Bordeaux 2020: Jane Anson calls it a 4/5 vintage

  • It’s undoubtedly a vintage for terroirs with clay-limestone soils, Anson suggests, but not for second wines.
  • One First Growth and an up-and-coming estate in St-Emilion are her picks of the vintage from both banks.
  • Watch our interview with Jane, below.

Top wines

In her report, Anson rated the 2020 vintage a 4/5, the same as the 2018 but lower than the ratings she gave to vintages such as 2019 and 2016.

She has given five wines brackets of 98-100, four from the Right Bank as well as Château Margaux. This follows her view that it is a vintage which favours those appellations planted on clay-limestone soils.

She named Margaux and Château Canon as her top picks from both banks.

Larcis-Ducasse, Rocheyron and Pontet-Canet were among the wines she judged, “serious over-performers”. In her interview with Liv-ex (see video above), Anson also picked out several other estates that have undergone changes of either ownership or winemaking teams since last year that were also worth keeping an eye on.

Comparisons

Due to the high tannins in many wines, she noted that comparisons to 2016 and 2010 were likely but, “I haven’t found the wines to be as consistent as in those two vintages”.

Instead, she said that on the Left Bank 1996, 2000 and 2006 were better matches with their, “big tannins that are a little unwieldy at times, not generous but with potential”.

It was an “easier” vintage on the Right Bank, with comparisons to 1989 and 2018 more applicable.

Merlot and clay

An increasing theme of reports is  that it was not only a good Right Bank and Merlot year but, more generally, a year that favoured all AOCs with a high degree of clay and/or limestone.

Anson pointed out that the effect of this could be seen in the same stable of wines and even on the, overall more consistent, Right Bank. Ausone, for example, has three properties on sandy soils which she said were “noticeably less successful” than the two on limestone terroirs.

She also suggested, looking to Castillon, Francs and Fronsac for good value.

Beware second wines?

Finally, Anson noted that it was not a standout year for second wines at many properties, especially on the Left Bank.

If the personality of a vintage is occasionally more prominent in a second wine, she said, then this was the case with 2020 where some second wines had, at times, “overpowering” tannins.

There were some exceptions however. She singled out La Croix de Beaucaillou and Pagodes de Cos Blanc as two successes on the Left Bank, while, on the Right, Mondot and Blason de L’Evangile were mentioned.

 

READ MORE: The Liv-ex Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur report is now free to read.

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