Bordeaux 2020

I have tasted 33 wines of the Bordeaux 2020 vintage.

Four are whites and, except for five over-extracted, over oaked, over-the-top reds, the rest reminds me of Bordeaux 2001 and 2002.

Both those vintages have great freshness and, particularly in the case of 2001, great vitality and greater intensity.

I daresay 2020 is ahead of 2002, but behind 2001.

The 2020 fruit has a ripe peppery capsicum aspect and also a hint of blackcurrant cassis. This, with time, will come forward more and more. The tannins are ripe-ish to ripe  – some are positively silky – and all the wines have delicious freshness.

The rating for 2020 is 3 to 4 ½, out of a maximum 5, Star.

Chateau Beychevelle Saint-Julien   

Floral, ripe blue/purple fruit including whiff of figs. Density, intensity and persistence. Rich, silky tannins. I don’t remember Beychevelle being so ripe. And, certainly, would not recognize it as such in a blind tasting. The sweeter fruit is not overdone as there is supporting structure and freshness.

Chateau de Fieuzal Pessac-Leognan

Ripe red cherries. Silky tannins and suave freshness. Seamless. Elegant. De Fieuzal shows a lighter wine can be just as great as a more intense example. Poise, finesse, and polish.

Chateau Leoville Poyferre Saint-Julien

Violets and vanillin. Ripe, rich, deep blue fruit of intensity and persistence. Harmony and great freshness.


Chateau Branaire Ducru Saint-Julien

Ripe capsicum and light blackcurrant fruit that has density and length. The tannins are just as polished. This across-the-road neighbour of Beychevelle continues to impress with every passing vintage.

Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Leognan

If the white is great, the red is not far behind and certainly, incredibly undervalued. Capsicum/peppery/blackcurranty fruit of persistence and vitality. Very fresh and balanced.

Chateau Gloria Saint-Julien

Capsicum/peppery/young blackcurrant fruit with balancing medium-bodied tannins. Classic Bordeaux of charm, freshness, and finesse.

Chateau d’Issan Margaux

Blue fruit of richness surfing on silky tannins. Great balance and elegance. D’Issan – complete with a moat – is one of the most arresting chateaux in Bordeaux.

Chateau Langoa Barton Saint-Julien

Ripe berry/curranty fruit of freshness. The tannins are very nicely integrated and woven into the persistent fruit. Langoa is a solid Saint-Julien that keeps over-delivering.

Chateau Moulin Riche Saint-Julien

Blue/purple fruit of good intensity and persistence wrapped by silk tannins. The hallmark freshness of the 2020 vintage shines through.

Pavillon de Leoville Poyferre

Peppery capsicum/blueberry fruit lifted by elegant, silky tannins. Together with Chateau Le Crock and Moulin Riche, the property of the Cuvelier Family.

Chateau Saint-Pierre Saint-Julien

Capsicum/peppery/light blackcurrant fruit with persistence. Ripe tannins and freshness. Very balanced and elegant. As with Chateau Gloria, owned by daughter and son-in-law of the late Henri Martin, Francoise and Jean-Louis Triaud who is probably even more well-known in football circles as he is President of FC Girodins de Bordeaux.

Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte Pessac-Leognan

Ripe peppery/capsicum/cassis-ish fruit of energy and balancing tannins. Freshness.

Chateau Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc

Blue/blackberry fruit of intensity, persistence, and length. This top Cru Bourgeois is balanced, fresh, and produces wine worthy of the quality and consistency of a Classified Growth.


Chateau Le Crock Saint-Estephe 

Blueberry fruit with liveliness and backed by crisp tannins. Balance of fruit and structure reinformed by freshness.

Chateau La Gaffeliere Saint-Emilion

Capsicum/peppery fruit with a hint of figs. The fruit is ripe but not over-the-top. Good, supporting freshness.

Chateau Labegorce Margaux

A few years ago, I found the wines to be too extracted and oaky. Not the 2020 which has nice smoky blackcurrant fruit, ripe tannins, and a roundness of freshness.

Chateau Latour-Martillac Pessac-Leognan

Peppery capsicum/blueberry fruit. Rich-ish tannins. And lots of freshness. Extensive renovations – including a very smart visitor’s centre – at Latour-Martillac were completed in the middle of 2020. Situated in Martillac, it is a must for post-Covid revenge travel.

Chateau Beaumont Haut-Médoc

Capsicum/blueberry fruit of persistence. And freshness. Balanced. Classic. Medium-plus-ish. A Cru Bourgeois knocking on the door of a Classified Growth.


Chateau Malescot Saint-Exupery Margaux

Ripe-ish peppery capsicum fruit lifted by balancing crisp, ripe tannins. I have not tasted this Margaux for a few years and used to find them dry and austere. The 2020 is a pleasant surprise as it is an elegant, balanced wine.

Chateau Pedesclaux Pauillac

Capsicum/peppery fruit that is a touch stalky. The tannins do not seem as ripe as in previous recent vintages either. Although balanced, I am surprised Pedesclaux did not greater impressed.

Chateau Talbot Saint-Julien

Toasty/smoky blue/blackberry fruit and rich tannins. A touch dry and austere on the finish. Less oak, and a lower toast, could help bring out the fruit more.


Chateau Poujeaux Moulis

Tried tasting this twice. Still reductive after 45 minutes. Otherwise, everything points to a balanced wine.

Chateau Lafon Rochet Saint-Estephe

Quite reductive. Even on the palate. Otherwise, everything suggests a balanced wine that is fresh.

Click here to check out more Bordeaux 2020

Check Also

Lots of Money But Zero Clue

  SU Haijin (left), originally from Fujian Province, China, is today Cypriot by nationality. In August …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.