James Suckling delivers first critical view on Bordeaux 2020s

The Bordeaux 2020 vintage in-barrel tastings have kicked off with James Suckling the first of the internationally renowned critics to publish tasting notes and scores. He has released his opinion on the first 200 wines tasted at expert oenologist, Michel Rolland’s, laboratory in Hong Kong, with a further 800 – 1000 to be tasted in the next few weeks.James Suckling

Suckling’s overall view so far is that the wines are generally “excellent” and that the 2020s tasted to date are “slightly less flamboyant than the 2018s and more along the lines of the 2019s that had fantastic freshness”.

Commenting on style he felt that “the 2020 Bordeaux reds show plenty of fruit, but not too much, and the tannins are ripe and polished giving excellent length to the wines.”

It was also interesting to get Michel Rolland’s view as one of the most prolific consultants to wine-makers throughout the world. He is quoted in Suckling’s first report on the vintage as stating that the 2020 wines possess “more freshness, more tension, more balance than the 2019s” and that in his opinion Bordeaux 2018, 2019 and 2020 represent a noteworthy “trilogy” of high quality vintages. We see this as a consideration for wine investors and collectors when looking at en primeur purchases this year. Of course, 2019 is still available en primeur and the critics have recently rescored the 2018 vintage which went into bottle this Spring and is generating a lot of interest for investors and headlines in the press, particularly on the returns to en primer investors so far.

Suckling’s scores and critical view on the power brands including the First Growths and the top Right Bank wines will be published once those tastings have taken place but it’s worth noting his scores for key brands so far.

James Suckling scores on key Bordeaux 2020s to date:

2020 Bordeaux Wine Appellation Suckling Score
 Le Gay Pomerol 98 – 99
Pape Clement, Blanc Pessac-Leognan 97 – 98
Leoville Poyferre St Julien 96 – 97
Pape Clement Cru Classe Pessac- Leognan 96 – 97
Phelan Segur St Estephe 95 -96

Source: James Suckling, Liv-ex.com 14th April, 2021

It’s still very early days, but great to get the first whispers on the newest offering from Bordeaux. We will be publishing En Primeur 2020 news and scores as they are released. The trade tastings are planned for the week commencing 26th April but we can expect the critics to be drip feeding their quality appraisals from now – make sure you stay in tuned to identify the ‘stars of the future’ as early as possible.

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