Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur is finally over after a true fireworks finish to the campaign, with First Growths and Super Seconds flying out of La Place and keeping us all on our toes. Highlights in the final week include Haut Brion, La Mission & Palmer, all of which we were fortunate enough to receive a second tranche at first release prices after selling out so quickly. That aside, the wines have all been on fabulous form this year, so hats off to the Chateaux for treating us to another superstar vintage!
Looking back there were two parts to this campaign, with the release of the Domaines Baron Rothschild stable on 11th June signalling a step change for the Bordelais, with a number of top wines making their way onto the market, sometimes simultaneously! Not that we're complaining of course… the quality is excellent, the scores likewise, but with yields down between 20-30% on average it has been a battle to secure sufficient wine to keep up with demand.
We were less supportive of some price hikes in the latter part of the campaign, especially towards the end (there's a great, nuanced article by The Drinks Business' Colin Hay available here). That being said, given the wines were of such class and several of the bargain 2019s have risen by 30+% since release, in many instances the Chateaux will feel justified in raising their prices. In any case we can still wholeheartedly recommend those 2020s that priced reasonably and produced knock-out wines.
As such please have a look at the list below where we've organised several of our favourite wines under "Campaign Value Picks", "Latest Left Bank Bangers" and "St Emilion Superstars". Alternatively if you would like one of the Wine Gurus to put a parcel together for you just let us know!
Campaign Value Picks
Bordeaux 2020 has given us some incredible wines this year at the Cru Bourgeois and entry Classed Growth level. From Club Favourites Glora & Phelan Segur to personal favourites Malartic Lagraviere, these wines offer extraordinary value to the collector and should form the bedrock of any 2020 parcel.
Château Gloria 2020 £158/6 93-95 NM
Lafon Rochet 2020 £165/6 93-95+ JD
Malartic-Lagraviere 2020 £346/12 94-96 NM
Langoa-Barton 2020 £179/6 93-95 WA
Phelan Segur 2020 £184/6 94-96 JD
Branaire Ducru 2020 £186/6 94-96 AG
Latest Left Bank Bangers
The Right Bank may be stealing all the headlines this year due to the strength of Merlot but it would be a huge mistake to overlook the best châteaux on the Left Bank. Many of these bangers are best-in-show, with Pontet Canet & Pape Clement really hitting their stride. At the top there are some magnificent picks such as Haut Brion & La Mission, with only a few cases remaining. Pichon Baron meanwhile numbers among Galloni's top 11 wines of the vintage!
Reserve de la Comtesse 2020 £201/6 92-94 JD
Giscours 2020 £246/6 96-97 JS
Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 2020 £283/6 96-98 JL
Brane Cantenac 2020 £300/6 95-97 NM
Grand Puy Lacoste 2020 £304/6 95-97 NM
Pape Clement Rouge 2020 £376/6 98-99 JD
Léoville Poyferré 2020 £432/6 95-97 NM
Pontet Canet 2020 £445/6 98-99 JS
Lynch Bages 2020 £520/6 98-99 JS
Pichon Baron 2020 £664/6 96-98 AG
Montrose 2020 £770/6 98 D
Cos d'Estournel 2020 £900/6 98-99 JL
Léoville Las Cases 2020 £1,188/6 98-99 JS
Palmer 2020 £1,440/6 96-98 NM
La Mission 2020 £1,512/6 97-99 NM
Haut Brion 2020 £2,598/6 100 JS, WA, JD, JL
St Emilion Superstars
The crème de la crème of St Emilion. Pavie & Angelus are candidates for wine of the vintage, whilst mavericks Troplong Mondot, Valandraud & La Mondotte are all unmissable this year. Leading up the rear is Canon La Gaffeliere, one of the great value picks from the Right Bank in 2020.
Canon La Gaffeliere 2020 £326/6 95-97 JD
Troplong Mondot 2020 £432/6 98-99 JS
Valandraud 2020 £639/6 97-99 JD
La Mondotte 2020 £798/6 96-98 JD
Pavie 2020 £1,446/6 99-100 JS
Angelus 2020 £762/3 98-100 WA