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Bordeaux 2020 at Two Years: Bottles to Buy

Bordeaux 2020 at Two Years: Bottles to Buy

This final instalment brings my Bordeaux 2020 tasting report, reviewing the wines now that they are in the bottle, to an end.

With these final words I take an overall view of the vintage, its quality and how it compares to other recent vintages. I have of course already made some comments along these lines in my introduction to these in-bottle tasting reports, so perhaps more significantly I also point a wine-stained finger at those wines that might make particularly attractive additions to the cellar. With en primeur release prices no longer the guaranteed bargain they once were, I am aware many subscribers prefer to make well-judged buying decisions at this moment, now we have had the opportunity to revisit the wines, rather than buying in the heat and hyperbole of the en primeur campaign.

Looking back at recent vintages, in this context it becomes clear that 2020 is an excellent vintage and one which has some features, in particular its story, quality and style, in common with the 2019 vintage. It is the third in a triumvirate of vintages – 2018, 2019 and 2020 – which saw broad success across the region. Not just left bank, or right bank, not just Pauillac or Pomerol, but success in every corner and appellation of Bordeaux, from the northernmost reaches of the Médoc peninsula to the eastern peripheries of the region where you are just a hop, skip and a jump from the vineyards of Bergerac and the Côtes du Frontonnais (well, the latter would require quite a hop, but you get the idea).

Bottles to Buy 2020

In addition, looking beyond these three, 2020 is the latest in a run of noteworthy vintages which offer good wines to those prepared to make researched buying decisions. Those in Bordeaux still feel the pain of the frost that did so much damage in 2017, but those châteaux which came through unscathed, or which had the commitment and resources necessary to select out frost-damaged fruit (work which started days after the frost with a vineyard survey and marking out affected and unaffected parcels, or even individual vines), ultimately made wines of high quality which transcended the story of the vintage. Before that there was 2016, a universal success and at that point easily the strongest vintage since 2010, and 2015, which gave us some excellent wines on the right bank and in the more southern communes of the left bank.

There is plenty of good wine to go round in recent years.

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