’t get any more classic Barton than this.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,345 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 85.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot. Aged for 18 months in barrel (60% new). Lustrous purple. Minerally, stony, saline nose. Really remarkably opulent on palate entry which almost distracts from those massive tannins underneath. There's just a suggestion of vintage port tannins here (not the sweetness). Very fine winemaking indeed. I have to admit I was tempted to swallow this, it was so majestic. I don't remember being as bowled over by a Léoville Barton at this early stage before. Lovely, confident, persistent finish. Such grace!

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Leoville Las Cases St Julien £1,188 6x75cl 96-98 98-99 96-98 96 95-98 95-97
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The 2020 Léoville Las Cases comes across as a super-classic Saint-Julien that combines mid-weight structure of previous decades, with the greater textural finesse that has become the norm here in recent years. A shy introvert, the 2020 Las Cases won’t impress with size or brawn as is often the case, but with a total sense of finesse. Readers with classically leaning palates will flip out over the 2020. I can't wait to watch it evolve, hopefully for many decades to come. It is certainly one of the standouts of the year at this point.

Score: 95 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2060

This is incredibly classic in style with so much currant, lead pencil, crushed stone and sweet tobacco. It’s full-bodied with minerally, stoney and powerful tannins. It goes on and one. Real Las Cases here. Solid as a rock. Progresses to violet, graphite and licorice at the end.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot, aging in 80% new French oak barriques, weighing in with an alcohol of 13.68%, a pH of 3.8 and an IPT (tannins index) of 79. The Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from the 21st to the 27th of September, the Merlot from the 12th to the 15th of September and the Cabernet Franc on the 18th and 19th of September. With an opaque purple-black color, it slowly unfurls to reveal beguiling notes of fresh blackcurrants, Morello cherries, candied violets and dark chocolate, giving way to an undercurrent of crushed rocks, unsmoked cigars, clove oil and fragrant earth. The medium-bodied palate is a powerhouse of energy, delivering tightly wound red and black fruits, mineral and floral layers, supported by fantastic tension and incredibly ripe, silt-like tannins. The finish has jaw-dropping fragrance and depth.

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2061

A subtle intensity where the power steals up on you through the palate - this is an excellent example of what Las Cases can deliver. Intellectual, concentrated and reined in for the foreseeable future. You get the full array of serious St-Julien character - pencil lead, cigar box, cassis bud, bilberry, earth and granite-edged tannins, this needs time. Very little press wine was used because this has such a plainly evident natural intensity. Needs time, but knowing how this estate is a slow burner even in generous vintages, you are going to need a lot of patience for this vintage to reach its drinking window. Impressive, not yet showing its heart. May be upscored once in bottle. This is 1% less than 2018 and 0.5% less than in 2019 in terms of alcohol. 3.65pH. A yield of 34hl/ha.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2045

he 2020 Léoville–Las Cases was picked September 12–29 and matured in 80% new oak with 13.68° alcohol. The Cabernet Sauvignon is in the driving seat on the nose, offering almost saturnine black fruit, pencil shavings and cedar, perhaps one of the most Pauillac-like bouquets that I have noticed on this wine out of barrel, which is no surprise considering its vines adjoin that appellation. The palate is medium-bodied, strict and linear at first, that Pauillac tincture the continuing theme thanks to conspicuous graphite/pencil lead notes interwoven into the black fruit. There is plenty of freshness here and impressive weight, yet no sense of heaviness toward the finish.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2070

The flagship 2020 Château Léoville Las Cases checks in as 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Merlot, raised in 80% new French oak. Hitting 13.68% in alcohol with a Ph of 3.8 and an IPT of 79, it shows the dense, concentrated, focused style of the vintage and it's going to be one of the longer-lived wines of the vintage. Deep purple-hued, with an incredible sense of minerality in its blackcurrant and black cherry fruits, it's full-bodied, has a rich, layered mid-palate, lots of tannins, and a great finish. It's a beautiful wine and holds onto the more inward, concentrated style of the vintage while still showing serious depth of fruit. It's going to take a decade (or more) of bottle age to get anywhere close to the early stages of maturity but will keep for 30-40 years.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot. Cask sample. Very deep colour. Dense and reserved with an abundance of dark, ripe fruit. Tannins really very fine, providing length and persistence but no aggression. A measured wine with good concentration and a saline freshness but without the muscle seen some years. More St-Julien than Pauillac this year. (JL)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Leoville Poyferre St Julien £432 6x75cl Low Stock 95-97 96-97 95-97 96 95-97 95-97
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The 2020 Léoville-Poyferré is a powerful, structured wine. In recent vintages, Léoville-Poyferré has been more opulent, but the 2020 shows off a towering, vertical build framed by a soaring spine of tannin. Dark red cherry, pomegranate, cedar and spicebox emerge with a bit of coaxing. Ultimately, though, Léoville-Poyferré is less showy than most Saint-Juliens at this stage. I don't expect that will be much of an issue in time. In a word: magnificent. Tasted three times.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2032 - 2050

Impressive purity of fruit on the nose with crushed raspberries, blackcurrants and blackberries. Some lead pencil, too. It’s full-bodied with very polished, intense tannins that go on for minutes. The quality and precision of the tannins are impressive, giving the wine form, energy and equilibrium.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Léoville Poyferré comes bounding out of the glass like an energetic young pup, delivering exuberant scents of crushed black cherries, juicy blackberries and warm cassis, with hints of ground cloves, dark chocolate, lilacs and tilled soil. The medium to full-bodied palate is wonderfully plush, delivering bags of ripe black fruits with a seamless backbone of acidity, finishing long and spicy.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2052

Rich and concentrated with violet reflections and a wall of tannins. Well structured, it sets its feet deep in the ground and will need time to soften and develop. Good quality with depth. The tannins are far more present than the alcohol, setting it apart from the 2018. A yield of 35hl/ha. Harvest september 14 to 30. Planted blend (not 2020) 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2042

The 2020 Léoville Poyferré builds on the success of recent vintages, offering intense yet exquisitely defined black cherries, wild strawberry, cassis and crushed stone aromas. It is high-toned as usual but not quite as hedonistic as the recently tasted 2018. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that belie the backbone of this Saint-Julien. Slightly lactic in texture toward the spicy finish; the oak will be assimilated by the time of bottling, leaving a very suave and sophisticated wine that will give 30–40 years of drinking pleasure. Easily one of the classiest offerings from this Saint-Julien in recent years.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2055

Cut from the same cloth as the 2016 with its focused, pure, yet concentrated style, the 2020 Château Léoville Poyferré reveals a dense purple color as well as ultra-classic notes of crème de cassis, graphite, toasted spice, and unsmoked tobacco. Rich and medium to full-bodied, it has brilliant mid-palate depth and ripe, velvety tannins, all making for a beautiful Saint-Julien that will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and shine for 30-40 years or more. Tasted three times.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,345 g. 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Plot-by-plot fermentation and ageing for 18 to 20 months (still in train, as the notes explain). Here they admit they don't do the final assemblage until June. Dark crimson. Relatively voluptuous nose. Flattering initially but then with quite a charge of inky tannins underneath. Needs time. Notably dry on the finish but with good density. Rather more obviously dry and less flashy than some vintages. Very much made for the long term with a juicy, spicy undertow. Extremely youthful. Unusually, it seems drier than Léoville Barton.

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Lynch Bages Pauillac £520 6x75cl 94-96 98-99 94-96 96 93-95 95-97
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The 2020 Lynch-Bages is deep, polished and so sensual. Dark cherry fruit, lavender, spice, leather and pipe tobacco fill out the layers. In 2020, Lynch-Bages is a bit darker and more virile in feel than is typically the case. There is plenty of weight and substance, though. I can't wait to taste it from bottle. My impression is that the 2020 will be a very long-lived wine.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

Blackcurrants, orange peel, flowers and tar with hints of graphite. Full-bodied with a creamy texture of exquisitely polished tannins. It goes on and on. Intense flavors at the end, too, with lead pencil and lots of blackberry. Very classic and precise.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Lynch-Bages is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aging for around 18 months in French oak barriques, 75% new. It has an alcohol of 13.41%, a pH of 3.73 and an IPT (tannin index) of 93. Opaque purple-black in color, it leaps from the glass with notes of crushed blackberries, cassis and boysenberries, plus touches of garrigue, red roses and cedar chest with hints of graphite and black olives. The medium-bodied palate has a rock-solid frame of ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness supporting the tight-knit black fruit and earthy flavors, finishing long and mineral laced.

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

The lowest amount of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend on recent record but the signature of Lynch Bages is very much in play here - tons of liquorice, grippy and charismatic cassis and blueberry fruit with a velvety texture layered with blackcurrant pastilles and rich dark chocolate. This is easily one of the best Pauillacs that I have tasted in the vintage, totally gorgeous. The 33hl/ha yield meant I was worried that it would be too concentrated, but it pulls it off, although you've got to assume that they will need to be careful over ageing. Lower alcohol than both 2018 and 2019, a more classical balance in fact. 4% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. 3.73pH, 75% new oak, 18 months in barrel.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2030 - 2048

The 2020 Lynch-Bages contains proportionately more Merlot in the blend this year (31%) and will be aged for 18 months in 75% new oak. It has an intriguing bouquet, quite complex and classic in style, featuring tightly wound black fruit mixed with cedar, mint and touches of the estuary. One sniff and you know that the vines are in close proximity to the sea. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive weight on the entry, the tannins almost immediately coating the mouth (the IPT is 93, fairly high). But everything remains balanced thanks to the fine acidic thread, and it begins to firm up, becoming quite structured and, dare I say, reminiscent of Latour toward the finish. This is a Lynch-Bages that clearly will deserve long-term aging because there is real substance to this wine, and that will only increase during élevage. This is a great Lynch-Bages. The Cazes family should build a new winery to celebrate.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2055

Ultra-classic notes of blackcurrants, freshly sharpened lead pencil, damp earth, and crushed stone emerge from the 2020 Château Lynch-Bages, which checks in as 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, all hitting 13.4% natural alcohol and a pH of 3.73 and a massive IPT of 93, which might be the highest in the vintage. Full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, it has brilliant purity of fruit, a layered, building sense of structure, and a great finish. While not austere or closed, this serious Lynch-Bages will need 10-15 years of bottle age to hit maturity and have 40-50 years of overall longevity.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,315 g. Cask sample taken 16 April. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Merlot was picked from 14 September (nine days earlier than in 2019) over five days. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot were picked 21 to 29 September. This is the first vintage to be made in Lynch-Bages' new winery. 18 months' ageing in barrel (75% new) is envisaged. Very deep, dense blackish purple. Suave, flattering nose with good freshness and precision. Marked tannins underneath (more so than its stablemate Haut-Batailley). This is less the old, spicy, comfortable pair of slippers Lynch-Bages and seems to be heading in a deliberately purer, 'cooler' direction. Impressive undertow and persistence, but with interesting top notes such as tobacco leaf. Very ambitiously dry on the finish.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Lynch Moussas Pauillac £145 6x75cl 91-93 94-95 87-89 91 91-93 90-92
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The 2020 Lynch-Moussas is a racy, plush Pauillac. Super-ripe red fruit and soft, generous contours give the 2020 its decidedly flamboyant personality. Blood orange, cedar, tobacco and mint open with a bit of time in the glass. Lynch-Moussas remains quite extroverted in feel.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2050

This is a very structured red with lots of blackberry, currant, walnut and graphite. Full-bodied and long. Nice chewiness. 72% cabernet sauvignon, the rest merlot.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Lynch-Moussas is composed of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot, with an alcohol of 13.5%. It is being aged for 12-14 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. Medium to deep purple-black colored, it gives up notes of crushed blackcurrants, fresh blackberries and Bing cherries, with touches of bay leaves, tree bark and graphite. The medium-bodied palate has well-managed tannins and just enough freshness for the subtle black fruit and dried herbs flavors, taking a slight dip in the mid-palate and finishing a tad abruptly.

Score: 87 - 89 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2023 - 2038

Rich smoky notes, coffee, mocha, raspberry and black cherry, grilled cedar - a little short on the finish. Tasted several times, and the oak is pretty dominant, it struggles to allow enough gaps through the structure to let the fruit out. A yield of 42hl/ha. 60% new oak.

Score: 91 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

The 2020 Lynch-Moussas has a well-defined bouquet of blackberry, wild strawberry, cedar and freshly rolled tobacco scents. Like the Batailley, the aromatics display an appealing marine scent. The palate is medium-bodied with a patina of oak to be subsumed on the entry. But it feels cohesive and well defined, delivering good weight and a fresh, slightly peppery, graphite-tinged finish. This is a fine Pauillac and continues Lynch-Moussas’s fine run of form.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

An incredibly classic Pauillac, the 2020 Château Lynch-Moussas offers medium-bodied aromas and flavors of darker currants, smoked tobacco, lead pencil, and gravelly earth as well as loads of texture, bright tannins, notable balance, and a clean, classy style. It’s not massive, by any means, but given its purity of fruit as well as its tannins, it should easily evolve for two decades.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot. Cask sample. Smoky, graphite, dark-fruit and mocha nose. Soft and supple on attack then firm tannic drive. Oak needs to integrate so a little awkward at present but there’s potential. (JL)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Malartic Lagraviere Graves £173 6x75cl 94-96 93-94 92-94 93 93-95 93-95
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The 2020 Malartic Lagravière is a powerful, tightly wound wine. There is perhaps a bit less opulence than in years past, but that just gives the wine an extra kick of energy and vibrancy that is quite attractive. Inky red cherry fruit, rose petal, spice, cedar and cinnamon all grace this beautifully taut wine from the Bonnie family. Tasted three times.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2045

Lots of blackberry, cherry and walnut aromas and flavors. Some tar, too. It’s full-bodied with chewy tannins that are polished and energetic.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The deep purple-black 2020 Malartic Lagraviere leaps from the glass with vibrant notes of Bing cherries, black raspberries, ripe plums and boysenberries, plus suggestions of pencil lead, wild sage and crushed rocks. Medium-bodied, the palate has lovely energy and freshness, offering a solid backbone of grainy tannins to support the lively red and black fruit layers, finishing savory. The tentative blend is 50.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47.8% Merlot, and 1.8% Cabernet Franc, with only 38% of production going into the grand vin. The alcohol is 14% this year. Commencing with the 2020 vintage, the estate has chosen a new bottle for the grand cru and second vin, highlighted by an engraved ship, the symbol of the estate

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

Fragrant blossom aromatics give way to more concentrated waxy lemon and juicy lemongrass attack. Barrel fermented, with careful extraction. The warm summer comes through in traces of cumin spice and white pepper, and in the concentration of the flavours through the mid palate, but this is measured and deft, and extremely easy to recommend. Second year with Eric Boissenot as consultant, 65% new oak. A yield of 31hl/ha.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2022 - 2030

The 2020 Malartic Lagravière, whose picking was completed on September 24, before the rains, has a bright, vivid nose of mineral-infused red fruit mixed with hints of blueberry and cassis. Very focused and precise, this is an aromatically sophisticated Pessac-Léognan. The palate is medium-bodied with graphite-tinged black fruit, hints of wild mint coming through, and lively and tensile toward the finish. This is one of the best vintages of Malartic Lagravière that I have encountered out of bottle. Ignore at your peril.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

Based on a blend of 50.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47.8% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that hit 14.2% natural alcohol, the 2020 Château Malartic-Lagravière offers a gorgeously pure nose of both red and blue fruits as well as lots of floral and mineral nuances. Still aging in 65% new French oak, it's medium to full-bodied and has the vintage’s rich, concentrated style yet gorgeous purity of fruit as well as ripe, polished, building tannins. It's one seriously good 2020 that will impress with short-term bottle age and keep for 25 years or more. It's up with the crème de la crème of the appellation. Tasted three times with consistent notes.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,305 g. Cask sample taken 6 April and I'm afraid it is written that it should be tasted before 10 April, five days ago… 50.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47.8% Merlot, 1.8% Cabernet Franc. Considerable changes to vinification and ageing here, not least shortening vatting times and careful tannin management in the press wines. Dark purplish crimson. Much more mineral than fruity on the nose. But very luscious fruit on the palate. With racy texture and notably fine tannins. Strongly saline finish. Distinctive and already rather appetising. Approachable young.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Malescot Saint Exupery Margaux £231 6x75cl 94-96 97-98 95-97 92 93-95 93-95
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The 2020 Malescot Saint Exupéry offers up scents of scorched earth, licorice, smoke, gravel and menthol. Powerful, bold and savory, the 2020 possesses remarkable depth and tons of character. Malescot has been one of the under the radar gems in Bordeaux these last few years. The 2020 is another gorgeous wine from the château.

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

Solid red with blackberry, blueberry, chocolate and spice. Lots of hazelnut, too. It’s full-bodied with chewy, polished tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Best of the trilogy vintages?

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Sporting a deep purple-black color, the 2020 Malescot St. Exupery prances out of the glass with showy scents of ripe black and red currants, black cherries, raspberry leaves and ground cloves, plus wafts of lilacs and tilled soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black and red fruit layers with a firm, grainy texture and well-balanced acidity, finishing on a lingering fragrant-earth note.

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

Enjoyable black fruit aromatics on the nose, they do a good job here of soft pedalling the extraction on the attack, although by the mid palate we are in bitter chocolate and liquorice territory. Again, concentration and intensity is an overriding signature of the vintage. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. A yield of 31hl/ha.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

The 2020 Malescot St. Exupery was picked at 31hl/ha. It has a bouquet that I would describe as controlled opulence: lavish blueberry, Dorset plums, crushed violet and incense burst from the glass... but in orderly fashion. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe and succulent tannins that lend this Margaux a fleshy texture, yet there is clearly ample structure, as well as marvelous salinity and precision on the finish. This 2020 continues the purple patch for this property and comes highly recommended.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2048

Lots of cassis, blackberries, toasted spices, and vanilla-tinged oak define the nose of the 2020 Château Malescot Saint Exupery, and it’s medium to full-bodied, round, and supple on the palate. With velvety tannins, terrific mid-palate depth, and the classic purity of fruit that’s the hallmark of the vintage, it builds nicely with time in the glass and is another incredibly impressive Margaux that will have two decades or more of prime drinking.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Mangot St Emilion £80 6x75cl 88-90 93-94 92-94 94 90-92 90-92
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The 2020 Mangot is an inky, full-throttle wine. crème de cassis, chocolate, lavender, licorice and sweet spice give this unctuous Saint-Émilion its extroverted personality. There's not a ton of subtlety here, but the Mangot is not about that. Nicely done in this style.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2038

I like the balance and tannin integration to this chewy, polished red. Blackberry, blueberry and hazelnut undertones. From organically grown grapes.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2020 Mangot is scented of ripe black plums, blackberry preserves and black cherry compote, followed by hints of licorice, dark chocolate and cardamom, with a waft of wild mushrooms. The medium to full-bodied palate gives a great intensity of juicy black fruits with soft, rounded tannins and just enough freshness to support, finishing earthy.

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

Bright plum colours full of flesh and bright fruits. Muscular on the attack, with poise and focus, and pulsating with blueberry fruits and saline-drenched minerality. Good stuff, enjoyable and impressively balanced with a grilled, smoked rosemary finish. 20% new oak, 30% amphora. Freres Todeschini are the owners here.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025-2040

The 2020 Mangot, matured in 30% new oak, offers ripe black plum, bilberry and loamy scents on the nose, and just a very slight hickory scent in the background that might derive from the 20% use of amphorae. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy black fruit, moderate depth, good acidity and a solid finish that just needs to develop more complexity and kick on a little. Fine, but the barrel maturation will be crucial in taking this up another level.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2030

Emerging from a beautiful vineyard on the eastern side of the appellation and 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2020 Château Mangot offers a classy, medium to full-bodied, textured yet elegant style to go with complex notes of bouquet garni, scorched earth, violets, and leafy herbs. With beautiful fruit (cassis/black cherries), ripe, polished tannins, and outstanding length, I see no reason it would not offer pleasure in its youth yet also cruise for 15-20 years in cold cellars.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to waiting list] Margaux Margaux £2,598 6x75cl Sold Out 97-99 99-100 97-99 98-100 97-99 96-98
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A stunning, riveting wine, the 2020 Margaux is classic as classic gets. Racy, elegant and super-refined, the 2020 possesses magnificent balance. Inky red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal, spice and bright mineral notes build as this super-expressive Margaux builds over time in the glass. The 2020 is not an obvious wine, but then again Château Margaux rarely is. I love the energy and vibrancy here. Margaux is very clearly one of the wines of the vintage in 2020. It’s a tremendous effort from the team led by Estate Manager Philippe Bascaules.

Score: 97 - 99 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2060

So floral and perfumed with blackcurrants, blackberries and some asphalt. Full-bodied with super, fine tannins. Extremely refined with great length and intensity. The wonderful combination of refinement and power is already evident. Superb finish. Another great Margaux.

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Château Margaux is composed of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, accounting for 36% of the harvest. The alcohol weighs in at 13.5%, the IPT is 80 and the pH is 3.67. Displaying an opaque purple-black color, it needs a lot of air, time and patience to coax out the youthfully reticent nose of blueberry preserves, blackcurrant pastilles and Black Forest cake, followed by suggestions of lavender, clove oil, iron ore and menthol with wafts of star anise and candied violets. The medium to full-bodied palate is wonderfully opulent, featuring tightly wound yet beautifully pure layers of black fruits and earthy nuances within a solid structure of firm yet velvety tannins and exhilarating freshness, finishing with very long-lingering earth and mineral notes. Another stunning expression of the vintage by Philippe Bascaules and his team—bravo!

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

A brilliant Margaux; one that takes a sigh and then releases the huge floral, eucalyptus and crushed mint whoosh that comes in waves though the palate. You get the concentration of the vintage in an entirely positive light, with a suave softness to the tannins that makes it stand head and shoulders above many others. Plenty in common with the 1996 vintage - the knitted down tannins, the completeness, the juicy blackcurrant purity and acidity on the finish, and the certainty of long ageing. Real clarity of flavour. Alcohol level is lower than both the 2018 and 2019, but tannins and anthocyanins are at the same level as in 2018. 36% of overall harvest, and 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. A yield of 36hl/ha. 98-100.

Score: 98 - 100 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

Much like the Deuxième Vin, the 2020 Château Margaux has a discreet nose; it is not interested in fireworks or in dazzling the taster. At first unassuming, it unfolds with black cherries, blueberry and signature crushed violet aromas, all delivered with the delineation and purity expected from an estate of this standing. Looking deeper, one finds touches of potpourri and India ink. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and crisp acidity, perhaps more noticeable on the 2020 compared to the previous two vintages. This Margaux is surfeit with tension and coiled-up, nascent energy, then it tightens up toward a linear finish that strangely recalls a Pauillac, thanks to a subtle graphite note that lingers on the saline aftertaste. This is a classically styled Château Margaux that will gain weight and depth during its élevage. Cerebral and sophisticated, and one of the wines of the Left Bank in 2020.

Score: 97 - 99 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2060

The 2020 Château Margaux is a more concentrated, dense wine that has the vintage's massive dry extract paired with more moderate alcohol levels and building tannins. Blackcurrants, sandalwood, tobacco leaf, and graphite give way to a full-bodied, rich, powerful Château Margaux that's flawlessly balanced, has a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. It's one for the ages, though, and don't expect much up-front appeal. It almost reminds me of the 1996, yet with slightly more density. It's a quintessential beauty that will be just about immortal.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc. 36% of the production. Cask sample. Gorgeous wine that is both classic and expressive. Aromatically complex with floral, mineral and dark-fruit notes. Quality of tannins superb from entry to finish, the texture smooth and velvety. Lovely freshness, poise and length. Perfect pitch. Definitely has the edge on 2019 and 2018. (JL)

Score: 19 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Marquis d'Alesme Becker Margaux £159 6x75cl 91-93 94-95 92-94 94 92-94 -
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The 2020 Marquis d'Alesme is potent and brooding right out of the gate. Iron, chalk, white pepper, cedar and tobacco add quite a bit of aromatic presence to the red-fleshed fruit. A driving, intense Margaux, Marquis d'Alesme is going to need time in bottle. Today, the tannins are pretty imposing in their searing intensity.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2045

Chewy and very tannic with a solid depth of dark fruit, showing blackberry and currant character. Full and powerful. Real structure here.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Marquis d'Alesme Becker is aging for approximately 18 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Deep purple-black colored, it leaps from the glass with vibrant notes of mulberries, black cherries and blackcurrant pastilles, plus suggestions of underbrush, fallen leaves and violets. The medium-bodied palate is lively and refreshing, featuring a light touch of fine-grained tannins and just enough mid-palate red berry flavors, finishing savory.

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

Clear depth to the fruit on the nose, this is a pretty serious wine, where you see the lines of the tannins stretching out before you and in between the muscles you get clear floral notes, giving it a savoury Cabernet emphasis. With time in the glass, the cassis fruits come along and show their density and class, and the clear spice. Claude Gros consultant. 3.65pH, 50% new oak. 15ha estate. Harvest September 23 to October 2 (the heavier storm Alex fell on October 3rd).

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

The 2020 Marquis d’Alesme was picked from 23 September to 2 October, a comparatively late start to the picking, 65% undergoing malo in barrel, matured in 50% new oak. The bouquet is very ripe with copious black cherries, raspberry preserve and cassis scents, not quite as delineated and poised as I found the 2019 last year. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins, decent acidity, mainly black fruit laced with cedar and white pepper. On the finish, it just seems to taper rather than fan out, then cuts away rapidly. Not bad, but I find the 2018 and 2019 have greater potential.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Marquis de Terme Margaux £180 6x75cl 90-92 94-95 90-92 93 89-91 91-93
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The 2020 Marquis de Terme is a bit firm, but it offers good depth in its red cherry/red plum fruit. It will be interesting to see if the 2020 becomes more charming over time. Today, it is a bit brutish. Graphite, scorched earth, dried flowers and incense add aromatic nuance with a bit of time in the glass. Tasted three times.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2040

Blackberry and blackcurrant with some licorice and tar on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with intense yet polished tannins and a long, beautiful finish. The quality of the tannins is an upgrade here.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Marquis de Terme sports a deep garnet-purple color and pronounced notes of blackcurrant cordial, blackberry preserves and kirsch, plus suggestions of bay leaves, forest floor, black truffles and hoisin. The medium-bodied palate is soft and juicy, delivering a good amount of ripe black fruits without heaviness, finishing with a spicy kick. This blend is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. It is aging for 18 months in French oak barriques, 50% new. The alcohol is 14%.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2037

Cassis, bilberry, chocolate, mocha and pepper. Good, austere, tight, mint leaf on the close of play. This has depth of expression, the fruit has been carefully extracted to minimise what are still pretty ferocious tannins. A yield of 30hl/ha. Tasted three times and was impressed each time. Important to note that Marquis de Terme is one of the few Left Bank estates that does a final adjustment to the blend before bottling, although typically changes are only made to the second wine so this is likely to be at least extremely close to what will go into the final bottle.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

The 2020 Marquis de Terme has a focused, delineated nose, vibrant blackberry and raspberry fruit mingling with tobacco and light incense aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, fine acidity, gentle grip and a touch of dark chocolate and mint toward the finish. This deserves 4–5 years in bottle, and it should end up at the top of my banded score. Fine. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

Lots of meaty red and black fruits, scorched earth, leather, and background oak dominate the nose of the 2020 Château Marquis De Terme. A medium to full-bodied, nicely balanced, beautifully pure Margaux, it has impressive tannins and the class to benefit from at least 3-5 years of bottle age and keep for over two decades.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,257 g. Cask sample, undated but with a 'best before' date of 16 April. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Vines 35 years old. Very dark with purplish rim. Intense aroma of cassis and damson and although the notes of charry oak are evident, they blend in well with the fruit. This smells ripe and fragrant but not overly sweet, quite spicy. On the palate, the fruit is not quite as intense, the sinewy tannins and the oak dominating at the moment, leaving a dry, slightly charry aftertaste. A little bit severe. (JH)

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Mauvesin Barton Moulis £65 6x75cl 89-91 - - 92 89-91 -
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The 2020 Mauvesin Barton is silky, gracious and full of charm. Sweet floral aromatics and bright red berry fruit give this midweight, understated Moulis tons of immediacy and appeal. Such a pretty wine.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2035

Melanie Barton has now been in charge at Mauvesin-Barton for 10 years, and there is a real feeling of the wine having found its voice - a gentle, fruit-forward Moulis with finesse if not a huge amount of power. Delicate with vibrancy, plenty of blackberry fruits with well-defined but soft tannins, they have really done a great job in the vintage, a value pick and I can't remember tasting a better example of this wine during en primeur. They suffered badly from frost in 2021.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2023 - 2032

The 2020 Mauvesin Barton is silky, gracious and full of charm. Sweet floral aromatics and bright red berry fruit give this midweight, understated Moulis tons of immediacy and appeal. Such a pretty wine.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2035

Melanie Barton has now been in charge at Mauvesin-Barton for 10 years, and there is a real feeling of the wine having found its voice - a gentle, fruit-forward Moulis with finesse if not a huge amount of power. Delicate with vibrancy, plenty of blackberry fruits with well-defined but soft tannins, they have really done a great job in the vintage, a value pick and I can't remember tasting a better example of this wine during en primeur. They suffered badly from frost in 2021

Score: 93 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2032

[Add to shopping basket] Meyney St Estephe £120 6x75cl 91-93 93-94 - 93 90-92 91-93
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The 2020 Meyney is a very pretty if somewhat understated wine. In 2020 it has a bit less opulence than in the recent past, but that's not a bad thing at all. Silky, elegant and refined, featuring aromatic red fruit character, gravel, cured meat, scorched earth, spice, crushed rocks and rose petals.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2028

A firm, intense red Bordeaux with blackcurrants and purple fruit, as well as hints of walnuts and some sweet tobacco. It’s full-bodied and dense with layers of fruit and tannins.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A punch of bright plummy fruits, a little austere on the finish but one that you feel will age well. Mocha and coffee bean through the mid palate, keeping things moving right along at a fair pace, with a generous handful of rosemary and sage spice on the finish. Harvest 16 September to October 1. Always one of the real value picks in St-Estèphe.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025 - 2038

The 2020 Meyney has a lively, quite powerful nose delivering plenty of blackberry, boysenberry and briar scents, plus touches of freshly tilled loam and wilted iris flower; I appreciate how forthright this is. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins and graphite-laced blackberry. Quite citric toward the finish, showing Pauillac-like pretentions. This is a classy Saint-Estèphe from Meyney that will age with style.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

Another wine worth seeking out, the 2020 Château Meyney shows the fresh, focused, yet also ripe style of the vintage nicely. Offering lots of pure cassis and black cherry fruits as well as tobacco and classy oak, it’s medium to full-bodied and has a pretty, elegant texture, plenty of mid-palate depth, and ripe yet certainly present and firmer tannins. I love the overall classic vibe as well as its purity and freshness.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,350 g. Cask sample taken 26 April. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot. Merlot was picked 16 to 24 September, Petit Verdot was picked 23 September, Cabernet Sauvignon was picked 24 September to 1 October. Cold soak and some malo took place in new barrels. Matured in barriques (35% new). Dark, lustrous crimson. Really very glamorous indeed. Ripe but fresh nose with an interesting balsam note. Smooth as satin initially on the palate with the savoury tannins (actually there in abundance) just nudging onto the palate at the end, which is dry but not drying. Very long and rather splendid on the finish with St-Estèphe’s stoniness evident. Very smart indeed with no concessions to simple sweetness.

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Mission Haut Brion Graves £1,512 6x75cl 97-99 97-98 97-99 98 96-98 96-98
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The 2020 La Mission Haut-Brion is a gorgeous, elegant wine. Silky and pliant, La Mission is all finesse. Fine tannins lend energy as the 2020 gradually opens with some coaxing. Today, the flavors are remarkably primary, and yet the 2020 is so persistent, so elegant. Hints of cedar, tobacco, gravel and dried herbs add aromatic complexity, but the 2020 is a mere infant. I can't wait to watch it grow up. There is a bit of new oak that needs to integrate, but nothing élevage can't take care of.

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

This really builds on the palate. Loads of blackberry and iodine with asphalt undertones. It’s full-bodied with tannins that steamroll at the end and keep going. Classic blend.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 48.6% Merlot, 43.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8.2% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 7th to 29th September, the 2020 La Mission Haut-Brion has an alcohol of 14.7%. It needs considerable swirling and coaxing to reveal slowly emerging scents of freshly crushed blackcurrants, Morello cherries, wild blueberries and forest floor, leading to suggestions of violets, baker's chocolate and cardamom with wafts of dusty soil and oolong tea. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with impactful, fresh red, black and blue fruit layers, supported by impressive freshness and fantastically ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing very long and fragrant. A stunning expression of this vintage!

Score: 97 - 99 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2065

A kick of black fruit and confident spice right from the first nose, this is an intense and concentrated La Mission, tightly in control, not letting up from beginning to end. The pencil lead and bitter dark chocolate is layered in between the cassis notes in a way that makes you see the Cabernet influence although this is majority Merlot (once again - this is a character of the year, low yields of Cabernet mean Merlot is more featured in the blend than usual; but the intensity of the Cabernets mean that it still has an outsized influence on flavour profile). Grilled coffee beans overtake on the close of play, this is seductive and switches beautifully between the tannins pressing in on the palate and the juice expanding things outwards. This is the wine to go for in the Domaines Clarence Dillon stable this year. Harvest from 7th to 29th September.

Score: 98 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2030 - 2050

The 2020 La Mission Haut-Brion was picked September 7–29. It has a very intense and beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, wild strawberry, wilted violet petals and hints of orange blossom. It unfolded with aeration as I examined it side-by-side against its neighbor over the course of an hour. The exquisitely balanced palate is lightly spiced on the entry and segues into a very structured midpalate that frames the weight of pixelated black fruit. That spicy theme continues and is exaggerated toward a finish that fans out wonderfully. This is a less alcoholic La Mission Haut-Brion compared to recent vintages, a bit "cooler" and streamlined, yet no less intense and satisfying. An enthralling wine in the making from Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team.

Score: 97 - 99 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2060

Another sensational wine, the 2020 Château La Mission Haut-Brion boasts a deep ruby/purple color to go with a rocking perfume of ripe black cherries, tobacco, damp earth, chocolate, and exotic spices. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and concentrated, it has a ripe, expansive texture, building tannins, and just an opulent texture. The vintage doesn't get any sexier than this beauty.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full embossed bottle 1,280 g. Cask sample taken 13 April … nice and fresh! 48.6% Merlot, 43.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.2% Cabernet Franc picked 7 to 29 September. Estimated alcohol 14.7%. Dark, blackish crimson. Obviously extremely dense and concentrated – so much so that initially the nose is buried in all that concentration. Then – whoosh – what a spread of firm fruit and layers of cassis and minerals! There is no shortage of ripe tannin buried under here so this will be a very slow burner but it's a worthy addition to the La Mission canon. Needs years and years and it's far from opulent, but then that's not what La Mission is about. Subtly builds towards a very long peacock's tail finish. Though it's impossible to imagine drinking this tightly structured wine without food.

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Mission Haut Brion Blanc Dry Whites £2,880 6x75cl - - - 95 - -
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Fragrant white flowers, touches of lime blossom and slate-filled citrus. The acidity is fresh, but this is more about texture, and it is extremely successful. Harvest from 19th to 28th August. The minerality, together with freshly cut rosemary and sage notes, is accentuated as it opens, which is an excellent indicator of how well this wine will age. Deft winemaking, as ever, proving why this is one of Bordeaux's best loved white wines. Tasted twice.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2022 - 2032

[Add to shopping basket] Montlandrie Cotes de Castillon £90 6x75cl 88-90 92-93 92-94 93 91-93 91-93
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The 2020 Montlandrie is powerful, densely constituted and full of character. Inky red/purplish fruit, cedar, spice, mocha and dried flowers are all laced together. Far from an easygoing wine, it packs a serious punch, and I expect it will age wonderfully. In 2020, the Montlandrie may very well be the hidden gem in the Durantou range. (This is the second year in the new winery.)

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2035

Very salty and tangy with some white pepper, too, as well as lots of blackberries and blueberries. Medium body with delicate yet firm tannins that show intensity. Firm finish.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Montlandrie is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot was picked between the 18th and the 22nd of September, and the Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon were picked from the 23rd to the 25th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.5% and is aging in French oak barrels, 40% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it bursts from the glass with vibrant notes of crushed blackberries, fresh, juicy black plums and mulberries, plus hints of bay leaves, cardamom, ground black pepper and black truffles. The medium to full-bodied palate possesses impressive freshness with a solid backbone of soft, rounded tannins and bags of ripe black fruits, finishing long with a peppery kick. 53,000 bottles are expected to be made.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2039

Denis Durantou estate up on the limestone plateau of Castillon, now vinified by his daughter Noémie Durantou. Deeply coloured, ruby in colour with fleshy fruit, not giving a whole lot away right now, but this is a fairly discreet vintage in many ways. The dominant impression is of a rough linen and wet stone texture that reflects its limestone soils. Width and depth as it opens in the palate, serious for now but with plenty to give. A yield of 45hl/ha. 3.6pH.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2023 - 2035

The 2020 Montlandrie was picked September 18–25 and matured in 40% new oak. It has an exuberant, ripe bouquet, a mixture of red and blueberry fruit, crushed violets and potpourri aromas surfacing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, sweet and sensual, although I find less complexity on the finish compared directly with its siblings, La Chenade and Les Cruzelles. Still, this will give several years of drinking pleasure.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2035

Coming from the talented Denis Durantou, the 2020 Château Montlandrie looks to be brilliant and should be snatched up by readers. Beautiful and ample red fruits, crushed stone, and floral notes define the nose, and it’s medium-bodied, with a pure, elegant texture and a great mix of freshness and richness. It’s going to put a smile on your face any time over the coming decade or so.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample. Ripe and full with notes of dark fruits, damsons and spice. Gourmand and generous on the palate but with a freshness that runs all the way through. Tannins chalky and firm but fine-edged providing plenty of length on the finish. Energy and balance as well. Clearly a success this year. Should be GV. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Montrose St Estephe £770 6x75cl - - - 98 - -
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A serious wall of blueberry and blackberry compote, and a ton of savoury Cabernet sinew and freshness. This is a great Montrose, inky, broad-shouldered and structured. It needs time to aerate and open in the glass, then you see the precision, the heft, the chiselling of the fruits with a ton of graphite, cigar box and campfire smoke - huge persistency. This will need a long time and will reward patience. One of the few where a 1986, 2016 and 2010 comparison makes sense. A yield around 30hl/ha. 1% Petit Verdot, 3.86pH, IPT 80. 45% of the overall production.

Score: 98 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2050

64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Deep colour. Dark, intense and very pure but with an energy that makes it vibrant. Big tannic frame but tannins really finely honed. Long and persistent with plenty of drive on the finish. Long ageing potential. (JL)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Mouton Rothschild Pauillac £2,598 6x75cl 96-98 99-100 97-99 98 96-98 97-99
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The 2020 Mouton Rothschild is sensual, delicate and polished. Bright floral notes lead into a core of sweet red cherry, cedar, mint, anise and blood orange. In 2020, the Mouton is a wine of unreal elegance and finesse. I can't wait to taste it from bottle, as I think there may be much more to it than it’s showing today. Technical director Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy noted that the 2020 was slow to extract because of its low alcohol (13.1%) compared with recent vintages.

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

This is a great and impressive Mouton with plushness and precision. A million layers of tannins. It’s full and very friendly, even seductive, in a rich and opulent way, yet it always remains fresh. Balanced and refined. Nothing sticks out here. Every so fine-grained tannins provide flesh. Looking forward to seeing its evolution. 84% cabernet sauvignon, 13% merlot, 2% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Mouton Rothschild is composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, with an alcohol of 13.1% and a pH of around 3.78. Deep purple-black colored, it starts off with subtle notions of fresh raspberries and blackberries, needing considerable swirling and patience to unlock its intense core of blackcurrant pastilles, rose oil, licorice and cardamom, plus touches of cedar chest, black truffles and crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate is like a tightly coiled spring, possessing exhilarating tension and very firm, ripe, multi-grained tannins to frame the layer upon layer of black and red fruits intertwined with earthy and mineral accents, finishing very long and very fragrant. It is certainly the most coy, reticent and elegant grand vin of this trio of vintages (2018, 2019 and 2020), bearing Mouton's signature perfume, opulence and stylishness with great grace and sophistication as opposed to devil-may-care flamboyance. It's this gently teasing, achingly beautiful restraint that collectors are not going to want to miss.

Score: 97 - 99 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2067

The tannins are carefully wrapped up and finessed, slowly but surely building in power and width, with concentrated blue and black fruits through the palate. Cabernet Sauvignon is dominant on the attack, with a deft, savoury and not overly exuberant delivery of flavour. As the slate and saline side builds up, you also feel a slowing down and a tugging back of the tannins. As the wine relaxes in the glass, it becomes more and more signature Mouton, full of exuberance, finesse and pleasure. There is less sweet black cherry fruit than in a year like 2018 or 2019, more on the cassis and bilberry side, it will behave in a more classical manner in the decades to come. 100% new oak. Harvest September 7 to 24. 2% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. Could go to 100 points after ageing.

Score: 98 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2030 - 2050

The 2020 Mouton Rothschild is an intriguing proposition, aromatically speaking. Initially, it is less forthcoming than the last three vintages, but it’s just toying with you, eventually releasing captivating scents of blackberry, raspberry, crushed stone, touches of India ink and traces of violet petal. The oak is seamlessly integrated and these aromatics grow in stature with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with very lithe and finely chiseled tannins that frame the pixelated black fruit. Displaying wonderful mineralité and tension, this is a less exuberant and lavish Mouton Rothschild, perhaps, but more cerebral and intellectual than this First Growth during the 1990s. As smooth as Snoop Dogg's flow, this is a marvelous Mouton.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2060

Dense purple-hued and a monster of a wine, the 2020 Château Mouton Rothschild checks in as 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all of which hit 13.1% natural alcohol with a pH of 3.78. Classic Mouton notes of cassis and currant fruits give way to a more mineral-driven red offering loads of scorched earth, graphite, liquid violets, and crushed stone aromas and flavors. Gorgeously concentrated, full-bodied, and structured, with a firm tannic, inward style that relents with time in the glass, this is a serious Mouton that's going to need a decade of cellaring yet should be just about immortal.

Score: 97 - 99 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. First vintage with Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy (formerly winemaker at Clerc Milon) at the helm. Cask sample. Characteristic Mouton with its aromatic complexity and lift. Cassis, spice, chocolate and graphite notes to the fore. Lovely density of fruit. Powerfully structured with very fine tannins. A sense of verticality as it builds on the palate. Textured, clean and fresh. Clearly has more to give. (JL)

Score: 18.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Ormes de Pez St Estephe £112 6x75cl 90-92 92-93 90-92 93 88-90 90-92
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The 2020 Ormes de Pez is a pretty wine, even if it feels a bit light. Dried herbs, tobacco, mint, dried flowers and earthy tones lend aromatic nuance to this attractive, mid-weight Saint-Estèphe. It would be nice to see a bit more depth. Perhaps that will come with élevage.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

A firm, lightly chewy red with blackberry, blueberry, spice and some chocolate. Medium body and fine tannins. It grows on the palate. Tannins sneak up at the end. 54% merlot, the highest percentage ever, the rest cabernet sauvignon with a touch of petit verdot.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 54% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, to be aged for around 16 months in French oak barriques, 45% new, the 2020 Ormes de Pez has an alcohol of 13.17%, a pH of 3.69 and an IPT of 79. Deep garnet-purple colored, it springs from the glass with notes of plum preserves, blueberry compote and Morello cherries, plus hints of graphite, wild mushrooms and sautéed herbs. The medium-bodied palate delivers plenty of herbs-laced black fruits with a pleasant chewiness to the texture and lovely freshness, finishing on a lingering fragrant-earth note.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2040

Blueberry, raspberry and cassis, there is concentration but also juice. Merlot-dominant (following a restructuring of the vineyard to better align grapes with terroir) with bite and freshness. A lovely smoky edge here, this is another successful vintage for Ormes de Pez. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 3.69ph. 45% new oak. A yield of 42hl/ha which was not as low here as at Lynch Bages because of more clay in the soils, and because the Merlot was less impacted by the drought than the Cabernet Sauvignon.

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

The 2020 Ormes de Pez, which has gradually moved to a more Merlot-dominated blend over the last decade, is aged for 16 months in 45% new oak. It has a nicely detailed bouquet of a mélange of red and black fruit – cranberry, blackberry and a touch of blueberry – accompanied by cedar and subtle wild mint aromas; it is actually quite Pauillac-like in style. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins and chewy in the mouth, quite compact at first. A strong saline, almost briny element comes through toward the finish, which is more quintessential Saint-Estèphe. This is a more backward and less finessed wine compared to the Cazes family’s Lynch-Bages or Haut-Batailley, but there is commendable length and character, not to mention a very attractive openness, to this wine.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 025 - 2045

Lots of plums, blackcurrants, tobacco, and loamy soil notes make up the bouquet of the 2020 Château Ormes De Pez, and it’s medium-bodied, with some chocolaty background oak, good purity of fruit, and ripe tannins. I don’t see any reason this shouldn’t easily be an outstanding Saint-Estèphe and drink well for 15-20 years.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,340 g. Cask sample taken 16 April. 54% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Merlot harvest began on 15 September, nine days earlier than in 2019, and continued until 20 September. The Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot were harvested on 21 and 22 September, respectively. Cabernet Sauvignon was picked from 20 to 28 September. 16 months' ageing in barriques (45% new) envisaged. Dark crimson, but much paler than the Pauillacs from this Cazes stable. Aromatic and medium concentration of fruit with some stoniness on the palate. Marked tannins and acidity but nothing excessive. Classic St-Estèphe. Cool fruit and freshness. Very dry finish. I should imagine that this will be far from the most opulent wine of the appellation but it's very sincere and correct and I like the menthol-fresh finish.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Palmer Margaux £1,440 6x75cl - - - 97 - -
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Vivid colours, and the aromatics grab hold straight away. This is intense and concentrated, elegant, balanced and classical, all about the texture which is velvety and seductive with softly-grained tannins. Moves oh so slowly through the palate with dozens of layers to get hold of. The overall feel is precise, slow and seductive, with appellation and estate signature at every turn. Sappy, hawthorn freshness, rosemary, redcurrant, tobacco, cigar box and dark chocolate shavings on the finish. 3.77pH, 78IPT, 55% of overall production, with 13% press wine.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. The Merlot provides the broad sweep and touch of sweetness on entry, the Cabernet the fine but punchy tannins that drive the wine. Lots of life and persistence, the tannins fine-grained and fresh. Clear potential. (JL)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Pape Clement Graves £376 6x75cl 95-97 96-97 96-98 94 95-97 97-99
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The 2020 Pape Clément is so impressive. Red cherry, plum, cedar, mint, tobacco, blood orange and rose petal all build as the 2020 opens in the glass. Vibrant and beautifully delineated, the 2020 has a ton to offer. The 2020 exudes purity, energy and breathtaking balance. It is one of the finest recent vintages I can remember tasting.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

Superb aromas of blackberries, crushed stones, iodine and graphite. Full-bodied with ultra fine tannins and a balanced finish. Such length and beauty. Very close to the 2019 in quality.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Pape Clement comes barreling out of the glass with bold notes of cassis, plum preserves and licorice, giving way to scents of cedar chest, crushed rocks, charcoal and pencil lead. The medium to full-bodied palate is tightly coiled with beautiful tension and a firm, finely grained texture locking in the layers of black fruits and minerals, finishing with great length and energy. The blend this year is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, aging mainly in French oak barriques, 66% new, with about 10% aging in large oak foudres. The wine will spend approximately 18 months in barrels.

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2028 - 2060

Vivid colours, and the aromatics grab hold straight away. This is intense and concentrated, elegant, balanced and classical, all about the texture which is velvety and seductive with softly-grained tannins. Moves oh so slowly through the palate with dozens of layers to get hold of. The overall feel is precise, slow and seductive, with appellation and estate signature at every turn. Sappy, hawthorn freshness, rosemary, redcurrant, tobacco, cigar box and dark chocolate shavings on the finish. 3.77pH, 78IPT, 55% of overall production, with 13% press wine.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

The 2020 Pape Clément, which I afforded an hour’s aeration, has a very precise bouquet of pure blackberry, cedar, mint and violet aromas, quite discreet but paradoxically intense; these aromas are very seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, lithe tannins framing wonderfully pure black fruit laced with crushed stone and a judicious touch of white pepper. Seamless in texture, this is a sophisticated Pape Clément in the making, an outstanding wine that should age brilliantly in bottle.

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

Ranking with the top wines of the vintage, the dense purple-hued 2020 Château Pape Clement offers a sensational bouquet of pure crème de cassis interwoven with notes of liquid violets and classy oak. Possessing flawless balance, full-bodied richness, and ultra-fine tannins, it excels in this vintage and has a pretty, elegant, yet also layered and concentrated profile. It will drink well with just short-term cellaring yet evolve gracefully for 20-30 years. I was able to taste this on multiple occasions, and it always checked in near the upper end of the scale. This is a gorgeous wine in the making.

Score: 97 - 99 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full, embossed bottle a completely unnecessary 1,570 g. Cask sample taken 6 April to be tasted before 16 April. Phew … just made it. No more details given. Dark purplish crimson. Not too heavy on the appetising nose even if a tad sweet on the palate with a rather demandingly drying, tart finish. But I know from experience that everything often falls into place by the time the drinking window comes around. But don't try to broach it before then.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] Pape Clement Blanc Dry Whites £535 6x75cl Sold Out 92-94 97-98 - - - -
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Lots of white peach and red apple with crushed-stone and pine-needle undertones. Full-bodied, yet compact and linear with beautiful toffee, light caramel, praline and nougat character to the fruit. Hints of wood. It shows phenolic tension and form, yet remains agile and energetic. Impressive for the vintage.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Pape Clément Blanc is a clear step up from the Le Prélat and Clementin, delivering taut, mineral-rich citrus fruit aromas with vibrancy and tension. The palate is well balanced and seems less oaky than previous vintages when tasted from barrel. Ginger and lemongrass enliven the finish on this excellent Pape Clément Blanc.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2022 - 2038

[Add to shopping basket] Pavie St Emilion £1,445 6x75cl 95-97 99-100 97-99 97 97-99 96-98
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The 2020 Pavie is very clearly one of the wines of the year. Rich, inky and wonderfully vibrant, it pulses with energy from start to finish. All the elements are well balanced. Soaring Cabernet Franc aromatics lead into a core of finely knit yet deep fruit in a wine that feels endless. Harvest for the reds started on September 17, paused briefly during some rain on the 25th and 26th, and then wrapped up by the end of the month. The blend is 50% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, so more Cabernets than in the past, the result of a large replanting program that began in the early 2000s. A real head-turner. Magnificent!

Score: 97 - 99 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2060

The aromas are already exceptional, showing crushed-stone, limestone and salt character to the dark fruit and bark. It’s full-bodied, yet agile. Floats on the palate, then kicks in with loads of ultra fine tannins. The intensity and verve of this wine promises true greatness.

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 50% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2020 Pavie weighs in with an alcohol of 14.82% and a pH of 3.61. It is aging in French oak barriques, 75% new. Opaque purple-black colored, notes of plum pudding, blueberry pie and dark chocolate-covered cherries charge out of the gate, followed closely by hints of eucalyptus, star anise, unsmoked cigars and fertile loam with a hint of cedar chest. The full-bodied palate is built like a brick house, offering very firm yet wonderfully ripe, velvety tannins and seamless freshness to support the densely laden, muscular black and blue fruits, finishing very long and with loads of mineral-laced layers. As hedonic as it is cerebral this year, it is a beautiful paradox.

Score: 97 - 99 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2062

The Cabernets dominate the blend on the aromatics, and you can really see they are moving the needle on the architecture and sculpting of this wine. A ton of concentration on the nose and upfront, but it is well balanced by damson and blackberry, and has a sense of energy, uplift and clear minerality. This shows the limestone terroir in a way that, with the best will in the world, the more concentrated style of Pavie just didn't do. There is density and glamour, with layers of black chocolate, graphite and liquorice. It is pretty disarming overall, and will age extremely well. 3.61pH. A yield of 31hl/ha, average age of vine 49 years. 75% new oak.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027-2044

The 2020 Pavie was picked September 21–30 at 31hl/ha and matured in 75% new oak, the rest one year old. It continues to see greater emphasis on Cabernets – 34% Franc and 16% Sauvignon, the Merlot reduced to half the blend. This gradual rejigging of the blend is borne out on the nose, which features hints of damp loamy soil and bell pepper infusing vivid blackberry and wild strawberry fruit, becoming more and more citrusy with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with sautéed tannins that gently grip. Powerful, but the 14.82° alcohol is neatly disguised on the finish (at least in tasting measure) with fine delineation. Cohesive and focused. I would like to see a little more personality develop during élevage, but this remains an impressive Saint-Émilion and a Pavie with a long future ahead.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2060

A wine that’s going to flirt with perfection, the 2020 Château Pavie is another magical wine from the genius of Gerard Perse and is 50% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, brought up in 75% new French oak. The style here has unquestionably shifted from the blockbuster style of the 2000, 2005, 2009, and 2010 to a more elegant, refined style today that still brings plenty of fruit yet certainly stays more focused and precise. Is the new style better? I’m not sure, and there are certainly times I miss the opulence and decadence of the old style. Nevertheless, the wines today are magical Saint-Emilion that still show a rare mix of power and elegance. The 2020 is full-bodied and beautifully concentrated on the palate, offering a mouthful of cassis, black cherry, and mulberry fruits as well as a liqueur of rocks-like minerality, leafy herbs, and truffly earth. It doesn’t lack structure and has silky, polished tannins and flawless balance. Give bottles at least 7-8 years in the cellar and enjoy over the following 3+ decades.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

50% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample. Power and elegance combined. Deep purple-black colour. Intensity and complexity on the nose with dark fruit, cassis, mint and floral notes. Beautifully poised on the palate with smooth attack and persistent fruit and freshness. Powerful tannic frame but tannins really fine and no extraction. Long, persistent finish. Absolute precision. More than highlights the change in style. One of the best yet. (JL)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Pavie Decesse St Emilion £498 6x75cl Low Stock 94-96 96-97 95-97 95 94-96 96-98
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The 2020 Pavie-Decesse is compelling. Silky and voluptuous, it opens with a rush of inky red/purplish fruit, rose petal, lavender, spice and mocha. There is terrific brightness and plenty of energy, but the luxuriousness of the fruit wins the day. I imagine the 2020 will drink well with only a few years in bottle.

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

A tight, pinpointed Pavie Decesse with a medium to full body and racy tannins that are vertical and deep. Takes you down the palate. Chewy. Chalky tannins.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Pavie Decesse is a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, aging in French oak barrels, 80% new. It has an alcohol of 14.81% and a pH of 3.52. Deep purple-black colored, notions of baked blackberries, preserved plums and black cherry compote come barreling out of the glass, followed by suggestions of dark chocolate, licorice and Indian spices, with a fragrant hint of lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate is jam-packed with rich, spicy black fruits, supported by firm yet beautifully plush tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long with lots of emerging earthy nuances.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2052

Balanced, sleek and poised, plenty of character, a real push and pull, it expands and contracts, the oak is well masked and there is a sense of energy. This is an enjoyable wine, easy to recommend, but I think this may be the first vintage where I have thought that its sibling Pavie is a clear step up. 80% new oak, 3.53pH, from up on the limestone plateau. A yield of 17hl/ha.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026-2042

he 2020 Pavie Decesse was picked on September 23, the same day as Perse’s Bellevue-Mondotte, at just 17hl/ha, and matured in 80% new oak, the final blend to be made at bottling. This is rich and opulent on the nose, which delivers intense black cherries, raspberry coulis, blueberry and blood orange scents; the new oak is quite prominent. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, though I find this more nuanced and delineated compared to the Bellevue-Mondotte. More terroir is articulated toward the persistent finish, which displays subtle black pepper and clove notes. This actually challenges Pavie for my affections.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2055

A blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Château Pavie Decesse comes from the upper plateau, just above Château Pavie, and the soils here are more limestone based, with just a thin layer of clay over the bedrock, which tends to produce a more elegant, ethereal wine. Nevertheless, this brings serious richness and depth as well as full-bodied aromas and flavors of black cherries, currants, bouquet garni, crushed violets, and chalky minerality. Just stunning in every way, it has an expansive texture, the classic purity and elegance this cuvée always shows, and a monster of a finish.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. Only 2 ha presently in production. Cask sample. Deep colour. Subdued nose but clearly has an intensity of (dark) fruit. Pure and juicy on attack, the fruit persisting through the palate. Fine-grained tannins behind. Tension and minerality as well but plenty of charm this year. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Pavie Macquin St Emilion £345 6x75cl 91-93 95-96 96-98 95 95-98 95-97
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The 2020 Pavie Macquin is one of the most exotic Saint-Émilions of the year. Inky red fruit, lavender, rose petal, mint, plum and kirsch all open in the glass. Succulent and racy to the core, the 2020 possesses mind-blowing intensity yet remains fresh, vibrant and full of energy. It is one of the most alluring and complete recent vintages I can remember tasting. In a word: dazzling.

Score: 95 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2055

Sweet-berry and orange-peel aromas with hints of stone and oak on the nose. Medium-bodied with firm tannins and a fine-grained finish. Restrained plushness to this. Reserved.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Pavie Macquin has an opaque purple-black color, exploding from the glass with an intoxicating perfume of violets, Ceylon tea, forest floor and eucalyptus over a core of blackberry preserves, Morello cherries and stewed plum, plus wafts of crushed rocks and unsmoked cigars. The medium to full-bodied palate shimmers with energetic red and black fruit layers and loads of floral and earthy sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins and amazing tension, finishing with a long-lingering perfume of black fruits. A real head-turner!

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2055

There is a richness here, a powerful spread of black fruits, that grabs you from the start. Perhaps less razor precision than the Larcis Ducasse (also part of the Nicolas Thienpont stable) but more width and depth of flavour. This has texture and brambled power, sappy saline on the finish, touches of austerity, graphite laced through with grilled cassis and aniseed. Some reduction at this point, will clear over barrel ageing. Tasted several times, and each time the pumice stone and chalk of limestone grips on and will not let go. A yield of 31hl/ha.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

he 2020 Pavie-Macquin has a boisterous, attention-grabbing bouquet of opulent blueberry and kirsch scents, a touch of orange pith developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a sweet entry, certainly one of the most exotic wines from the estate in recent years, and a luscious finish, where I would like to feel more of the Cabernet Franc. This needs a very prudent élevage.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

This cooler, limestone terroir has created a gorgeous 2020 Château Pavie Macquin displaying the classic, pure, elegant style that’s common from this address. Inky colored, with incredible cassis fruits as well as notes of white flowers, candle way, tobacco leaf, and charcoal, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, flawless balance, and a great finish. I love this wine, which has a monster of a mid-palate yet stays tight and focused on the palate, with riveting precision. Based on 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, it’s going to need a good decade of bottle age but will be incredibly long-lived. Tasted twice.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,340 g. Undated cask sample. 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Dark purple. Very supple nose. Round fruit and all but imperceptible tannins until the very end. A savoury yeast-extract note on the fumey finish. Sappy and appetising. Acidity much more important than sweetness in this wine – which is no bad thing. Settled, comfortable finish. Long and reverberant.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux (2nd wine of Ch Margaux) Margaux £828 6x75cl Low Stock 91-93 96-97 92-94 94 92-94 92-94
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The 2020 Pavillon Rouge shows just how compelling the vintage is. Rich red berry fruit, red plum, cedar, spice and licorice meld together in a sumptuous, racy yet impeccably balanced wine that is flat-out delicious. It displays tremendous reserve, freshness and nuance, and clean veins of salinity that refresh the finish. The blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The Pavillon Rouge represents 31% of the harvest.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

re: 96-97 Points 16 Apr, 2021 – Blackberry and graphite with dark fruit and violets on the nose. Very complex. Full-bodied with lovely, fine tannins that are lightly chewy. Extremely long and polished. Really refined. Integrated tannins. Wonderful length.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Pavillon Rouge is composed of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The alcohol weighs in at 13.6%. Deep purple-black in color, the nose slowly unfurls to reveal gorgeous floral notes of lilacs and red roses, leading to a core of blackcurrant cordial, Morello cherries and minted blackberries, plus wafts of crushed rocks, forest floor and tilled loam. The medium to full-bodied palate is a mouthful of pure vinous seduction, slowly releasing layers of perfumed black fruits and mineral accents within a frame of achingly plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length and a whole array of fragrant earth sparks.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2043

Sinewed muscle, nuanced aromatics, graphite, gunsmoke, fresh tobacco leaf and blackberry puree. Great purity of fruits, a ton of lift and freshly crushed mint leaf aromatics that grip and curl out of the glass. One of the really successful second wines in the vintage. 31% of the overall blend. 2% of Cabernet Franc completes the blend.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025 - 2038

The 2020 Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux has an understated nose at first, gradually opening to offer raspberry and wild strawberry and subtle iodine scents in the background, precise but not wishing to create too much of a fuss. The palate is medium-bodied with a pliant opening. There is a discreet lushness conveyed by this Pavillon Rouge. At its core is brambly red fruit laced with white pepper and sour cherry, and just a faint pencil lead and black olive note right on the finish. I suspect that this will be a more approachable Pavillon Rouge compared to the 2018 and 2019, but it will certainly not shortchange anyone in terms of elegance.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2038

The 2020 Pavillon Rouge checks in as 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc. It has a beautifully pure, classic Cabernet style in its cassis and blue-tinged fruits as well as notes of violets, tobacco, and chocolate. With medium to full body, ripe yet polished tannins, and a great finish, it shows the fresh yet concentrated style of the vintage beautifully. It's going to evolve nicely for 20 years or more.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. 31% of the production. Cask sample. Pronounced fruit and freshness with finely matted, powdery tannins that provide elegance and a suavity of texture. Aromatic and juicy on the finish. Medium to long ageing potential. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Peby Faugeres St Emilion £594 6x75cl 90-92 97-98 94-96 - 90-92 94-96
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Crème de cassis, bittersweet chocolate, new leather, licorice and cloves are some of the many aromas and flavors that run through the 2020 Le Merle de Péby Faugères. This racy, flamboyant wine is an absolute delight.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2035

Soft and round with lots of blackberry and blueberry character. Some chocolate undertones. It’s full and flavorful with loads going on. Juicy finish. Very pretty polish and intensity. The tannin quality is really exceptional. It goes on and on.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Péby Faugères sports a deep purple-black color and pronounced notes of blueberry preserves, plum pudding and Christmas cake, followed by hints of licorice, Indian spices and sandalwood with a waft of wild mushrooms. The full-bodied palate is jam-packed with concentrated black fruit preserves, framed by super firm, ripe, grainy tannins and tons of freshness, finishing very long and spicy. This wine has all the volume nobs turned to maximum—and it works! Definitely one for the hedonists, though.

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

The 2020 Péby-Faugères is ripe and plush on the nose of macerated black cherries, crème de cassis and violet scents; there’s a lot of new oak present, although it seems in sync with the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe black fruit, sweet morello cherries and a dash of black pepper. Plush and quite decadent on the finish, in keeping with its style. I will be the contrarian as ever and not for the first time, pin my colors to the mast of the 2020 Faugères as my pick over Péby-Faugères, though hedonists will think otherwise.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2044

The 2020 Château Péby Faugères is a rich, modern, full-bodied, sexpot of a wine that offers more hedonistic pleasure than most in the vintage. Beautiful currant and blackberry fruit as well as graphite, chocolate, and roasted herb notes define the nose, and it brings the power on the palate, with a great mid-palate, velvety, seamless tannins, and a great, great finish. If you need a wine that will put a smile on your face, this is it.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Petit Haut Lafitte (2nd wine of Smith Haut Lafitte) Graves £112 6x75cl 88-90 93-94 91-93 93 92-94 90-92
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The 2020 Le Petit Haut Lafitte captures all the pedigree of the Grand Vin, but naturally in a more approachable style. Graphite, lavender, spice, menthol, blackberry jam and chocolate all saturate the palate. Savory, deep and exquisitely layered, the 2020 has it all. It's a great example of how compelling the best second wines are today. I have no doubt Le Petit Haut Lafitte is a more complete wine than some Grand Vins of previous generations.

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

This is a tight, more tannic Petit with a medium to full body and linear, racy phenolics. Blackberries, blueberries and some pine needles and stones. 60% cabernet sauvignon and 40% merlot.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, aging in 30% new barriques, the 2020 Le Petit Haut Lafitte has a deep garnet-purple color, rolling out of the glass with alluring scents of blackberry preserves, Black Forest cake and warm cassis, plus wafts of red roses and cinnamon toast with a hint of dried mint. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers plush tannins and soft acidity to support the generous, juicy black fruits, finishing on a lingering minty note.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

This is laden with cassis and bilberry - Cabernet dominant, with clearly defined muscles. Juicy and elegant, I love this, it is less approachable now than the Petit Haut de Smith, but hugely enjoyable, and has the precision that is the mark of the good wines in this vintage. A touch of austerity on the finish. 30% new oak.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

The 2020 Le Petit Haut Lafitte has an intriguing bouquet of blackberry, truffle and light earthy scents, almost Pomerol in style. The palate is medium-bodied with soft tannins and fine acidity, lightly peppered and leading to a smooth finish that just needs a little more grip. Having said that, there is commendable salinity and this should drink well for a decade.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2033

The 2020 Le Petit Haut Lafitte checks in as a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Blueberries, black cherries, tobacco, and earthy notes all define the bouquet, and it’s medium to full-bodied on the palate and dense, with plenty of richness and building tannins. This is another seriously delicious, satisfying Pessac-Léognan that does everything right.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Petit Mouton (2nd wine of Mouton Rothschild) Pauillac £1,020 6x75cl On allocation 92-94 97-98 91-93 - 92-94 93-95
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The 2020 Le Petit-Mouton is a gorgeous wine, but it’s quite different in style from many previous editions because of a high proportion (72%) of Cabernet Sauvignon. Silky and aromatic, but also quite reticent, the 2020 is going to need time to give its best. Bright red berry fruit, blood orange and striking lift from the Cabernet Franc offer tons of appeal. I especially like the aromatics here.

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

This is very, very layered with gorgeous fruit and velvety tannins. Hints of chocolate. Full-bodied and chewy with soft, fine tannins. 72% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot and 4% cabernet franc. Gorgeous second wine.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Le Petit Mouton is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, weighing in with 13.1% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes galloping out of the glass with exuberant notes of ripe blackcurrants, fresh blackberries and kirsch, plus suggestions of Indian spices, clove oil and chocolate box, plus a fragrant suggestion of lilacs. The medium-bodied palate has a rock-solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting the tight-knit red and black berry layers, finishing long with a peppery kick.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2042

The 2020 Le Petit Mouton, which contains a relatively higher level of Cabernet Sauvignon this year, represents 36% of the total production. It has a wonderful, entrancing bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, freshly tilled soil, cedar and emerging floral scents of iris petal and incense. I love the energy on this not so "petit" Mouton. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and perfectly judged acidity, harmonious and poised with superb mineralité and tension toward the finish. So sophisticated. This is (yet another) great Le Petit Mouton.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

The 2020 Le Petit Mouton De Mouton Rothschild is another powerful, concentrated wine, especially in the vintage, and it has a pure, incredibly Cabernet Sauvignon-driven style. Lots of blackcurrants, liquid violets, graphite, and rocky mineral notes emerge on the nose, and this medium to full-bodied, tightly knit, concentrated, structured second wine is going to need a good 4-5 years of bottle age, yet should have two decades of longevity.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. 36% of the production. Cask sample. Powerful, tense and very Pauillac. Fruit pure and mouth-filling with dark-fruit and graphite notes. Layers of fine-grained, powdery tannin provide a velvety texture as well as length and persistence. Certainly has the structure to age. (JL)

Score: 17.5 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

[Add to shopping basket] Phelan Segur St Estephe £184 6x75cl 93-95 95-96 90-92 94 91-93 94-96
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The 2020 Phélan Ségur is sophisticated, classy and polished. There is perhaps a bit less size than has become the norm of late, but that is not a bad thing at all. Sweet floral, spice, cedar and tobacco lend brightness to this mid-weight, beautifully persistent Saint-Estèphe. I especially admire the wine's aromatic presence and persistence. Tasted two times.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2045

Bright and perfumed with some chocolate, berry, sandalwood and cedar. Very elegant and fine, medium to full-bodied palate with very integrated tannins and refined, polished texture. The tannins melt into the wine. Long finish with serious structure. Vivid and refined. Class here. Very Bordeaux. 54% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot, 2% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Displaying a medium to deep purple-black color, the 2020 Phélan Ségur offers up intense notions of crushed red and black currants, black raspberries and fresh mulberries, plus suggestions of charcuterie, pencil shavings and cinnamon toast. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled and refreshing, delivering a firm, grainy texture to support the crunchy red and black fruits, finishing with a peppery kick.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2039

The austerity to the tannins works in this wine's favour giving a juicy grip to the concentrated blackcurrant and bilberry fruits without strangling them. Excellent stuff, finishing up with liquorice and smoked coffee bean. This is an estate that has just powered to better and better wines over the past few years. Yields were 10% below the average of the past five years but still at 40hl/ha. Harvest September 16 through to October 1, finishing around 10 days earlier than the past two years. Consultants Michel Rolland and Julien Viaud. First vintage with Petit Verdot included in the main wine (2%), from vines planted in 2013. Tasted twice.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026 - 2042

The 2020 Phélan Ségur has a very intense and almost Pauillac-like nose of blackberry, pencil box and cedar aromas, complex and mineral-driven. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins and plenty of black fruit laced with cedar and tobacco, quite sturdy and conveying more substance than recent vintages. This impressive Saint-Estèphe has great potential and might well represent the appellation's best value for money.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: Martin 2025 - 2045

Getting a legit "wow" in the notes, the 2020 Château Phélan Ségur looks to be another incredible wine from the team of Véronique Dausse. A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon 42% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it's a deep, almost inky-hued barrel sample offering gorgeous notes of crème de cassis, blueberries, damp earth, crushed violets, and graphite. With full-bodied richness, a round, layered texture, serious concentration, and building structure, this is the real deal and up with the gems in Sainte-Estèphe. While some wines show a softer, more forward style, this is firm, mineral-laced, and structured, and is going to reward a good decade of cellaring. The alcohol checks in at 13.5% with a pH of 3.7 and a whopping 88 for an IPT.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,350 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. A St-Estèphe property with a relatively low proportion of Cabernet. Rather astringent at this point. I have been a fan of this property and the clays of this commune should have produced something quite special but I'm not convinced by this particular vintage. Stringy finish. No fun at all at this point!

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Pichon Baron Pauillac £663 6x75cl 95-97 97-98 95-97 96 96-98 96-98
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The 2020 Pichon Baron is utterly breathtaking, and also one of the very best young vintages I have tasted here. An exotic mélange of red cherry, mint, rose petal and blood orange comes alive in the glass. More than anything, though, the Pichon-Baron possesses remarkable energy and vibrancy that builds to an intense, beautifully focused finish. This is hands down one of the most impressive wines of 2020. Superb.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2055

This young Bordeaux is totally seamless with fine, velvet-like tannins that are integrated and refined. Underlying freshness and verve. It’s full-bodied, linear and long with a compact palate.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Pichon-Longueville Baron is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot aging for an estimated 18 months in French oak barrels, 70% new. The production of the grand vin represents 48% of the harvest this year. Opaque purple-black in color, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notions of blackberry pie, preserved plums and crème de cassis, plus suggestions of Chinese five spice, chocolate mint, graphite and cedar chest with a touch of violets. The medium-bodied palate is built like a brick house, featuring firm, ripe, grainy tannins and bold freshness to support the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long and spicy.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2052

Intense, concentrated, rippling with power while still delivering finesse. A muscular Pichon Baron, layered with liquorice and chocolate shavings. Unmistakably Pauillac, and hugely Cabernet dominant, with savoury spice notes of grilled cumin and the same muscular, saline-backed tannins that you find in Les Griffons, just here with more definition and depth. 70% new oak for 18 months, 48% of overall production. Harvest September 14 to 30. Yields on the old vines here just above 30hl/ha.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2048

The 2020 Pichon Baron underwent an early picking with relatively low yields. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot, it has a very tight nose at first that demands 15–20 minute coaxing in the glass. It eventually reveals enticing blackberries, blueberries and hints of balsamic and undergrowth, all very precise; crushed rock scents surface with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, fine-grained tannins and touches of hoisin toward a dense but structured finish of unerring symmetry. Tasted from test tube sample and regular 75cl bottle.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2050

The inky hued 2020 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron checks in as a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot that spent 18 months in 70% new barrels. It's a dense, rich, powerful 2020 offering loads of pure cassis and almost blue fruits as well as full-bodied richness, a round, lush, incredibly sexy texture, sweet tannins, and ample classic Pauillac lead pencil, tobacco, and violet aromas and flavors. It's unquestionably in the same ballpark as the 2015, 2016, and 2018, and given its sweet tannins and beautifully integrated acidity, it should have some up-front appeal as well, yet still age at a glacier pace.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot. Cask sample. Deep crimson hue. Powerful and reserved, the nose dark and restrained with just a nip of vanilla oak and spice. Dense, firm and persistent on the palate, a massive tannic frame heightened by acidity. Powerful and brooding. Will definitely need time. (JL)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

Intense, concentrated, rippling with power while still delivering finesse. A muscular Pichon Baron, layered with liquorice and chocolate shavings. Unmistakably Pauillac, and hugely Cabernet dominant, with savoury spice notes of grilled cumin and the same muscular, saline-backed tannins that you find in Les Griffons, just here with more definition and depth. 70% new oak for 18 months, 48% of overall production. Harvest September 14 to 30. Yields on the old vines here just above 30hl/ha.

Score: 96 Richard Hemming, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2048

[Add to shopping basket] Pichon Comtesse Reserve (2nd Wine Pichon Lalande) Pauillac £201 6x75cl 90-92 93-94 91-93 92 91-93 92-94
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The 2020 Réserve de la Comtesse is absolutely gorgeous. Far more expressive than the Grand Vin today, the Réserve is everything a second wine should be. Ripe dark cherry, plum, spice, menthol, licorice and tobacco all flesh out in a sumptuous, racy Pauillac that impresses with its alluring personality. This is an especially fine vintage for the Réserve. The 2020 is 47% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot – in other words, a high percentage of PV that undoubtedly marks the blend.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

A tight, focused red with currants, chocolate, walnuts and some flowers. Medium-to full-bodied with ripe tannins. Pretty second wine.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 47% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot, the 2020 Reserve de la Comtesse is redolent of cassis, redcurrant jelly and raspberry coulis, plus suggestions of chocolate box, lilacs and stewed tea, with a waft of unsmoked cigars. The medium-bodied palate delivers mouth-coating, juicy black fruits with a soft texture and seamless freshness, finishing long with a spicy kick. This is a very different style from the grand vin, possessing a more playful, upfront and effortlessly delicious character that truly draws you in!

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

Bright ruby colour with violet reflections. As with many second wines in Pauillac in 2020, you should expect fairly high tannins, although they are fine in construction and softly-expressed when things open up. Cocoa bean and coffee smoke on the finish. This is seductive but underplayed. Bright ruby colour with violet reflections. As with many second wines in Pauillac in 2020, you should expect fairly high tannins, although they are fine in construction and softly-expressed when things open up. Cocoa bean and coffee smoke on the finish. This is seductive but underplayed. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2024 - 2038

TThe 2020 Réserve de Pichon Comtesse is very harmonious on the nose, featuring plenty of blackberry, wild strawberry and light touches of salted licorice and estuarine scents; this is going to be very seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and fine-grained tannins, not a powerful or deep Deuxième Vin, leading to a poised, quite spicy, peppery finish. This should give 12–15 years of drinking pleasure. -- Neal Martin (90-92) Neal Martin 2026 - 2038 Not Available May 2021

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

The second wine of Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse, the 2020 Reserve De Comtesse De Lalande is a beautiful wine in the making that certainly tastes like a mini-version of the Grand Vin. Lots of crème de cassis, blueberries, violets, tobacco, and earth all define the nose, and it hits the palate with a forward, medium to full-bodied, supple texture that already begs to be drunk. I love its balance, the purity of fruit is terrific, and the tannins are spot on as well. It ranks as one of the top second wines in the vintage and will have two decades of prime drinking.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Bright crimson hue. Generous, vineyard-nuanced fruit on the nose with complex cassis and graphite notes. Fruit equally generous on the palate, backed by an abundance of fine tannin. Lots of drive and persistence. Punchier and more masculine in style than 2019. Definitely one for the cellar. (JL)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Pichon Lalande Pauillac £807 6x75cl 96-98 96-97 95-97 96 95-97 98-100
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The 2020 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is holding so much in reserve. Tightly wound and not fully expressive, the 2020 is going to need at least a few years to come out of its shell. Bright acids and persistent tannins give the 2020 a super classic, mid-weight feel. I very much like the wine's persistence. Readers will have to be patient with the 2020. The exuberance of some recent vintages is not present today. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, which means a touch more Cabernet Sauvignon than in recent years, and quite a bit more than in the past. Harvest ran from September 7 to October 1, which is about ten days earlier than normal. In the cellar, Estate Manager Nicolas Glumineau opted for light extractions, with minimal pumpovers of just one volume of wine per day, at no more than 25 degrees Celsius. Time on the skins was 21 days, pretty much the norm these days. Tasted two times.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2032 - 2060

This is extremely structured, but with a level of polish and refinement that highlights the excellence of the terroir. Very long and expansive on the palate, showing class and beauty. Powerful.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande begins on a single, well-defined, wonderfully pure note of ripe blackcurrants, opening out to a melody of redcurrant jelly, kirsch, ripe blackberries and tar, with emerging suggestions of dark chocolate, cardamom, ground cloves and violets, with a waft of black truffles. Medium-bodied, tightly wound and with loads of fantastically nuanced black fruit layers, it has a rock-solid frame of finely grained tannins and bags of freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. The blend this year is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc.

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

Softer and silkier than many Pauillacs in the vintage, this is a clear success. Hugely silky and seductive, with grip, power and finesse. One of the best of the appellation, with finessed tobacco, heather and plump blueberry and cassis fruit, expertly managing the low 30hl/ha yield. 60% new oak. Tasted twice.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2030-48

The 2020 Pichon-Lalande has a backward nose similar to that of its neighbor Pichon-Baron, and so I decanted the bottle for 45 minutes. It then revealed gorgeous scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow, seaweed (Japanese nori) and wild mint. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and gentle but insistent grip. Very intense but not ripe; there is a coolness about this Pauillac that I like, while the finish is very classically styled and leaves behind a persistent, slightly briny aftertaste. This is a magnificent, cerebral Pichon-Lalande that will deserve serious aging and the patience of anyone still waiting for The Cure's new album. Tasted three times, including directly from the château.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2055

An estate that has been on fire of late, the 2020 Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse De Lalande is another brilliant wine in a succession of brilliant wines. Revealing a dense purple hue as well as full-bodied aromas and flavors of blac currants, scorched earth, tobacco leaf, and violets, it hits the palate with an expansive, rich, yet pure, precise texture that carries fabulous tannins, perfect balance, and a stacked mid-palate. Based on 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc, it's an incredible wine that's going to flirt with perfection and is unquestionably one of the finest, if not the finest, Left Banks in the vintage. Bravo. Tasted twice.

Score: 98 - 100 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Bright crimson hue. Generous, vineyard-nuanced fruit on the nose with complex cassis and graphite notes. Fruit equally generous on the palate, backed by an abundance of fine tannin. Lots of drive and persistence. Punchier and more masculine in style than 2019. Definitely one for the cellar. (JL)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-45

[Add to shopping basket] Pontet Canet Pauillac £445 6x75cl - 98-99 96-98 97 95-97 -
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The 2020 Pontet-Canet is captivating effort from the Tesseron family. The intensely perfumed, savory bouquet is immediately alluring. Deep and substantial, the 2020 is luxuriously rich from start to finish. Swaths of incisive tannin wrap around a core of dark red cherry fruit, gravel, dried herbs and rose petal, and a whole range of floral and savory accents lend aromatic presence. The Pontet-Canet is often a charmer en primeur, but the 2020 comes across as quite serious. I can't wait to see how it develops. As always, one of the signatures of Pontet-Canet is a high proportion of Merlot vis-à-vis its peers among top Left Bank châteaux that lends tremendous midpalate weight. In 2020 production is within historical norms. Mildew pressure was high, but not as severe as in 2018, when two-thirds of the crop was lost in a single day. Harvest took place September 14–30, a bit more of a compact time frame than normal, and a good 7–10 days earlier than is typically the case. Aged in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% once-used barrels.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2060

This is integrated, with superb density and beauty, offering blackcurrant, mineral and some bark. Full-bodied, yet so polished and refined. Crushed stone. Lots of expression and texture to this wine. Creamy. Pure and precise. Elegant, yet layered. Slightly plusher than the 2019. Dense, yet agile. Fresh as always. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot. 50% new oak 15% old oak and 35% concrete amphorae.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Pontet-Canet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, aging in 50% new French oak barriques, 35% concrete amphorae and 15% in one-year-old barrels. Harvest began on the 14th September for the Merlot, and the final lot of Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on 30th September. Opaque purple-black in color, it needs significant aeration and swirling to coax out evocative notes of black cherry preserves, raspberry pie, blackcurrant pastilles and damp soil, before launching into gorgeous floral and spice notions of red roses, cinnamon stick, star anise and cardamom, with a waft of crushed rocks. The medium to full-bodied palate reveals a lot of depth and polish, delivering mouth-coating red and black fruits with loads of fragrant earth and floral sparks, framed by velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral tinged. This is a singular, fascinating expression of the vintage and highly recommended!

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2056

Highly successful Pontet, one of the few Pauillacs that, for me, overperforms on its 2019. Inky purple with ruby reflections in colour. Lots of firm but upright tannins, a good dollop of graphite, pencil lead and cassis bud, there is depth through the mid palate shot through with wild blackberry, hawthorn, sage, rosemary and wild mint. It has personality, and is a little old school in the best possible way. Recommended. They have avoided the over-concentrated feel of some Pauillacs in the vintage, while remaining true to the appellation. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend, 50% new oak 35% amphoras, 15% one-year barrels. First full vintage for Mathieu Bessonnet who replaced the previous long-term director Jean-Michel Comme in 2020. 100% first wine, as it has been for the past four years. 45% will be aged in new oak barrels, 15% one year, 40% in amphoras. The mildew pressure was stressful in the early part of the year, but they had learnt from 2018, and brought in the manpower to get around the whole vineyard in a (very long) day, so their yields ended up being close to normal.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2042

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Dark, dense and very ripe on the nose. Riper than most Pauillacs tasted. Suave attack then a firm charge of grainy tannin. Fresh and persistent but some chew on the finish. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Potensac Medoc £98 6x75cl 90-92 93-94 88-90 92 90-92 -
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The 2020 Potensac is quite delicate and finessed, with bright acids that lend a real sense of energy. Expressive floral accents from the Cabernet Franc (a bit elevated in 2020) add aromatic presence to balance things out. Sweet red berry fruit, mint, sage and rose petals linger on the delineated, precise finish.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2035

This is very balanced and round with lovely softness. Plenty of fruity. Medium body. Lots of salinity and savoriness. Long and delicious. Friendly already. 44% merlot, 33% cabernet sauvignon, 22% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Potensac is composed of 44% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot and 22% Cabernet Franc, weighing in with an alcohol of 14.05%, a pH of 3.63 and an IPT (tannins index) of 76. The Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on the 29th and 30th of September, the Merlot from the 14th to the 26th of September, the Petit Verdot on the 29th of September and the Cabernet Franc on the 28th of September. With a medium to deep garnet-purple color, it offers up eager-to-please notes of fresh Bing cherries, redcurrants and black raspberries, plus hints of dried Provence herbs, dusty soil, wild mushrooms and tobacco leaf. The medium-bodied palate has a good concentration of red and black fruits with a chewy texture and just enough freshness, finishing earthy.

Score: 88 - 90 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2023 - 2032

This kicks off at a high intensity and manages to deliver both concentration and freshness. Juicy and easy to approach and will easily last 10 years. Has charm and appeal, and a sappy delivery of cassis and bilberry fruits. Oldest vines on this estate are around 100 years old, helping them withstand the drought. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 3.63pH, 20% new oak.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2024 - 2040

The 2020 Potensac was picked September 14–30 and matured in 20% new oak. It has a clean, pure black currant and blueberry nose, a little more opulent than usual, but well defined and demonstrating a bit more fruité, which it has occasionally lacked in some vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, and quite saline on the entry, with touches of black olive infusing the black fruit. A midweight with a lively, classically fashioned finish, this is a very commendable Potensac that should give 12–15 years of pleasure, but warrants 3–4 years in a cool, damp cellar.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2036

44% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Bright and lifted on the nose with floral notes (see the percentage of Cabernet Franc) and more finesse than in the past. Definite sense of energy. Lovely texture on attack and plenty of freshness then drive and persistence. Big tannic frame (IPT tannin index nearly the same as Las Cases) but fine-grained and subtle. Ageing potential. Should be GV. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Poujeaux Moulis £109 6x75cl 91-93 94-95 85-87 92 90-92 -
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The 2020 Poujeaux is jam-packed with inky dark fruit, graphite, cloves, lavender, licorice and a kiss of new French oak that will almost certainly integrate during élevage. Plush, engaging and flat-out delicious, with silky, perfectly ripe tannins and superb balance, this is looking to be another superb wine from the Cuvelier family.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2022 - 2040

A dense, layered red with blackberry, tar, asphalt and spice character. Medium-to full-bodied with wonderful, polished and creamy tannins. Chewy and fine. Potentially one of the best in a long time.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Poujeaux is a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, harvested from 17th September to 2nd October and weighing in with an alcohol of 13.5% and a pH of 3.89. It is being aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, it sings of crushed red and black currants, black raspberries and bay leaves with touches of tobacco and damp soil. The medium-bodied palate is a little skinny and chewy at this nascent stage, finishing on an herbal note.

Score: 85 - 87 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2023 - 2030

Good depth of colour to the fruit, deep plum, with attractive fresh fruit aromatics. Confident tannic frame with acidity and black fruits - all the elements to ensure it will age. There isn't the richness of the fruit that you will find in 2016 but it is full of personality and easy to recommend. One of the more successful wines from Moulis in the vintage. Lots of tannins, and a point of bitterness on the close of play that needs to be carefully handled during ageing. A yield of 34hl/ha.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025 - 2036

The 2020 Poujeaux was picked from September 17 to October 2 and matured in one-third new oak. It has a broody nose initially, gradually opening to display blackberry, brine and crushed rock aromas, certainly quite mineral-driven. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins and fine grip, though the tannins are not aggressive. There is a hint of dark chocolate toward the finish, but maybe I’m seeking a little more on the aftertaste. This should gain more length during its élevage. Very fine.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

Full bottle 1,342 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. Very dark core with purplish rim. Dark, savoury and a little bit oaky on the nose and the same character on the palate. The fruit is there at the core but there is absolutely no fruit sweetness until right at the very end, just dark and refined. Firm, slightly thick, chewy tannins. A little unyielding for now but harmonious. (JH)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Prieure Lichine Margaux £152 6x75cl 91-93 95-96 91-93 93 91-94 91-93
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The 2020 Prieuré-Lichine opens with very pretty floral and spice overtones. Pliant, silky and nuanced, the 2020 is all charm. The purity of the red/purplish berry fruit is compelling. Readers will find an understated, classy Margaux full of character. I can't wait to taste this from bottle. A bit clenched today, but that should not be an issue with time. The Prieuré-Lichine finishes with notable freshness and savory intensity.

Score: 91 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2050

This is really something with pure blackberry and blueberry character. Chewy yet ultra fine tannins. It goes on and on. Could challenge the great 2016.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2020 Prieure-Lichine offers up notes of fresh redcurrants, blackcurrant pastilles, boysenberries and dried Provence herbs, plus wafts of tobacco leaf and pencil shavings. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers a great intensity of pure black and red fruit flavors, framed by grainy tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long with a refreshing herbal lift.

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2040

Plenty of juicy dripping autumnal fruit, cassis and blueberry with a crack of black pepper and a good lick of saline freshness on the finish that makes you want to take another sip. One of the clear successes, intense and concentrated with balanced tannins and acidity, if some bitter almond overtones. A yield of 32hl/ha. 40% new oak. Harvested right through to October 1st.Tasted twice.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2040

The 2020 Prieuré-Lichine was picked at 32hl/ha and matured in 40% new oak. It has quite an intense nose of black plum, blueberry and violet scents, though missing some terroir expression and mineralité. It’s high-toned at the moment, but it needs more bass notes. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chalky tannins and a fine bead of acidity. Very fresh, with fine salinity on the finish. It actually meliorates as it goes on, leaving you wanting more. This has very good potential.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

The ruby/purple-hued 2020 Château Prieure-Lichine offers a medium to full-bodied, plush, layered style that carries beautiful red and blue fruits, notes of sandalwood and flowery incense, outstanding overall balance, ripe tannins, and a great finish.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 40% new oak. Black core with purplish rim. Fragrant with the intense aromas of cassis and spicy black plum. A little sweeter-smelling than some but also dark and savoury, with subtle oak spice and char. Even a light floral note entwined with all that dark fruit. The oak is a little more obvious on the palate, as much in the smooth but thick tannins as in the flavour. Full in the mouth but nicely dry and fresh on the finish. (JH) 13.5%

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Quinault l'Enclos St Emilion £156 6x75cl 92-94 - - 92 - -
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Managing tannins is one of the lines that needed walking in 2020, and the warmer soils of Quinault compared to Cheval needed particular care. You find some traces of the solar nature of the summer on the nose, with eucalyptus, black pepper and rosemary spice, but there is freshness on the palate, well balanced and with density to the blackberry and black cherry fruits, finishing up with again the eucalyptus that is found in the aromatics, and a generous kick of spice. This is tightly structured, it is expertly handled but I would suggest looking to the 2019. Harvest September 3 to 23. 10 days over 30°C during that time.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2024 - 2036

The 2020 Quinault L’Enclos contains no Cabernet Sauvignon this year due to mildew. It has an intense bouquet of black cherries, blueberry and crushed iris flower. The oak is neatly enmeshed and feels delineated and tensile. The palate is medium-bodied with fine but firm tannins, and lightly spiced, with white pepper and sage seasoning the black fruit. Quite structured and powerful on the finish, this is a long-term Saint-Émilion that will benefit from several years in the cellar.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2050

78% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Supple and round with plenty of charm. Vineyard-fresh fruit on the nose then medium-bodied weight and structure with just enough depth to give it a serious edge. (JL)

Score: - Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025 - 2032

[Add to shopping basket] Quintus St Emilion £462 6x75cl 92-94 97-98 95-97 93 92-94 94-96
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The 2020 Quintus is wonderfully promising. Soft contours and generous fruit give it tons of immediate appeal. Blueberry, mocha, lavender, spice and new leather are some of the aromas and flavors that emerge over time. More than anything else, though, Quintus impresses with its harmony. The 2020 is one of the finest vintages I have tasted here.

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

Wow. This is very chalky and salty with lots of mineral character. It shows lots of purple fruit and firm tannins. Racy and bright. Chewy yet fine tannins. Gorgeous. Gets better and better.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Quintus is a blend of 62.5% Merlot and 37.5% Cabernet Franc, weighing in with an alcohol of 15.4%. Displaying a deep purple-black color, it leaps from the glass with bold notes of crushed blackberries, boysenberries and stewed plums, plus suggestions of chocolate mint, clove oil, lilacs and star anise. The full-bodied palate is densely laden with rich black fruits and floral accents, framed by well-balanced acidity and finely grained tannins, finishing with great length and impressive energy. Judging from this barrel sample, this is the finest, most complex and complete Quintus yet—bravo!

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

Exuberant and confident, with powerful damson and black cherry fruit flavours on the nose. Chocolate and liquorice run through the palate from beginning to end, and this is full of signature St-Emilion glamour. It has a round and supple texture through the mid palate, but the alcohol hides some of the limestone nuance at this point - it will no doubt emerge more clearly with 8 to 10 years in bottle. Harvest 11th September for the Merlot grapes and 23rd September for the Cabernet Franc.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2044

The 2020 Quintus is very delineated and focused on the nose, offering ebullient black cherries and raspberry fruit, crushed stone and a subtle marine element that develops with aeration; great energy here. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins, a perfect line of acidity and just a slight bitterness that imparts the necessary tension and sapidity on the finish. This is a very suave Saint-Émilion that will be difficult to resist in its youth.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2045

A big, velvety textured wine, especially in the vintage, the 2020 Château Quintus offers a gorgeous array of pure crème de cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as leafy herbs, graphite, and chocolate. These all carry to a full-bodied Saint-Emilion with a round, mouth-filling texture, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This estate has been firing on all cylinders of late, and this should be in the same realm as the 2016, 2018, and I suspect, the 2019.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,340 g. Cask sample taken 13 April. Nice and fresh! 62.5% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Franc. Purplish crimson with a healthy glow. Much firmer somehow on the nose than most of the other wines from this appellation. Opulent palate entry but then very sophisticated drive. Distinctively focussed and much drier than most St-Émilions with limestone influence well in evidence. Already persistent. Lean, fresh tannins on the finish. Not in the rich camp but expressive in its own style.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Rauzan Segla Margaux £440 6x75cl Low Stock 95-97 97-98 96-98 96 95-97 95-97
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The 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is all reserve and nowhere near as showy as the last few vintages. Don't be fooled though, this tightly-coiled, brilliant wine has the potential to be magnificent, but it needs time. Sweet floral, spice and cedar nuances open with a bit of coaxing, but the 2020 is in no mood to show all its cards yet. The 2020 is a super-classic Rauzan-Ségla that will delight readers in search of restrained elegance, something that is not so easy to find in Bordeaux these days. The 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is all reserve and nowhere near as showy as the last few vintages. Don't be fooled though, this tightly-coiled, brilliant wine has the potential to be magnificent, but it needs time. Sweet floral, spice and cedar nuances open with a bit of coaxing, but the 2020 is in no mood to show all its cards yet. The 2020 is a super-classic Rauzan-Ségla that will delight readers in search of restrained elegance, something that is not so easy to find in Bordeaux these days.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, JebDunnuck.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

Full-bodied and layered with velvety layers of tannins that are beautifully interspersed with ripe fruit and dark-chocolate notes. Silky and lightly chewy texture. Very long, solid finish.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is aging for 18 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. It has an alcohol of 13.5% and a pH of 3.74. Deep purple-black colored, aromas of blackcurrant cordial, stewed red and black plums, chocolate-covered cherries and raspberry coulis erupt from the glass, leading to an undercurrent of tar, licorice, red roses and menthol, plus a hint of unsmoked cigars. The medium-bodied palate is elegant and yet manages seriously impressive intensity, which is well-sustained throughout the mid-palate and finish. Refined and refreshing, delivering beautifully soft, silt-like tannins and bags of bright red and black fruits, it finishes with amazing length and a stunning perfume. Between this and Château Canon, Nicolas Audebert and his team have knocked it out of the park this vintage.

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2056

Tumeric and cumin spices alongside concentrated cassis and bilberry fruits, this has a powerful structure where the tannins layer up through the palate. There is no question that this is intense, and a reflection of the low yields of the vintage, but Rauzan Segla manages what it always does, which is to take the foot off the pedal at exactly the right moment, and allow the juice to come rushing in. The push and pull of muscular tannins and deft supple acidity gives an extra layer of success. Should be ready to drink a little earlier than the biggest years such as 2016 or 2019, but this will still age for decades. 1% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. Harvest began September 8, a yield of 30hl/ha. 60% new oak. Tasted twice.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

The 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is set to be matured in 60% new oak barrels for an intended 18 months. I left my sample for 30 minutes because, like the Ségla, it was backward and rather taciturn on the nose. It repaid a little patience with very classic scents of blackberry, crushed stone, wilted iris flowers and a hint of orange blossom. The aromatics are exquisitely delineated yet succinctly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins that support crystalline black fruit interlaced with light graphite and crustacean notes. Brimming with energy and full of tension from start to finish, this is a sophisticated and quite intellectual Margaux. It’s also flippin’ delicious.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2057

The 2020 Château Rauzan-Ségla checks in as 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It's one of the more inky, backward wines I can recall from this address and has brooding notes of blackcurrants, spring flowers, tobacco, graphite, and crushed stone. A big, rich, concentrated 2020, it's medium to full-bodied, has ripe, building tannins, fabulous purity, and a great finish. There's a certain austerity here that makes me think this will be one for the cellar.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Almost the same blend as last year. Perfumed violet, floral aroma with a hint of minty freshness. Smooth and spherical on attack then long and linear. Plentiful but finely honed tannins. Lovely poise and balance. A touch steelier than 2019 but clear potential. (JL)

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Reynon Blanc £72 12x75cl 89-90 89-90 - - 88-90 -
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The 2020 Reynon Blanc is bright, crisp and inviting. Lime, white flowers, mint and sage lend pretty aromatic topnotes to this tasty, aperitif-styled dry white.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2021-2027

Sliced-apple and honey character with some green melon and citrus. Medium body. Crisp finish.

Score: 89 - 90 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Reynon Blanc has an attractive bouquet of grass clippings, Granny Smith apples and light peachy aromas. The palate is well balanced with an edgy, spicy opening and good weight. Quite saline, lively and energetic. A lovely sour lemon note wakes you up on the finish. Just a straight-down-the-line, delicious dry white Bordeaux.

Score: 89 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2022-2027

Full bottle 1,250 g. 100% Sauvignon Blanc aged for five months in a mix of wood and stainless steel. Very intense, 'Denis Dubourdieu' nose! Minerally, dry and salivatory on the palate though not a long-distance runner. Super-crisp, clean and juicy though not especially long.

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Saint Pierre St Julien £231 6x75cl 92-94 95-96 94-96 - 93-95 94-96
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The 2020 Saint-Pierre (Saint-Julien) is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Inky, rich and explosive, the 2020 possesses magnificent intensity from start to finish. Crème de cassis, lavender, spice, chocolate, licorice, graphite and menthol infuse the 2020 with striking depth. The 2020 is heady and unctuous, but not at all overdone. It is one of my early favorites in this vintage, within its peer group. Tasted two times.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2050

A firm, very structured wine from here, with intense tannins that are very polished and long. Pure fruit. One of the best in a long time.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Saint-Pierre bursts with baked blackberries, stewed plums and cassis, followed by hints of dried mint, chocolate box and tapenade with a waft of pencil lead. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled with impressive freshness and ripe, fine-grained tannins supporting the energetic black fruits, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. The blend is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, aging for around 14 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. The alcohol is 13.3%.

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2047

The 2020 Saint-Pierre has a distinctly Pauillac-like nose with veins of graphite and mint infusing the black fruit, focused and full of tension. This is very classy. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that belie the structure underneath. It has good grip, and comes across quite strict and correct. If I am to quibble, and quibble I will, it maybe doesn’t finish with the fireworks that I have noticed on other recent superlative vintages. Perhaps that might develop in barrel. If so, it will warrant a higher score.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

The 2020 Château Saint-Pierre (Saint-Julien) looks to be beautiful, with a fresher, focused, yet still powerful style that fits nicely into the vintage. Lots of black and blue fruits, crushed stone, and graphite define the nose, and it's full-bodied, with a great mid-palate, ripe yet building tannins, and a great finish. It's going to need time to integrate its oak, but the purity of fruit, quality of the tannins, and balance are all spot on. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Saintayme St Emilion £69 6x75cl 87-89 94-95 90-92 92 91-93 91-93
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he 2020 Saintayme is bright, punchy and wonderfully vibrant. Sweet perfumed floral notes, red berry fruit, cedar and cinnamon lend terrific aromatic brightness. In 2020, Saintayme is a bit nervy and less fleshy than it can be. This is the first vintage made without microbullage, a technique that was previously used in some of the tanks here. I expect that will serve it well in the years to come, as the 2020 has an extra level of purity that is striking. As always, Saintayme is a selection from a 15-hectare property in Saint-Émilion's Saint Etienne de Lys district, made with a Burgundian approach in which the wine is vinified by the owner and then raised by the Durantou family.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

A gorgeous red with so much black fruit and salty, mineral character. It’s medium-to full-bodied with creamy, polished tannins and a long finish. The precision and fine texture is impressive. One of the best I have had for a while.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Saintayme is 100% Merlot, harvested between the 28th and the 30th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.5% and is aging in French oak barrels, 30% new. Deep purple-black colored, it needs a little coaxing to unlock scents of tar, forest floor and aniseed, over a core of baked black plums, blackberry pie and chocolate-covered cherries, plus a touch of dried mint. The full-bodied palate is densely packed with muscular black fruits and loads of earthy accents, framed by firm, rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a lingering minty note. 63,000 bottles are expected to be made.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2038

Deep crimson colour, plenty of deep bilberry fruits, firm tannins and good tension; a lot to like about this wine. Closes in on the finish, pretty serious in feel overall, muscular, but has the deft kick upwards that you find in many limestone-led wines in the vintage. The first year with Constance and Noemie Durantou at the helm, having taken over from their late father Denis (Noemie in particular had also worked alongside him for several years as winemaker, along with cellar master Olivier Gautrat).

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2042

The 2020 Saintayme is more backward on the nose than expected and demands coaxing from the glass. Eventually it offers tightly wound blackberry, wild hedgerow and black truffle scents, an inviting marine/seaweed scent emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannins that frame the sweet black cherry, bilberry and licorice notes. Quite linear toward the finish, it does not fan out like the 2018, although it feels long and persistent. Give this Saint-Émilion 3–4 years in bottle if you can.

Score: 87 - 89 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2036

Another gem from Denis Durantou, the 2020 Saintayme should be snatched up by savvy readers, as it’s a year-in, year-out value, and in a vintage where Merlot excelled, it’s a real standout. Black cherries, mulberries, camphor, chocolate, and subtle oak notes all emerge from the glass, and it’s medium to full-bodied, balanced, and has a great mix of richness and freshness. Drink bottles over the coming 10-12 years.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

100% Merlot. Brand from the Durantou (L’Eglise-Clinet) stable. Cask sample. Zesty and fresh on the nose with berry-fruit aromas. Round and sweet but juicy as well, the tannins light and grainy. Bit of alcohol on the finish but consistent in quality and style. (JL)

Score: - Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Senejac Haut Medoc £62 6x75cl 87-89 92-93 84-86 91 - -
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Rather seductive Senejac with blackcurrant and chocolate character, as well as some walnuts and dried flowers . It’s medium-bodied with a solid core of fruit and a long, flavorful finish. Nice balance. Consistent in the trilogy.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Senejac features notes of sour cherries, raspberry leaves and redcurrants with a waft of tobacco leaf. The medium-bodied palate is crunchy and refreshing, delivering red berry and herbal flavors with a chewy texture and short, uncomplicated finish.

Score: 84 - 86 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2023 - 2033

Gentle coffee smoke on the nose and spiced waves of flavour that add interest and complexity. This is a good wine with gentle acidities and enough autumnal berry fruit to carry it off. Juicy on the finish, this is another successful vintage at Sénéjac.

Score: 91 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025 - 2038

The 2020 Sénéjac has a strong marine/seaweed nose that takes time to settle in the glass. Touches of black olive emerge with time, nicely defined and full of personality. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, quite edgy tannins on the entry, and graphite-infused black fruit dominates. Earthy and classic in style toward the conclusion. This is a decent, traditional Haut-Médoc, though it needs to fill out on the finish.

Score: 87 - 89 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

[Add to shopping basket] Siran Margaux £123 6x75cl 92-94 93-94 90-92 - 91-93 90-92
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The 2020 Siran is bold, racy and so expressive. Inky dark fruit, lavender, blueberry jam, spice, new leather, sweet oak and licorice. This sumptuous, racy Margaux possesses terrific depth and pliancy, all in a succulent style that likely won't require more than a few years in bottle. There is plenty to look forward to. Tasted two times.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2045

Lots of purple fruit with asphalt and black-olive character. It’s full-bodied with chewy tannins and a long, linear finish.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Siran features notes of blackcurrant jelly, ripe redcurrants and raspberry leaves, plus suggestions of wild sage, tar and underbrush, with a waft of wild mushrooms. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled and refreshing, delivering approachable, soft tannins and plenty of red berry layers, finishing earthy.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 -2040

The 2020 Siran was picked from September 16 to October 3 with an average yield of 36hl/ha, and matured in a prudent 35% new oak. It has a superb bouquet of vibrant black cherries, blueberry and violet scents on the nose – one that could only come from this appellation. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent but firm tannins, a crisp line of acidity and beautifully integrated oak. This is very cohesive and offers impressive salinity on the finish. Best Siran to date? I think so.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2045

Loads of blueberries, black raspberries, flowery incense, and violets define the nose of the 2020 Château Siran. It’s nicely concentrated and medium-bodied, with velvety tannins and the straight, focused style of the vintage. Tasted twice.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

47% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc. 35% new oak. Inky dark core with purple-crimson rim. Ripe dark fruit, blackberry as much as cassis, plus the fragrant lift of the Petit Verdot. A hint of new oak but not overdone. More savoury on the palate than I expected, with fresh cassis flavours to the fore. Lively, harmonious. (JH) 13.7% 8

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc Dry Whites £576 6x75cl 92-94 - 94-96 - 93-95 -
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The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is compelling. Soft, silky and caressing, the 2020 is all charm and seduction. Ripe pear, apricot, white flowers, mint and a touch of new oak are all deftly woven together. Best of all, the 2020 will drink well pretty much upon release. It's a gorgeous wine in the making.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2035

The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Sémillon. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak, 50% new, within which it will age for 12 months on lees with bâtonnage before spending a further two to three months in tank. It prances out of the glass with vivacious notes of lime blossoms, Golden Delicious apples and green mango, plus hints of coriander seed, shaved ginger and wet pebbles. The medium-bodied palate possesses lovely harmony even at this nascent stage, featuring bright apple and citrus flavors with soft acidity and a chalky finish.

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2037

The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc was cropped at 29hl/ha and aged in 60% new oak barrels. It takes its time to unfurl on the nose, toying with the olfactory senses before revealing attractive honeysuckle, yellow flowers, jasmine, melon and very subtle chamomile scents, gaining intensity with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with an intense, concentrated opening, a little more viscous in texture than the Le Petit Haut Lafitte, deeper and a touch spicier. Veins of lemongrass and stem ginger appear toward the finish. This should drink well for 15–20 years. One of the best dry whites of the vintage.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2040

[Add to waiting list] Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge Graves £576 6x75cl Sold Out 95-97 99-100 98-100 97 95-97 97-100
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The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte is a thrilling wine of grandeur and spellbinding beauty. The aromatics literally soar out of the glass, perhaps driven by a touch more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. A vertical, explosive wine, the 2020 possesses tremendous energy. It is a rapturous wine that will delight readers for years to come. A move towards gentler extractions, with less oak impact, allows the purity of the fruit to come through loud and clear. Inky dark cherry, plum, mocha, dried herbs and lavender are all amplified in the 2020, but what I admire most is a total sense of harmony. I can't wait to see how it ages, as evolution has at times been the sole Achilles heel here.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2045

So much blackcurrant, graphite and iodine character. Full-bodied. Incredible quality to the tannins. They are polished yet powerful. It’s so long and complete with such depth and toned muscles. Vertical. Very fresh and energetic. Will it be better than the famous 2015? Maybe the best ever. From organically grown grapes. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot aging in 60% new barriques, the very deep purple-black colored 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte makes an impactful entrance, opening with flamboyant notes of blackcurrant pastilles, chocolate-covered cherries and molten licorice, leading to nuances of ground cloves, woodsmoke, crushed rocks and dusty soil. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with opulent black fruit preserves and shimmering mineral sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe and fantastically firm tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epically long-lasting earthy and savory layers. This is the singular voice of Smith Haut Lafitte at its finest, and wow-oh-wow is it worth a listen. This 2020 has an alcohol of 14.5% with a pH of 3.65. The tannins this year were a little higher than 2018 and 2019. A little less than a third of production went into this grand vin.

Score: 98 - 100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2028 - 2068

Powerful on the attack, dense and concentrated at first then brighter on the retro-olfaction with layers of spice, liquorice and flowers. Intense but beautifully precise, with iris and peony aromatics coming in strongly as it opens in the glass. A ton of nuance and complexity, really takes its time, delivering a masterclass in restrained Pessac glamour. Average yields 30hl/ha for the reds. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 60% new oak. Harvest started on September 9 - 30.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2030 - 2050

The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte was picked from September 9, the yields 20% down on average due to the dry summer period, and matured in 60% new oak with no vin de presse. This actually blossomed after an hour’s opening, revealing exquisite blackberry, briar, crushed rock and light rose petal scents, very nuanced considering the growing season and the 14.5° alcohol. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a very fine line of acidity that keeps this on its tippy-toes. Disarmingly pure, its silky texture is very appealing, likewise the veering toward more red berry fruit lacked with white pepper toward the finish. This may well surpass the previous two vintages. An outstanding effort from winemaker Fabien Teitgen and his team.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2055

Possibly ranking with the top two or three wines of the vintage, the 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte is a blockbuster that reminds me of a hypothetical mix of the 2009 and 2010. Based on a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, its dense purple hue is followed by a monster bouquet of ripe black fruits, scorched earth, charcoal, and graphite. All of these carry to a full-bodied Pessac-Léognan with flawless balance, loads of ripe, polished tannins, a dense mid-palate, and a great, great finish. It’s one of the gems in the vintage and should be snatched up by readers. Give bottles just 4-6 years in the cellar, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following 20-30 years.

Score: 97 - 100 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,355 g. Cask sample taken 22 April. Harvest started as early as 9 September until 30 September. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 60% new barriques. Pioneer of biodynamics and sustainability in Bordeaux. Mid crimson. Nuanced, complex nose suggests masses of ripeness and intense aromas. Interesting dried-bay-leaves note on the nose followed by some slight leafiness. Rich, polished palate – structured juiciness. Then pretty dry on the finish – not quite as luscious on the palate as the nose suggests. Masses of sandy-textured tannins on the finish. Will need lots of time.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

Score: 96 Peter Moser, WB Guide 5th Ed.

[Add to shopping basket] Sociando Mallet Haut Medoc £137 6x75cl 92-94 93-94 - 92 - -
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Blackberries, blackcurrants and flowers on the nose and palate. Medium body, firm tannins and a long, fresh finish. Linear, refined tannins. Subtle now.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Attractive spicy nose, plenty of Médoc character with layers of tannins. There is punch and personality here, and within the vintage it definitely has plenty to offer. Not as much depth as in certain vintages for sure, but this has depth, needs time to soften in the glass. Well made and well balanced with good potential for ageing. Touches of violet on the finish although acidities are pretty high. A yield of 42hl/ha.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2044

The 2020 Sociando Mallet has a beautifully defined and focused bouquet of intense blackberry, briar and wilted iris petal aromas; hints of boysenberry jam linger offstage. The medium-bodied palate features fine-boned tannins and predominantly black fruit. Very saline and sappy, with a dash of pepper on the aftertaste. This is a typical Sociando Mallet, full of grace and power.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2045

[Add to shopping basket] Suduiraut Sauternes/Barsac £252 6x75cl 94-96 97-98 93-95 - 94-97 -
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The 2020 Suduiraut is a powerful, heady wine. Embryonic today, it possesses tremendous depth and intensity from start to finish. Dried pear, chamomile, mint and dried flowers gradually emerge, but the 2020 is going to need quite a bit of time to fully come together. Even so, its potential is evident. A superb Sauternes in the making.

Score: 94 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2045

A Sauternes with tart tartine, cooked apple and caramel. It’s full-bodied, juicy and sweet, yet there’s lots of caramel and spice, too, such as cloves. Comes across almost dry. But lots of sweetness. Pure semillon. Unique. Tiny production.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Made from 100% Semillon, the 2020 Suduiraut is being aged for 16 to 20 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. It has 14% alcohol and 137 grams per liter of residual sugar. Pale to medium lemon-gold in color, aromas of pineapple upside-down cake, green mango and peach preserves tumble effortlessly out of the glass, followed by hints of honeycomb, preserved ginger and allspice. The palate is rich and decadent, delivering a seductively oily texture and just enough freshness to lift the long, spicy finish.

Score: 93 - 95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2045

The 2020 Suduiraut is 100% Sémillon this year, picked at 8.5hl/ha via four tries through the vineyard from September 16 all the way through to November 5. It has a ripe nose of dried honey, orange blossom and mango scents, plus touches of beeswax and almond. The palate is thick and viscous on the entry, then dense and powerful, with light spicy notes toward the finish. A grandiose Sauternes, very persistent, revealing a hint of white pepper on the aftertaste. Tasted from test tube sample and 75cl bottle, the latter far superior and, I would wager, much more representative.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2050

Cask sample. Beautifully honeyed and botrytic, with mushroom, treacle, acacia, honeysuckle, crystallised ginger, mint chocolate and wonderfully indulgent length. There's a hint of green citrus too. Outstanding. (RH)

Score: 18.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2021 – 2041

[Add to shopping basket] Talbot St Julien £239 6x75cl 92-94 94-95 90-92 95 92-95 91-93
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The 2020 Talbot is a hugely promising wine. It offers up an exotic mélange of inky dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, gravel, lavender and menthol. Brooding in the glass, with broad shoulders and tons of intensity, the 2020 is a Talbot that marries power, breadth and savory intensity with notable stylishness and tons of personality. Impressive.

Score: 92 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030 - 2045

A tight, focused young red with blackcurrant, lead-pencil and chocolate character. It’s full-bodied and tense with a long, flavorful finish.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Talbot storms out of the glass with powerful blackcurrants, raspberry leaves and baked plums scents, followed by suggestions of dried Mediterranean herbs, tobacco leaf and graphite. The medium-bodied palate delivers lovely freshness and an approachable chewiness, nicely framing the herb-laced black fruits, finishing savory.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2038

Attractive spicy nose, plenty of Médoc character with layers of tannins. There is punch and personality here, and within the vintage it definitely has plenty to offer. Not as much depth as in certain vintages for sure, but this has depth, needs time to soften in the glass. Well made and well balanced with good potential for ageing. Touches of violet on the finish although acidities are pretty high. A yield of 42hl/ha.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026 - 2040

The 2020 Talbot has a fragrant nose with black cherries, bilberry, wild mint and chalk, quite harmonious and gaining intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a sweet, almost candied opening, predominantly red berry fruit laced with mint and orange zest, and a liberal sprinkling of black pepper. I admire the way this Talbot builds so that it finishes with a flourish. This may well land at the top of my banded score.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2055

The 2020 Château Talbot is a winner and certainly an outstanding wine. Offering lots of blackcurrants, green tobacco, chocolate, and lead pencil notes, it’s a classic Saint-Julien, with medium to full body, velvety tannins, and a rounded, layered texture. It’s ripe, yet certainly plays in the fresher end of the pool and should have 15-20 years of longevity.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full bottle 1,350 g. Cask sample taken 2 April. 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. Aged in barrel, 60% new. Dark crimson. Savoury, saline nose. Luscious palate entry with ripe fruit that almost smothers the tannin. A very good effort from Talbot with velvety tannins in profusion and some winning perfume too. This is doing well under ex-Conseillante Jean-Michel Laporte.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Tertre (Margaux) Margaux £164 6x75cl 87-89 94-95 87-89 93 90-92 91-93
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he 2020 du Tertre is bold and punchy, with an enticing mix of inky dark fruit and more savory, earthy tones. All the elements are so nicely integrated. The tannins are a bit burly, as is often the case, and yet the 2020 appears to have enough fruit to provide at least some balance. Scorched earth, licorice, tobacco and game linger on the potent finish.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2045

Blackberry, graphite and blueberry character. It’s full-bodied, layered and chewy with fine-grained tannins and a punchy finish.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Displaying a deep purple-black color, the 2020 du Tertre springs from the glass with pronounced blackcurrant pastilles, black cherry preserves and blueberry pie scents, with an undercurrent of dried Mediterranean herbs, pencil shavings, tar and black olives. The medium-bodied palate offers compelling freshness with a soft, approachable texture and plenty of juicy black fruits, finishing with invigorating herbal notes.

Score: 87 - 89 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2039

Attractive spicy nose, plenty of Médoc character with layers of tannins. There is punch and personality here, and within the vintage it definitely has plenty to offer. Not as much depth as in certain vintages for sure, but this has depth, needs time to soften in the glass. Well made and well balanced with good potential for ageing. Touches of violet on the finish although acidities are pretty high. A yield of 42hl/ha.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2042

The 2020 Château du Tertre has a slightly herbaceous nose, a trait that I have noticed on recent vintages; I find it a little jarring. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, but again, I perceive some herbaceousness in this vintage, plus some attenuation toward the gritty finish. I’m not quite sure where this will go once in bottle.

Score: 87 - 89 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2048

The 2020 Château Du Tertre is fresh and lively, with pretty red and blue fruits as well as lots of sappy herbal and floral nuances. It’s nicely balanced and concentrated on the palate, with ripe tannins, a solid spine of acidity, and beautiful overall balance. The Margaux appellation was one of the more challenging places in the Médoc in 2020, but this looks to be terrific.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

27% Merlot, 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot. Average vine age 45 years. The smallest production since 1991, according to the château's tech sheet. 40% new oak. Deepest purple crimson. Lots of black fruit with a very slight herbal note and a nice touch of stone dust. A little bit sinewy on the palate but elegant in its restraint, dry texture, and the tannins are layered and fine. Long finish. Embryonic but that's hardly surprising for an unfinished wine. Long, fine-boned. (JH) 13.4%

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Teyssier St Emilion £140 12x75cl - 93-94 89-91 89 88-90 90-92
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The 2020 Teyssier is a gorgeous, racy wine. Inky dark cherry, wild flowers, kirsch, lavender and sweet spice are front and center. Exotic floral and spice notes give Teyssier its wild, flamboyant personality. All the elements are nicely balanced, though there is just a bit of coarseness that could be refined.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2035

Full-bodied with very fine, well integrated tannins that frame this wine wonderfully. It’s persistent and nicely chewy on the finish.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Teyssier is composed of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The Merlot was picked from September 15th to October 1st, and the Cabernet Franc from September 30th to October 8th. It has an alcohol of 13.9% and a pH of 3.5. It is aging in French oak barrels, 25% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with exuberant notes of baked red and black plums, blackberry preserves and mulberries, plus touches of hoisin, licorice and lilacs. The medium-bodied palate delivers a great intensity of black fruits with an approachable, soft texture and a racy line, finishing refreshing.

Score: 89 - 91 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2038

Teyssier is always a consistent choice in St-Emilion, although it shows a few issues of the vintage, as there are a lot of firm tannins to work through to get to the ripe fruit, with touches of fig and prune overlaying fresher raspberry notes. Concentrated, inky, serious, with coffee edging, no trace of bitterness though and this is still a pleasurable solid choice. 3.5pH. Yields down at 20hl/ha because of mildew. Harvest from September 15 to October 8. 25% MLF in new oak. 60ha vineyard.

Score: 89 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2023 - 2028

A wine that’s going to be an incredible value, the 2020 Château Teyssier offers up a deep ruby/purple color as well as impressive red and blue fruits intermixed with hints of flowers and earth. Playing in the medium-bodied end of the spectrum, it has wonderful purity, nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish. A pretty, elegant wine that brings beautiful fruit, it’s well worth seeking out.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Juicy if light and fruity. Misses some mid-palate fruit. Light, dusty tannins that finish a little dry. (JL)

Score: 15 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Tour Blanche (Sauternes) Sauternes/Barsac £175 6x75cl 92-94 93-94 - - 93-95 -
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The 2020 La Tour Blanche is gorgeous. Apricot, dried flowers, mint, chamomile, tangerine and coconut flesh out in the glass. Creamy, resonant and super-expressive, this is an absolute delight in 2020. All the elements are nicely balanced, and pretty floral accents on the finish make it impossible to resist a second taste.

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

Full-bodied and layered with solid phenolic texture, sweetness and intensity. Dried fruit, such as pineapple. Flavorful finish.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 La Tour Blanche, which apparently was picked at a whopping 1.80hl/ha (no, that's not missing a zero) has a more backward bouquet than other 2020 Sauternes, atypical of an estate that usually comes out with all guns blazing even at this early stage. The palate is more expressive, featuring lemon sherbet, dried honey and saffron notes, and nicely balanced, with what feels like less residual sugar on the finish compared to recent vintages. Fine.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2045

Full bottle 1,335 g. Undated cask sample. 89% Sémillon, 5.5% Sauvignon, 5.5% Muscadelle. Conversion to organic viticulture. Yield just 1.8 hl/ha!! 'Traditional' vinification with new barrels only for the Sémillon. Sauvignon and Muscadelle are vinified in tank for aromatic freshness. Pale orangey gold. That pear-juice/botrytis nose plus light, interesting cheesiness. Good energy and balance. This has some of that tarte Tatin juice character. Weight but not heaviness. Light smokiness. Impressive. But just look at that yield!

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2024 - 2040

[Add to shopping basket] Tour Carnet Haut Medoc £134 6x75cl 91-93 92-93 91-93 - 88-90 -
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The 2020 La Tour Carnet comes across a bit light and muted. Bernard Magrez's Haut-Médoc shows its typical earthy, savory profile, with good aromatic persistence, but less depth and structure than the best years. La Tour Carnet is often more compelling. Tasted two times.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2035

Blackberry, blackcurrant and some licorice aromas follow through to a medium body with a nice center palate and fine, focused tannins.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 la Tour Carnet sports a deep purple-black color and notes of crushed red and black currants, Morello cherries and fresh blackberries, plus hints of lavender, pencil lead and tobacco leaf with a touch of bay leaves. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers a great intensity of crunchy black fruits with a lively backbone and fine-grained tannins, finishing with great length and a skip in its step. Nicely done!

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

The 2020 La Tour Carnet has a wonderful bouquet of finely honed blackberry and briar scents plus touches of crushed rock and cedar, one of the most sophisticated that I have encountered from Bernard Magrez’s Haut-Médoc at this stage. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp, slightly chalky tannins, fine balance and good weight and focus on the finish. This is well worth seeking out as it is often released at a consumer-friendly price.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2036

Very dark crimson. Sweet, intense aromas of blackberry and cassis overlaid by oak spice. Compact, thick but smooth tannins. Only just enough freshness for balance. Lots of rich fruit and a chewy finish. Pushed a little bit too hard, it seems. (JH)

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2030

[Add to shopping basket] Tour Saint Christophe St Emilion £138 6x75cl 91-93 95-96 93-95 - - 93-96
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Full-bodied and creamy with lots of spice and walnut character. Lovely softness and purity. Black fruit at the end. Very fine tannins. Well-integrated

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2020 Tour Saint Christophe stampedes out of the glass with powerful scents of baked blackberries, stewed black plums and boysenberries, followed by suggestions of cedar chest, mocha, tar and fertile loam, with lifted wafts of licorice and cardamom. The full-bodied palate is rich and densely packed with juicy black fruits, supported by velvety tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing long and opulent. In 2012, Hong Kong-based Peter Kwok purchased this vineyard located in Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes. The blend this year is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, aging in French oak barriques, 40% new. It has an alcohol of 14.7% and a pH of 3.6.

Score: 93 - 95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2044

The 2020 Tour Saint Christophe was picked September 14–28, fermented without SO2 and matured in 40% new oak. My sample bottle was more reduced compared to its peers and required more aeration. Leaving it aside for 30–40 minutes, it unfolded to reveal a mélange of red and black fruit and hints of wild mint and boysenberry, all nicely focused, with floral top notes. The medium-bodied palate features sappy black fruit intermingling with orange peel and subtle marmalade notes. There is a core of sweet plummy fruit toward the finish, and a hint of brown sugar lingers on the aftertaste. This is a fine Saint-Émilion, but one where I hope to see a little more terroir expression on once in bottle.

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

A wine I continue to buy in every vintage, the 2020 Château Tour Saint-Christophe looks to be another no-brainer for the Saint-Emilion lovers out there. Coming from a gorgeous, terraced vineyard on the eastern side of the appellation and based on 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, it has a perfumed, elegant, pure style in its darker cherry and cassis fruits as well as classic cedarwood, earth, and forest floor aromatics. Medium to full-bodied, balanced, and just beautiful on the palate, with terrifically integrated acidity and tannins, it’s going to round into form nicely with just short-term bottle age and have two decades of prime drinking. This wine is still resting in 40% new French oak and has an alcohol of 14.7% with a pH of 3.6.

Score: 93 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Almost jammy fruit but cool and minerally as well. Stays appetising on the palate backed by finely honed tannins. Saline note on the finish. Oak present but should integrate. (JL)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Troplong Mondot St Emilion £432 6x75cl 94-96 98-99 95-97 97 93-95 96-98
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The 2020 Troplong Mondot is another strong showing from the estate under the direction of Aymeric de Gironde. Exotic and voluptuous, the 2020 is endowed with terrific depth and plenty of layers that unfold over time. Raspberry jam, cloves, kirsch and lavender all flesh out beautifully in the glass. Troplong Mondot has been exceptionally fine since 2017, when the new team headed by de Gironde took over and began to focus on giving the Grand Vin more energy. In the 2020, though, I see less of the vibrancy and brilliance that has defined the new style at Troplong. Tasted two times.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2050

This has superb depth and intensity with very fine tannins that draw you down. So much black fruit, together with black pepper and salt. Extremely well crafted. Vertical and deep. Chalky and salty with black chocolate.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Troplong Mondot is composed of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 4th September and lasting for about three weeks. The pH is 3.53, the IPT (tannin index) is 75 and the alcohol is 14.5%. Opaque purple-black colored, it opens with a vivacious burst of black fruits—stewed plums, baked blackberries and boysenberries—giving way to a fragrant undercurrent of licorice, ground cloves, cinnamon stick and lilacs, with a touch of bouquet garni. The full-bodied palate is chock-full of plump, juicy black fruits and savory sparks, framed by fantastically ripe, fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and opulent.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2052

Inky in colour, this is utterly gorgeous, so much purity and definition on the nose. Things start out intense, with crushing tannins, then it steps up and back, with a delicate but juicy slate and crushed rock minerality flooding in. Great physicality, with a push and pull that goes from power to lightness of touch. I assume it will gain a little more weight over ageing, but this is exceptionally well controlled. Crushed blackcurrant and blackberry fruits, with chalky tannins and savoury Cabernet florals. 60% new oak. 3.53pH. The new cellar will be used for vinification from the 2021 vintage, with this vintage aged in the new barrel cellars. No malolactic fermentation in barrel since the 2019 vintage. Just 2mm of rain in July and 30mm in August but the deep clay-limestones at Troplong kept their freshness, and there were no blockages in ripening. Thomas Duclos consultant.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2044

The 2020 Troplong Mondot was tasted from two samples, both directly from the estate, but with two prelèvements because Aymeric de Gironde was not content with the showing of the first. Indeed, the second, which was tasted the following day (yes, bottles arrived quickly) did show slightly better, even if there was not an enormous difference. It has a deep garnet hue, yet the nose is initially backward and demands about an hour to really open and say what it wants to say. The nuanced bouquet features a mixture of red and black fruit, touches of iris flower, sea spray and a touch of Earl Grey. This is typical of the more elegant, terroir-driven style introduced under Aymeric de Gironde. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy red fruit, cranberry and raspberry mixed with truffle and a pinch of sea salt. The acidity is well judged and it conveys palpable energy on the finish. This is a delicious and characterful Saint-Émilion, fresh and vibrant, that will fill out and gain depth during its barrel maturation. Excellent.

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

I’d wager the finest vintage here since the 2015, then the 2009, the 2020 Château Troplong Mondot is a blend of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Cabernet Franc. It offers a dense purple hue as well as powerful, unevolved aromas and flavors of pure crème de cassis, black cherries, graphite, gravelly earth, and tobacco. Coming from the highest elevation vineyard in the appellation and deeper, clay soils (which excelled in 2020), it’s medium to full-bodied and has a dense, thick mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. It’s not for the instant gratification crowd out there, but it’s going to be incredibly long-lived. Hats off to the team at Troplong Mondot as well as oenologist Thomas Duclos.

Score: 96 - 98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Aromatically a little awkward at present (oak and a bit of oxidation?) but palate clearly defined with crunchy fruit, suave texture and chalky freshness. Impressive structure of finely crafted tannins and a real sense of terroir displayed. Definite potential. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Trotte Vieille St Emilion £325 6x75cl 92-94 98-99 92-94 - 92-94 92-94
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The 2020 Trotte Vieille is laced with inky, jammy dark fruit, licorice and bittersweet chocolate. This heady, potent Saint-Émilion is not exactly subtle, but it does offer tons of intensity in an opulent, heady style. The only thing missing is a bit of midpalate pliancy and overall persistence.

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

Fantastic texture and structure to this wine with firm, silky tannins that go on and on. Love the crushed blackberries, blueberries and salt. Floral and mineral character, too. Full and tight with great length. Chewy at the very end, indicating real structure. All about structure and length. 50% cabernet franc, 49% merlot, and 1% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Trotte Vieille is a blend of 95% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, aging for an anticipated 16 months in French oak barrels, 80% new. The alcohol is 15%. Opaque purple-black in color, it bursts from the glass with vivacious notes of wild blueberries, ripe, juicy black plums and black raspberries, plus hints of lilacs, star anise and tar with a touch of wild thyme. The rich, full-bodied palate coats the mouth with black fruits and exotic spice sparks, framed by grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a fragrant earth note.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2044

The 2020 TrotteVieille is quite broody and backward on the nose at first, demanding 15–20 minutes to open. It then reveals blackberry, sea spray/marine scents and hints of crushed chalk and pencil box. The palate is medium-bodied with quite a firm structure, indicating that this is a Saint-Émilion that should be cellared for several years. There is a lovely touch of white pepper and allspice toward the finish. I suspect this is a TrotteVieille that will reward the patient.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2055

The 2020 Château Trotte Vieille is an exotic, incredibly perfumed Saint-Emilion that comes from a cooler terroir on the upper plateau. Vivid purple-hued, with a crazy nose of blue fruits, violets, flowers, and graphite, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a pretty, focused texture, ample tannins, and a great finish. I love its elegance and purity on the palate, and it’s a beautiful wine in the making.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Valandraud St Emilion £645 6x75cl 95-97 97-98 95-97 96 95-97 97-99
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The 2020 Valandraud is impressive. Inky, deep and exquisitely layered, it possesses tremendous richness in every dimension. Crème de cassis, chocolate, licorice, new leather, spice and lavender build as the 2020 gains volume in the glass. Silky and plush, with magnificent balance, this is shaping up to be one of the wines of the year. A magnificent effort from Muriel Andraud and Jean-Luc Thunevin. Superb. Tasted two times.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2034 - 2050

Wow. This is really super polished with incredible length and intensity, offering blackberries and hazelnuts. Superb richness that is reserved and poised. Great length. Full-bodied, extremely long and exciting.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Opaque purple-black colored, the 2020 Valandraud bursts with scents of crushed black plums, boysenberries and blackberry preserves, followed by hints of dusty soil, garrigue and clove oil. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers a lot of energetic, crunchy black fruits with a lively backbone and beautifully ripe, rounded tannins, finishing long and fragrant.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

This is excellent, broad-shouldered with ample depth to the brambled fruits, liquorice, cigar box spice, with a gorgeously saline finish. Chalky, grippy tannins keep tugging you back into the body of the wine. The tannic grip is helped by a linen rather than silk texture that stops things being overly smooth and instead adds depth and interest to the powerfully knitted body, as do white flowers on the aromatics as it opens. Good stuff. 100% new oak for 24 months. A yield of 49hl/ha. Thunevin has sold a 50% stake in Valandraud to the Lefevre family at Sansonnet (also the new owners of Villemaurine, so a busy year for them).

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2029 - 2046

The 2020 Valandraud has a deep purple hue and delivers an intense bouquet of lush blackberry, raspberry, cassis and crushed violet aromas, all beautifully defined. The palate is very well balanced with a sensual opening. This’ll have you smitten from the first sip: silky-smooth with immense depth and harmony. There is tension and precision from start to finish. This 2020 continues a startling run of form by Jean-Luc Thunevin, this representing one of his crowning achievements to date. Chapeau!

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2050

Winemaker Jean-Luc Thunevin has hit a home run in the vintage, and his 2020 Château Valandraud is unquestionably up with the crème de la crème out there. Made in a ripe, sexy, plush style, it brings an incredible amount of ripe black fruit, chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and leafy herb-like aromas and flavors. This carries to a full-bodied, powerful Saint-Emilion that somehow stays weightless and graceful on the palate, with moderate acidity, ripe tannins, and a great, great finish.

Score: 97 - 99 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Full, embossed bottle 1,360 g. Undated cask sample. 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged for 24 months in 100% new oak! Lustrous blackish purple. Strong nose of charred meat. This is distinctive all right… Very intense, concentrated sweet purple-fruit flavours. Cassis compote? Chock-full of ambition though the acidity on the finish makes it a less comfortable drink than many of its peers. It seems all scrunched up with ambition with a rather drying finish. It may well flower beautifully eventually but it's at a much more embryonic phase than many of its peers. Rather Pavie-ish at this point.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to waiting list] Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol £1,440 6x75cl Sold Out 96-98 98-99 98-100 95 96-98 97-99
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A powerful, vertical wine, the 2020 Vieux Château Certan is endowed with tremendous intensity right out of the gate. Everything about the 2020 is dialed up. The fruit is huge, as are the tannins. Black cherry, licorice, new leather, spice and bittersweet chocolate saturate the palate in a wine that conveys opulence from start to finish. Yields were just 30 hectoliters per hectare, well below the norm of 40-42. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, in other words a high percentage of Franc. There is no Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend this year, the result of dehydration on the vine. The 2020 is fabulous. I can't wait to taste it from bottle.

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

Extraordinary clarity and brilliance on the nose with ink and iodine, blackberry and blueberry. Really perfumed already. Full-bodied with fine tannins and superb depth and length. I love the complexity and the great texture. Energetic finish.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Vieux Château Certan is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, picked on the 14th to the 24th of September for the Merlot, then on the 28th and 29th of September for the Cabernet Franc. The pH is 3.77 and the alcohol is 14.5%. Deep purple-black colored, it needs considerable coaxing, swirling and a lot of patience before it finally lets rip an intoxicating perfume of ripe, juicy black plums, Morello cherries, candied violets, black truffles and crushed rocks, giving way to hints of black tea, molten licorice and Sichuan pepper, plus a waft of dusty red soil. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers achingly ripe, silt-like tannins and shimmering freshness that melds with the black fruits and earthy layers with jaw-dropping seamlessness, finishing with layer upon layer of mineral and savory suggestions and, finally, a gorgeous floral whisper. There are going to be two ways to approach this: 1) Just let the remarkably sensual, inexplicable beauty of it wash over you or 2) Try to unravel all those intricate layers and have it blow you mind. Either way, this is simply an incredible achievement—bravo Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont!

Score: 98 - 100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2029 - 2069

Concentrated and complex flavours with a silky, velvety and supremely seductive texture, alongside a ton of energy, freshness and juice. It has dense muscular tannins, and is going to age beautifully. As it opens you get the aromatics coming out, and the Merlot fleshy fruits become generous and welcoming, opulent without being tiring. A little less Cabernet Franc in the blend than normal because one of the three plots has currently been pulled up before replanting. Harvest September 14 to 29. 3.77pH. A yield of 30hl/ha because of the dry weather through the summer followed by the flashes of heat in September, among lowest ever (similar to 2010).

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027 - 2042

The 2020 Vieux Château Certain is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc (no Cabernet Sauvignon this year). Drought retarded vigor, particularly with respect to the older vines, and picking was carried out September 14–24 for the Merlot and September 28–29 for the Cabernet Franc. Examined over a couple of hours, it delivers intense and quite opulent black cherries, blueberry and shavings of black truffle and iodine, becoming increasingly floral with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive structure and bags of freshness. There is plenty of sappy black fruit, lip-smacking underlying salinity and a finish that is a doppelganger for Lafleur (despite containing less Cabernet Franc). A gorgeous VCC that exudes both density and refinement.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2060

Always one of my favorite wines in just about every vintage, the 2020 Vieux Château Certan is another magical wine in the making, revealing a dense purple hue as well as stunning notes of cassis, bright cherries, chocolate, and flowers. It hits the palate with full-bodied richness, perfect tannins, a dense, layered mid-palate, and one blockbuster of a finish. This is unquestionably one of the biggest, richest, sexiest wines in the vintage, and my money is on it flirting with perfection and delivering 30-40 years of prime drinking. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, harvested all in September, and hitting 14.5% natural alcohol with a pH of 3.77.

Score: 97 - 99 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Deep, intense colour. Lovely open expression of fruit on the nose with floral notes and plenty of lift and relief. Palate ripe but vinous and sappy, the tannins finely honed offering a velvety texture. Contained power and concentration behind. Slight glow but remains digeste. Another top year. (JL)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Vieux Chateau Mazerat St Emilion £365 6x75cl 91-93 93-94 93-95 94 - 94-96
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A chewy, focused red with blackberry, blueberry and toasted-oak aromas and flavors. It’s medium-to full-bodied with savory fruit and a flavorful finish.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2020 Vieux Château Mazerat is composed of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The Merlot from this single vineyard was picked on September 29th, the Cabernet Franc on October 8th and 9th. The wine has 13.2% alcohol and a pH of 3.58, and it's being aged in French oak barrels, 80% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs a little swirling to reveal notes of black raspberries, Morello cherries and wild blueberries, with an undercurrent of cinnamon toast, lavender and tobacco leaf with a touch of tilled soil. The medium-bodied palate is beautifully refreshing and delicately styled, offering soft-spoken black berry and earthy layers with a soft texture and oodles of freshness, finishing long and minerally.

Score: 93 - 95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

An opulent, sexy, rich wine, this is a clearly seductive, but quite different style from the Vieux Châtau Mazerat that I have loved in the past. Powerfully dense fruits with a stacked wall of tannins. There was some mildew impact this year, along with the low yields, so neither Le Carré or Les Asteries were produced, and the remaining grapes went in here (or at least the Merlot, with the Cabernet Franc going into Le Dôme - it is unclear if this is in fact to be a permanent arrangement). Last year it was closer to 35% Cabernet Franc so this is really a new look, and it is successful, but more expansive in feel. 80% new oak, 25hl/ha yields (they rarely go above 30hl/ha anyway). Harvest September 29 to October 9, made in the brilliant new cellar for Le Dôme.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026 - 2042

The 2020 Vieux Château Mazerat offers plenty of ripe black cherry, blueberry and crushed violets, all expressive and beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit on the entry and firm tannins, and quite saline toward the finish, which just needs to develop a little more delineation. At the moment, the aromatics show better than the palate, though they may change once in bottle.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2038

The 2020 Vieux Château Mazerat reveals a vivid purple hue to go with medium to full-bodied aromas and flavors of cassis, blueberries, scorched earth, and graphite. While Maltus’s Le Dôme gets most of the attention, I continue to just love this wine, and it shines in 2020 with both beautiful fruit and ample structure as well as one heck of a great finish. I’m not sure this will match the 2018 or 2019, but we’re certainly in the same ballpark, with the style being much closer to the more elegant 2019.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. A Jonathan Maltus (Le Dôme) wine. Cask sample. Dark and reticent on the nose. Smooth attack, the tannins abundant and ripe. Then tightens but persists. Again, lots of tension, even a touch strict. Could do with a little more juice. Slightly chewy finish. (JL)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com