Bordeaux 2020: A vintage that “sizzles” says Galloni

  • Haut-Brion and Margaux top Galloni’s scores for 2020 but no wines have been given a 100-point bracket.
  • It is an “exciting” vintage with wines that “feel super classic” he said, but it is less consistent than 2019.
  • He considered Pessac-Léognan the most successful appellation.

Appealing energy

Writing for Vinous, Antonio Galloni said that he found the 2020s had a, “combination of energy and vibrancy that is hugely appealing”.

There were “fabulous” wines on both banks he wrote but he warned it was important to consider each on a château-by-château basis.

“Based on what I have tasted so far, I don’t see the consistency of 2019 or possibly even 2018,” he wrote.

Nonetheless, he added that the best 2020s are “incredibly exciting”, with wines that “sizzle with brightness and mineral-drenched vibrancy”.

He added that many wines on the Left Bank also felt, “super classic, with mid-weight structures and lowish alcohol levels”.

Praise for Pessac

Unlike many other critics who have leaned heavily in favour of the Right Bank this vintage, Galloni picked Pessac-Léognan as his top appellation.

His reason was not just the quality of the top estates, but also of their second wines and a number of smaller châteaux.

“It is that depth that leads me to believe that Pessac-Léognan did exceptionally well in 2020,” he wrote.

There were a number of other Left Bank wines that he said were “incredibly reticent” and very unlike the style of wines of recent vintages.

Although he singled out Pessac-Léognan, he did add that the wines from the limestone plateau of St-Emilion and Pomerol, “are some of the most exciting wines of the vintage, as they offer a breathtaking interplay of fruit richness and saline intensity”.

Notable wines

Haut-Brion and Margaux were the top-scoring wines with a band of 97-99-points. No wines were scored a potential 100.

Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse, which was recently at the centre of a dramatic ownership battle between several St-Emilion estates and a young member of the family, was awarded 95-98 points.

Galloni said it had “pure pedigree” and was, “one of the most harmonious young wines I have tasted here in some time, maybe ever”.

Aside from his top selection, Galloni mentioned several other wines in his report that he found impressive. These included Beychevelle, Domaine de Chevalier, Clos de L’Oratoire, Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Lafon-Rochet and Larcis Ducasse among many others.

Further viewing

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

For the interview with Neal Martin, click here.

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

For the interview with James Suckling, 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.