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Bordeaux 2020 - En Primeur

En-Primeur is a method of purchasing wines early while the wine (a vintage) is still in the barrel. This offers the customer the opportunity to invest before the wine is bottled.

Payment is made at an early stage, a year or 18 months prior to the official release of a vintage. One of the potential advantages of buying wines "En-Primeur" is that the wines may be considerably cheaper during the en primeur period than they will be once bottled and released.

Wines are stored with the Château until released.


Rating: 98-99 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Saint-Émilion / Classification: 1er Grand Cru Classé 'A' / Background: In the last thirty years, Hubert de Boüard de Laforest has constantly challenged practices and techniques for the benefit of his land and the unique characteristics of the wines grown on it, enabling Château Angélus to be recognised as one of the foremost properties in its appellation area. This recognition has been documented in one classification after another, the last of which awarded Château Angélus the status of Premier Grand Cru Classé "A".


Rating: 96-97 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Pomerol / Background: Enclos Tourmaline is located on the highest point of the famous plateau of the smallest appellation of Bordeaux: Pomerol. The property was acquired by Peter Kwok and his son Howard in 2012. Enclos Tourmaline is produced in small quantities only during great vintages. The first vintage produced less than 1,000 bottles, and in 2013 no wines were made at all.

Wine Press

96-97 Points: James SUCKLING 

"A solid, tight red with blackberries, black olives and hints of brown sugar and walnuts. Full and tight with fine, persistent tannins. Tight and focused."

95-97 Points: Alexandre MA

95-97 Points: Jeff LEVE (The Wine Cellar Insider)


Rating: 96-97 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Saint-Julien Classification: 2e Grand Cru Classé / BackgroundChâteau Léoville Poyferré was the Léoville that got left in the starting blocks in terms of reputation and in the quality of its wines. Léoville Poyferré has been owned by the Cuvelier family (who also own Château Le Crock) since 1921, yet it was not until the 1970s, when Didier Cuvelier took control at the château, that quality began to improve. In the last 20 years, Didier, with the assistance of Michel Rolland since 1995, has turned Léoville-Poyferré into one of St-Julien's finest estates. Taste: 96-97 Points James Suckling "Impressive purity of fruit on the nose with crushed raspberries, blackcurrants and blackberries. Some lead pencil, too. It's full-bodied with very polished, intense tannins that go on for minutes.The quality and precision of the tannins are impressive, giving the wine form, energy and equilibrium." 17.5/20 Jancis Robinson "Dark crimson. Relatively voluptuous nose. Flattering initially but then with quite a charge of inky tannins underneath. Needs time. Notably dry on the finish but with good density. Rather more obviously dry and less flashy than some vintages. Very much made for the long term with a juicy, spicy undertow. Extremely youthful. Unusually, it seems drier than Léoville Barton" 96/100 Points Jane Anson (Decanter) "Rich and concentrated with violet reflections and a wall of tannins. Well structured, it sets its feet deep in the ground and will need time to soften and develop. Good quality with depth. The tannins are far more present than the alcohol, setting it apart from the 2018. A yield of 35hl/ha. Harvest september 14 to 30. Planted blend (not 2020) 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc."

Ratings: (96-97 James Suckling) (95-97 Neal Martin) / Appellation: Pessac-Léognan / Classification: Grand Cru Classé de Graves / Background: Château Pape Clément is a Cru Classé Graves property that has one of the oldest documented histories of any Bordeaux vineyard, having been planted in 1300 by Bernard de Groth, the future Pope Clément V. In 1939 the estate was bought by the Montagne family and is now owned and run by Léo Montagne. Tasting Note: " The 2020 Pape Clément, which I afforded an hour’s aeration, has a very precise bouquet of pure blackberry, cedar, mint and violet aromas, quite discreet but paradoxically intense; these aromas are very seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, lithe tannins framing wonderfully pure black fruit laced with crushed stone and a judicious touch of white pepper. Seamless in texture, this is a sophisticated Pape Clément in the making, an outstanding wine that should age brilliantly in bottle. "

Rating: 96-97 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Saint-Julien Classification: 2e Grand Cru Classé / BackgroundChâteau Léoville Barton is the smallest portion of the great Léoville estate and has been owned by the Barton family since 1826. There is no château and the wine is made at Langoa Barton. Léoville Barton's 48 hectares of vineyards are located in the east of the St-Julien wine appellation and lie on gravelly-clay soils. They are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon 72%, Merlot 20%, Cabernet Franc 8%. The wine is matured in oak barriques (50% new) for 18 months. Since Anthony Barton took over the reins from his Uncle Ronald in the mid 80s, quality has soared at Léoville Barton and the wine has gone from being a solid mid-league performing 2ème Cru Classé to one of the most exciting and scintillating wines in St. Julien.


Rating: 94-95 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Saint-Julien / Classification4e Grand Cru Classé / Background: Château Beychevelle is a large and striking property set in its own beautiful park that dominates the view as one drives north to Saint-Julien on the Route des Châteaux. Its label recalls the legend that all ships sailing past the estate were required to lower their sails (baisse voile) in homage to the resident Duc d'Epernon, who inherited the property through marriage, and who served as Grand Admiral of the King's navy under Henry III.

Tasting Notes: James Suckling "Sweet-berry and tobacco character with blackberries and violets. It’s full-bodied with firm, polished tannins and a fresh finish. Very fine at the end."

Rating: 96-97 Points James Suckling / 95 Points Decanter / Appellation:Pauillac / Classification: 5e Grand Cru Classé / BackgroundChâteau Grand-Puy-Lacoste is a 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac estate which has for many years been consistently outperforming its classification. Grand-Puy-Lacoste is located a couple of kilometres west of the town of Pauillac and is owned and run by François-Xavier Borie.



Rating: 96-97 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Saint-Émilion / ClassificationGrand Cru Classé / Background: Château Bellefont Belcier is a Grand Cru Classé property that’s situated on Saint Émilion’s southern slopes, close to the prestigious vineyards of Châteaux Pavie, Larcis Ducasse and Tertre Roteboeuf. In this enviable position, Bellefont Belcier produces intense wines, with superb balance, depth and longevity.

Wine Press

96-97 Points: James SUCKLING 

"A very sophisticated, layered red with dark-plum, chocolate and walnut character. It’s full and flavorful with a cashmere-like texture. Flavorful at the end."

94-95 Points: Alexandre MA

94-96 Points: Jeff LEVE (The Wine Cellar Insider)



Rating: 96-97 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Margaux / Classification3e Grand Cru Classé / Background: Although Château Cantenac-Brown has changed hands many times since it was built in 1806, winemaker Jose Sanfins has been a constant of the last decade. His respect for its historic land shines through in his wines, all grapes and hand-picked and sorted with a great degree of care. His wines are made with a real potential to age, making them a favourite among keen collectors.


Jean-Marc Quarin : 92
RVF : 93-94
Bettane+Desseauve : 92-93
Vinous - Neal Martin : 94-96
Alexandre Ma : 94-95
James Suckling : 96-97
Wine Advocate - Lisa Perrotti-Brown : 91-93 +
Wine Cellar - Jeff Leve : 94-96
Jeb Dunnuck : 92-94


Rating: 93-95 Points Neal Martin / Appellation: Saint-Estèphe / Background: The Grand Vin of Château Phélan Ségur comes from this magnificent terroir of Saint-Estèphe where power dominates. Known for its potential to age over several decades, Château Phélan Ségur is strengthened by its origins, and its identity is based on elegance and finesse, with a certain restraint and great precision.

Tasting Note:  Neal Martin: The 2020 Phélan Ségur has a very intense and almost Pauillac-like nose of blackberry, pencil box and cedar aromas, complex and mineral-driven. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins and plenty of black fruit laced with cedar and tobacco, quite sturdy and conveying more substance than recent vintages. This impressive Saint-Estèphe has great potential and might well represent the appellation's best value for money.


Rating: 93-94 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Saint-Julien / Classification: 3Grand Cru Classé / James Suckling Tasting Note: 

"Very pretty blackberry and blueberry character with blackcurrants and mint. It’s medium-to full-bodied with linear, tight tannins that are polished and fine."



Rating: 95-96 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Saint-Émilion / Classification: Grand Cru Classé / BackgroundChâteau Fleur Cardinale, a St-Emilion Grand Cru estate, has a long history, yet it was only after its purchase by Parisians Alain and Claude Asséo that it began estate bottling. Previously, virtually all the wine had been sold off in bulk to négociants. They replanted much of the vineyards, as well as totally renovating the winery and chai. They also engaged the services of the ubiquitous Michel Rolland.


Rating: 93-94 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Margaux / Classification: 3e Grand Cru Classé / BackgroundChâteau Desmirail, included among the third growths in the 1855 classification, has an outstanding terroir bordering on the Route des Châteaux. The current owner and manager, Denis Lurton, took over from his father, Lucien, in 1992. He has invested in modernising the estate on a regular basis ever since. Château Desmirail produces smooth, elegant wines in the classic Margaux style.


Rating: 91-93 Points Neal Martin / Appellation: Haut-Médoc / Classification: 4e Grand Cru Classé / BackgroundChâteau La Tour Carnet, a 4emé Cru Classé property has a long and illustrious history and its wines enjoyed a considerable reputation during the 19th century. La Tour Carnet had a chequered history in the first half of the last century and the wines were mediocre until 1972 when it was bought by Louis Lipschitz. He replanted much of the vineyards and made many long overdue changes to the vinification process. He died in 1979 and the property has since been run by his daughter Marie-Claire Pelegrin.


Rating: 95-96 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Saint-Émilion Classification: Grand Cru / Background: Château Tour Saint Christophe is located in Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes at the frontiers of Saint-Émilion. The vineyard is a unique feature in Saint-Emilion, as it is partly planted on narrow terraces where the vineyard is tended in tight rows. This cascading landscape unfolds on the hillside of Cassevert overlooking the Saint Laurent valley. Château Tour Saint Christophe was acquired by Peter Kwok and his daughter Karen in 2012.

Wine Press

95-96 Points: James SUCKLING 

"Full-bodied and creamy with lots of spice and walnut character. Lovely softness and purity. Black fruit at the end. Very fine tannins. Well-integrated."

94-96 Points: Alexandre MA

95-97 Points: Jeff LEVE (The Wine Cellar Insider)


Rating: 93-94 Points James Suckling / 92-94 Points Neal Martin / Appellation: Haut-Médoc Background: Château Sociando-Mallet produces full-bodied wines with a deep, dark colour. Their complex bouquet is usually dominated by black fruit aromas with a touch of minerality and well-integrated, elegant oak. Often somewhat "virile" when young, the wines gain in balance and complexity with age. They are fresh, straightforward, and have a wonderful length. Château Sociando-Mallet has always been a wine with great ageing potential. A wine to be enjoyed even after 30 years in great vintages.



Rating: 93-94 Points James Suckling / 93 Points Jane Anson / Appellation: Saint-Émilion / ClassificationGrand Cru Classé / BackgroundThe Despagne family has been making wine in Saint-Emilion for seven generations. François Despagne took the reins in 1996, and his passion and intelligence have made his family property – a grand cru since the original classification in 1955 – one very much to follow. The estate is near Saint-Emilion’s border with Pomerol. There are 30 hectares of vines on a mix of clay and sandstone soils, but François painstakingly analysed the vineyards and has identified 53 individual plots. He now adapts his viticulture to suit the needs of each parcel. Vines range in age from 40 to 95 years. No herbicides are used, and cultivation is essentially organic.

Rating: 93-95 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Saint-Émilion / Classification: Grand Cru / Background: The name of the illustrious Janoueix family, hailing from the rural French region of Correze, first became associated with Bordeaux wine in 1867, when Jean Janoueix entered the wine business. Jean Philippe Janoueix is the current owner of the domaine; he first started making wine in 1994 with the founding of Château de Chambrun on a small 1.7-hectare plot in Lalande de Pomerol. Quickly, Chambrun became the reference for quality in the appellation and a center of attention. This was to be the first in a long series of successes. Time, steady perseverance, and care have enabled Jean Philippe Janoueix to build up a fine portfolio of wine estates. The properties are spread carefully across Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Pomerol, Saint Georges Saint-Emilion, and Bordeaux Supérieur, offering rare diversity and quality Chateau La Confession, located in Saint-Emilion, had its first vintage in 2001.


Rating: 94-95 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Saint-Émilion / Classification: Grand Cru / Background: Château Haut-Brisson is located south of the appellation on the 3 villages of Saint-Émilion, Saint-Sulpice de Faleyrens and Vignonet. The diversity of terroirs, combined with vines of an average age of 30 years, allows us to produce wines at optimum maturity that expresses the terroir.

Wine Press

94-95 Points: James SUCKLING 

"This is very linear and tight with beautifully crafted tannins that give a long, intense and energetic finish. The mid-palate is tight and poised."

92-94 Points: Alexandre MA

91-93 Points: Jeff LEVE (The Wine Cellar Insider)


Rating: 92-93 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Margaux Classification: Cru Bourgeois Supérieur / BackgroundThe history of this very old vineyard begins in the 13th century. Château la Tour de Mons, formerly Tour de Marsac, took in 1623 the name of its owner Pierre de Mons. Château La Tour de Mons was later sold to the Clauzel Crunchet family and then bought back in 1995 by a group of institutional investors, Crédit Agricole and Caisse des Dépôts and Placements du Québec. Since, very important works of renovation and modernisation were carried out in order to restore its past.


Rating: 92-93 Beck / Appellation: Saint-Georges Saint-Émilion / BackgroundThe unique style of Château Cap Saint George can be defined by respect for an exceptional terroir, by precise, meticulous vinification and by care to preserve the fruit and all its complexity. Each vintage is a chance to reaffirm an investment in purity and ‘Grand Cru’ techniques. We never chase after excess but rather clearly defined flavours and textures that reveal finesse, with subtle use of oak that is integrated and never dominates the fruit. Cap Saint George is a fine wine that represents its terroir, sculpted by the techniques and knowledge of Jean-Philippe Janoueix.


Rating: 92-93 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Médoc Background: This wine ranks naturally alongside the Grand Cru Classé wines of Bernard Magrez: Château Pape Clément, Château La Tour Carnet, Château Fombrauge and Clos Haut Peyraguey. Situated in exceptional terroir and for too many years overlooked, this estate was given a new lease of life by Bernard Magrez. It was a project that he had mulled over for 10 years. During that time, he had searched for that special gem, that outstanding terroir in which a great wine could be born, and he finally found it here on the famous hill of Saint Christoly-du-Médoc, which overlooks the spot where the river meets the ocean. He invested all his savoir-faire and passion in the new project, just as he had done at his 4 Grand Cru Classé estates. Today, this estate has achieved international acclaim for both its special qualities and its value for money, making it one of the most attractive wines produced in Bordeaux. 

Rating: 89-90 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Bordeaux / Background: The Château Mont Pérat estate covers over a hundred hectares high up on the hillsides of Capian, in the heart of the Entre-Deux-Mers, with a lovely terroir of gravelly-clay on a limestone base. Full of fruit, intense, and supple with very round tannins, it is a well-matured wine that ages well. Indeed, we recommend giving it a little time in the cellar to reach its full potential. Produced mainly from Merlot grapes blended with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, the reds are harmonious and well balanced. They respect the fruit and have a real sense of place. The red is magnificent paired with a 5-hour lamb and an aged Comté cheese will perfectly accompany the white.

Rating: 90-91 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Haut-Médoc Classification: Cru Bourgeois Supérieur / Background: Dating back to the 19th Century, Château Lamothe Bergeron has undergone recent investment and re-structuring and in 2020, awarded the classification of Cru Bourgeois Supérieur, one of only 56 Chateaux in Bordeaux. Superb value for money, from a stellar vintage and Château on a meteoric rise.

Winemakers Tasting Note: The wines produced at Lamothe-Bergeron in 2020 are dominated by strong colours, an intense red with purple reflects of a high stability due to nice acidities. The nose opens up on intense aromas of dark cherries and wild blackberries. In mouth, tannins are round and velvety conferring complexity and harmony to this vintage making of 2020 a great year.

Rating: 91-92 Points James Suckling / Appellation: Bordeaux Supérieur / Background: Chateau Croix Mouton is the perfect example of a forward styled, easy to like, crowd pleasing Bordeaux wine that is best enjoyed in its first few years of life to get the most from its ripe fruit and charm. In this price category, Croix Mouton is an outstanding buy in the Bordeaux value wine arena.

Appellation: Saint-Émilion Classification: 1er Grand Cru Classé 'A' / Background: Chateau Pavie, the largest St.Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classe, is located on an old peach orchard, known as pavies. Vines have been cultivated at Pavie since the 4th century, making it one of the two oldest estates in St. Emilion. 

Appellation: Saint-Émilion / Classification: 1er Grand Cru Classé 'B' / Background: Château Canon is named after Jacques Kanon who originally purchased the estate in 1790. In 1996 it was purchased by famous fashion brand Chanel. Chanel is also the owner of Margaux Château Rauzan-Ségla that they purchased in 1994.


Appellation: Saint-Émilion Classification: 1er Grand Cru Classé 'B' / BackgroundTraditionally Ch. Larcis Ducasse, a St Emilion Grand Cru Classé, was regarded as a property with exceptional terrior but a constant underperformer. This has changed, mainly thanks to the talents of a new winemaking team headed up by Nicolas Thienpont (of Ch. Pavie Macquin repute) and Stephane Derenoncourt (the mercurial 'flying wine consultant') who have managed to unlock the potential of this sleeping giant.


Appellation: Pessac-Léognon / Classification: 1er Grand Cru Classé / BackgroundChâteau Haut-Brion is one of just five Premier Grand Cru Classe wines from Bordeaux, and the only one produced in Pessac, just outside of the city of Bordeaux.

Appellation: Pauillac Classification: 1er Grand Cru Classé / Background: Château Mouton Rothschild is the youngest of the Médoc first growths, having been promoted in 1973 after it was originally marked as a second growth in the Bordeaux 1855 classification. Distinctly recognisable for its unique artist designed labels for each vintage, stretching back to 1945, Château Mouton Rothschild is undeniably the most famous of all Bordeaux wines.
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