Another outstanding vintage was achieved in 2020, following the two great vintages of 2018 & 2019 and it is perhaps the best of the trilogy. Because of a budbreak and flowering, 2020 was a fortuitous early harvest picked just before the heavy rain of October. The summer was hot and dry similar to the last few vintages but alcohol degrees were not as high as ’18 resulting in a more classic style. The Right Bank had less rain then the Left Bank with vines grown on clay soils triumph in Pomerol and producing a Cabernet Franc at its’ best in St Emilion. Shockingly for a warmer vintage, the white wines performed well with both aromatic complexity and freshness on the palate. Small thick skinned Cabernet Sauvignon berries throughout the Left bank led to lower yields but creating deeply coloured, aromatic and intense wines, with Pauillac & Saint-Julien seeing the most consistency. Careful grape selection was important for the Grand Vins, resulting in a plethora of fantastic Second wines. The one disappointment of the vintage were the sweet wines of Sauternes as the dry weather hindered the development of Botrytis and very little wine was made.
With such diversity and success on both banks this is a vintage that has gems in all regions, here are a few potential standouts in my mind:
- Chateau Clos du Marquis
- Chateau Carmes de Haut Brion
- Chateau Troplong Mondot
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