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Bordeaux 2020: “Third outstanding vintage in a row” says Suckling

  • The critic has awarded 10 wines with 100-point potential, more than for 2019 or 2018.
  • He describes the current style of winemaking in Bordeaux as a “throwback to the 1980s but in a modern way”.
  • He declared a preference for Pomerol but thought many wines from Pessac-Léognan “super”.

High scores

A total of 10 wines have been given a barrel-range of 99-100. As Suckling wrote in his report: “That’s the third highest number of top wines in the last 10 years for my en primeur tastings for Bordeaux and one of the highest in my career of tasting Bordeaux from barrel, which I began doing in 1983.”

He awarded eight wines from the 2019 vintage the same score and just four among the 2018s.

As he said: “About 91.6% of the 1,302 wines rated for this report were potentially 90 points or more. Just over 14% were potentially 95 points or more.”

Back to the future

Looking at the style of the 2020 wines, he commented on their ripeness but also the lower alcohol levels and softer extractions and macerations the wines are receiving now.

“It’s all about softer winemaking in Bordeaux now, which is a throwback to the 1980s but in a modern way”, he said.

The vintage delivered, “some impeccable Merlot in many estates – even in the Médoc”. He said he had a “slight preference for Pomerol” and many of his top scores were from this appellation.

Nonetheless, three of his top 10 wines were from Pessac-Léognan which he thought had produced some “super” 2020 wines.


In conclusion, he considered the ranking of the 2018, 2019 and 2020. He decided that 2020 is “certainly better than 2018” and “at least at the same level as 2019”.

He said he would finally decide how the 2020s compare with the 2019s when they are in bottle.

He also addressed the pricing of the campaign so far, noting some “confusing” releases. In both his report and Liv-ex interview he said he hoped pricing remained “reasonable” and would continue to engage buyers with the region after last year’ successful campaign.

Further interviews

Liv-ex has conducted several interviews with leading critics on the subject of Bordeaux 2020.

For the interview with Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, click here.

For the interview with Jancis Robinson MW, click here.

For the interview with Jane Anson, click here.

Our Bordeaux En Primeur 2020 page contains everything you need to know about this year’s campaign. You can also sign up for our daily En Primeur email alerts using the form below.