Bordeaux 2020: James Suckling releases early first impressions 

Critic James Suckling has released the first part of his Bordeaux 2020 in-barrel scores, covering over 200 wines. 

  • He compared the wines he has tasted to both the 2019 and 2018 vintages.
  • He finds the 2020s “less flamboyant” than those of 2018.
  • Michel Rolland was quoted as saying that the 2018s, 2019s and 2020s form a new trio of high quality vintages.

In his tasting report, Suckling said he had found the wines, “excellent” and compared them favourably to both the 2019s and 2018s. Suckling added that he was expecting to review 800 to 1,000 En Primeur samples in the next month.  

In terms of style, the critic noted that, “the 2020 Bordeaux reds show plenty of fruit, but not too much, and the tannins are ripe and polished giving excellent length to the wines. 

He found them, “to be slightly less flamboyant than the 2018s and more along the lines of the 2019s that had fantastic freshness and linear phenolic character. 

The majority of early samples that Suckling tasted in Hong Kong came from the laboratory of consulting oenologist Michel Rolland. 

Rolland was quoted in Suckling’s report as saying the 2020 wines possess, “more freshness, more tension, more balance” than the 2019s. And he continued that, in his opinion, 2018, 2019 and 2020 make trilogy (of highquality vintages). 

Suckling’s top-scoring Bordeaux 2020 wines so far can be seen in the table below.  

Two wines were given a barrel range of 98-99 from the critic: Croix de Lambrie (Perhaps the best ever?”) and Le Gay (“a young red with great intensity and vision”). 

The Liv-ex En Primeur opening report will be published and made available to members shortly. 

Liv-ex will be analysing and publishing Bordeaux analyses in the run up to and throughout the upcoming 2020 EPrimeur campaign. For instant email alerts, subscribe below.