New Bordeaux wines
The availability of the great 2020 Bordeaux wines is the main event of the beginning of this year, with the arrival in our cellars of 28 new white and red Bordeaux wines, from Suduiraut to Domaine de Chevalier, Pape-Clément, Giscours, Léoville-Las Cases, Grand-Puy Lacoste, Lynch-Bages, Pichon-Baron, Lafite-Rothschild, Montrose, Feytit-Clinet, Cheval-Blanc...
Now that all the 2020 Bordeaux wines are in bottle, the least we can say is that they are largely fulfilling all the promises that were announced and widely described during the primeurs two years ago. Thus, the American tasters of Vinous, Antonio Galloni and Neal Martin, have just renoted the 2020s after their respective tastings last autumn and confirm the high quality of the vintage, at all levels of the Bordeaux hierarchy.
If the greatest vintages occupy, as expected, the highest steps of their podiums, others create the surprise by equalling or even surpassing a number of vintages that are far more prestigious (and expensive) than them. It is also notable that the same names often come back, vintage after vintage:
• for Antonio Galloni
- Pape-Clément (rated 98/100), behind Les Carmes Haut-Brion (100/100) but ahead of all other Pessac-Léognan.
- Cantenac-Brown (rated 97/100) as well as Rauzan-Ségla (97/100), behind Margaux and Palmer (98/100) but ahead of all other Margaux.
- Haut-Bages-Libéral (rated 96/100) and Grand Puy-Lacoste (96/100), after Mouton (99/100), Pichon-Baron (98/100), Lafite and Pichon-Comtesse (97/100) but before the other Pauillacs.
- Feytit-Clinet (rated 96/100) and Gravette de Certan (95/100), among the finest Pomerol wines (Le Pin, Petrus, Lafleur, Vieux-Certan, L'Église-Clinet, L'Évangile, La Conseillante...).
- Petit-Gravet-Aîné (rated 97/100) and La Dominique (rated 96/100), among the greatest Saint-Émilion (Ausone, Cheval-Blanc, Canon, La Mondotte, Figeac, Valandraud...).
• for Neal Martin
- Haut-Bailly (rated 96/100) on a par with Haut-Brion and Smith-Haut-Lafitte (96/100), behind La Mission Haut-Brion (98/100) but ahead of all other Pessac-Léognan.
- Lynch-Bages(rated 96/100) and Grand Puy-Lacoste (96/100), after Lafite, Latour and Pichon-Comtesse (98/100), Mouton and Pichon-Baron (97/100) but before the other Pauillacs.
- Montrose, the only wine rated 99/100, therefore distinguished as the best Bordeaux 2020 of all appellations.
- Feytit-Clinet (rated 95/100), as always among the finest of Pomerol (idem Galloni).
Our Tasting Offers this season offer 4 wines, one white from the Loire Valley and 3 red Bordeaux, which we consider particularly worthy of interest and each with a special discount:
- Les Choisilles 2020 from Domaine Chidaine (organic) in Montlouis-sur-Loire, which brilliantly expresses the richness and aromatic expressiveness of the vintage, at €24.50 a bottle.
- Château Deyrem-Valentin 2017 in Margaux, the delicacy of an unvarnished Médoc, fine and distinguished, slender, now in its prime, ideal for a summer meal, at €17.50 a bottle.
- Château Clos de Boüard 2016 in Montagne Saint-Émilion, a beautiful, full and harmonious wine, greedy, with a velvety texture that is already seductive, but which is sure to keep for a long time, at €21.00 per bottle.
- Château Grand-Puy Lacoste 2020 in Pauillac, serious, deep, in the straightforward and precise style customary of the vintage, with a tannic base ready to defy time, at €71.00 per bottle.
Unquestionably, French and, more broadly, European viticulture is now experiencing a real 'golden age' thanks to the climate change that is so favourable to the vine - at least for the moment... - but also because of the awareness of winegrowers and the immense progress made in the cultivation of vines (organic and biodynamic cultivation, respect for biodiversity, permanent grassing, controlled yields, adapted trellising, etc.). Thus, we are delighted to welcome this season (and surely for a long time to come) 6 new distinguished estates in our columns:
- Domaine Michel Magnien in Burgundy (organic), with an exceptional heritage in the Côte de Nuits, 18 ha spread over 23 parcels in the very best climats of Gevrey (Charmes-Chambertin, Les Cazetiers...), Morey (Clos Saint-Denis, Clos de la Roche...) and Chambolle (Les Sentiers...) This domain has the particularity to sell its vintages one to two years after bottling. Currently, the 2018 and 2019 vintages are offered.
- Domaine Vincent Gaudry in Sancerre (organic), with radiant white and red wines that do not give in to the fashion for modern Sancerre that is too exotic and plump to be sincere. In the company of Gérard Boulay, Vincent Pinard, Vacheron and the Cotat brothers, the discreet Vincent Gaudry is clearly part of the Sancerre elite.
- Domaine Les Cailloux in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, producing Châteauneuf whites and reds that are eminently traditional but above all elegant and fresh, wines with an almost Burgundian profile focused on long, superbly fruity finishes. Its "Centenaire" cuvée, 85% of very old Grenache (over 120 years old), is only produced on the occasion of the great vintages: 2010, 2015, 2016 and now 2019.
- Domaine Gavoty in Provence (organic), in its two great vintages named Clarendon: - Clarendon white, 100% rolle (= vermentino), is described by the Revue du Vin de France as "the symbol of what a great Provencal white can be" - Clarendon red, 95% syrah with 5% cabernet-sauvignon, is a great Provencal wine that should be left for 5 to 7 years for the tannins to mellow, taking on Rhone accents (Hermitage) with age.
- Domaine du Pas de l'Escalette in Languedoc (organic), the northernmost and highest estate of the Terrasses du Larzac, taking advantage of the cool, windy micro-climate of the Combe de l'Escalette to produce reds that are fresh and sapid. No other estate in the Languedoc has such a fusion of freshness, precision and velvety texture.
- Tenuta San Guido in Tuscany, the pioneer vineyard of the super-Tuscan movement, which gained international recognition in 1971 and has never been denied since. All the wines of Tenuta San Guido are built around the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, combined with another minority variety:
- sangiovese for the entry-level Le Difese
- Merlot for Guidalberto
- Cabernet Franc for the world star Sassicaia.