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Talking Trade – 2020 Benchmark critic scores released

  • Neal Martin, James Suckling and Jeb Dunnuck have released their reports and scores for Bordeaux 2020.
  • The pace of 2020 releases has been slow and steady throughout the week, with no big names offered.
  • Lafite’s 2006 vintage led trade by value, while trade in other regions continued to grow.

Liv-ex’s Benchmark Critic, Neal Martin, released his 2020 Bordeaux report for Vinous yesterday afternoon, complete with over 800 scores.

No wine was awarded an upper bracket of 100-points. By comparison, he gave two 2019s potential 100-point scores and gave one 2018 (Palmer) a perfect score in his recent in-bottle rescoring.

Trotanoy 2020 was, however, “a candidate for wine of the vintage” according to Martin and, “perhaps the one sample where I came closest to considering a perfect potential score”.

Overall, Martin confirmed that 2020 completes the 2018 and 2019 trilogy of excellent vintages.

This week’s releases

It is starting to look like a more drawn-out campaign than 2019, fewer than 10 major releases appeared in what is the fourth week of the 2020 campaign.

Lagune 2020 released on Tuesday, up 7% on the 2019 opening price. With a score of 92 points from Neal Martin, it’s the cheapest vintage in that score bracket.

Chasse Spleen 2020 also released on Tuesday, up 4.2% on 2019. It was awarded 90 points, which highlighted value in a number of back vintages.

On Thursday, Cantemerle 2020 started the action releasing with a 1.9% increase on its 2019 price. It was followed by du Tertre 2020 and Quinault L’Enclos 2020 up 3.1% and 4.0% from their 2019 opening offers respectively.

Grand Mayne 2020 released this morning. It was one of the highest scoring releases of the week, with a 94-point rating from Martin.

 Critic reports

Jeb Dunnuck released Part 1 of his 2020 Bordeaux report, covering the appellations of Margaux, Saint-Julien, Pauillac, and Saint-Estèphe on the Left Bank, Saint-Emilion and Pomerol on the Right Bank, and Péssac-Leognan in the Graves region.

James Suckling, one of the first critics to report scores on Bordeaux 2020, published his complete report on the 2020 vintage along with 1,300-barrel sample scores.

Market activity

From Bordeaux, Château Angélus 2020 found activity on the secondary market, trading above its international release price but it was the 2009 vintage that led trade by value for the region this week.

Nearly one third of Burgundy trade by volume in the week was from the 2018 vintage. Charmes-Chambertin, Meursault, and Vosne-Romanée saw the most trade activity.

The 2006 Château Lafite Rothschild was this week’s most traded wine by value. It was last tasted by Neal Martin during a 10-years-on tasting. He awarded the wine 95-points saying, “it is a Lafite Rothschild that may spring a few surprises down the line, one of those wines that keeps drawing you back”.

The remaining wines in the top five were from four different regions, highlighting the breadth of trade taking place in 2021.

At the peak this year more than 800 different LWIN11s (wine & vintage) have changed hands in a week, nearly double the weekly average of 2020 and 15% more than the highest week in 2020.

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.