Bordeaux 2020 at Two Years: Sauternes & Barsac
Having finished a round of tastings in Pessac-Léognan with flying visits to Château Couhins-Lurton and Château La Louvière, I put all thoughts of the region’s dry wines to the back of my mind.
We were now bound for Sauternes!
By ‘we’, I should say, I mean me, my palate, and my hire car. Just in case you think I had Hugh Johnson and Robert Parker riding shotgun with me. Not likely!
I usually relish my brief visits to Sauternes, whether they be in the midst of a long primeurs tasting trip or, as on this occasion, to review the wines after bottling. Always high on my list of priorities is a visit to Château Raymond-Lafon, a property sitting in the shadow of Château d’Yquem and which is a clear contender for the crown of best under-the-radar unclassified estate in the region. The property is run by the Meslier family, with Jean-Pierre Meslier the current face of the domaine; I asked Jean-Pierre if I could visit.
“I’m sorry, we won’t have bottled our 2020 in December”, came his reply.
I suppose I could have tasted it from barrel or cuve (again), but it rather defeats the object of an in-bottle tasting report. So my thoughts turned instead to Château Climens. Fans of this estate will already be aware, however, that Bérénice Lurton did not produce a grand vin in the 2020 vintage, the crop having been largely wiped out by hail. This, in combination with frost (in 2017 and 2021) and mildew (in 2018) meant that there was no grand vin made in four out of five consecutive vintages here. It was perhaps no surprise that in 2022 Bérénice was forced to take on an investor, Jean-Philippe Moitry, to cushion the blow.Please log in to continue reading: