Selected Bordeaux 2020 en primeur releases: Quick links to tasting notes
Prices sourced from Liv-ex unless otherwise stated.
- Château Angélus 2020, 97 points, £3,048 (12x 75cl in bond)
- Château Pavie 2020, 97 points, £2,890 (12x 75cl at Farr Vintners)
- Château Cheval Blanc 2020, 99 points, £4,656
- Château Pavie Decesse 2020, 95 points, £996
- Château Léoville Barton 2020, 94 points, £730
- Château Langoa Barton 2020, 92 points, £358
- Château Coutet 2020 (Barsac), 94 points, £324
- Château Guiraud 2020, 94 points, £33.6 per bottle in bond (expected price reported by Wine Lister)
Bordeaux 2020 analysis: Angélus and Pavie releases
Château Angélus 2020 was being sold en primeur for around £3,048 per 12 bottles in bond this morning (18 May), although different formats were available. Fine & Rare was selling six bottles for £1,524 in bond, for example.
Decanter’s Jane Anson gave Angélus 2020 97 points as part of her Bordeaux 2020 en primeur report.
‘I love the aromatics on this,’ she wrote of Angélus, also praising the wine’s discreet power. ‘This is a sleek, poised, and confidently-constructed Angélus.’
Liv-ex said the UK case price for Angélus 2020 was up by around 7% on the 2019 vintage release last summer. On an ex-Bordeaux basis, the 2020 release price was €260 per bottle, up 13% on 2019.
St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A estates have been among the biggest-name releases at the beginning of the Bordeaux 2020 en primeur campaign. Angélus and Pavie came after Cheval Blanc 2020 debuted at around £4,656 (75cl x12 in bond) last week.
Analyst group Wine Lister said Angélus 2020, while highly rated, came in at the higher end of pricing on recent vintages.
‘This latest en primeur release may find traction amongst its loyal followers, or indeed those in the know about the shift in style afoot,’ it said.
It added, ‘Buyers might note the decent availability of the [high-scoring] 2016 and 2015 vintages at a lower price, which have the added benefit of being physical.’ Anson’s most recent rating on the 2016 vintage was 98 points.
Pavie 2020 was also rated 97 points by Anson and was being sold for £2,890 per 12 bottles in bond at Farr Vintners, and £1,446 per six-bottle case in bond at Fine & Rare at the time of writing.
For some context, Farr Vintners was selling Pavie 2019 at £2,990 (12x 75cl in bond), a wine rated 96 points by Anson last year.
Léoville Barton 2020 release
Crossing over to the Left Bank, St-Julien’s Léoville Barton 2020 was released today at around £730 per 12-bottle case in bond, up by 12% on the 2019 debut price, according to Liv-ex. It said release volumes were down 25%, reflecting lower production.
Giving the wine 94 points, Anson said it ‘will bed down and age extremely well’, even if ‘the austerity to the tannins is very much to the fore right now’.
She raised the prospect of an upgrade at the in-bottle tasting in 16 to 18 months. She has previously rated the 2019, 2018 and 2016 vintages at 96 points.
Liv-ex data showed that 2020 was significantly cheaper than the 2016 market price, although it was above 2019, 2018 and 2017 to varying degrees.
Exchange rates playing a role
There were perhaps early signs of an exchange rate shift playing a role, as noted prior to this year’s en primeur campaign.
Léoville Barton 2020 was €60 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up by 16% versus last year’s release, according to Liv-ex. This gap was slightly smaller when comparing in-bond case price from UK merchants, as shown above.
More Bordeaux 2020 releases
There have been several other releases this week. Langoa Barton 2020 was available at Bordeaux Index and Farr Vintners at £358 per 12 bottles in bond.
It’s rated 92 points by Anson, who described it as ‘not quite as generous as Léoville Barton’, but still with ‘plenty of life and lift through the palate and a juicy finish’.
On the Right Bank, Pavie Decesse 2020 – rated 95 points by Anson – was released at £996 per 12 bottles in bond, down 3.5% on the equivalent release price for 2019, said Liv-ex. The ex-Bordeaux price was level with 2019, at €83.
Wine Lister said Pavie Decesse 2020 had ‘rarity on its side’, given the estate’s relatively small size. There was ‘no availability’ of 2019 and 2018 has seen moderate price growth, Lister said.
In Barsac, Coutet 2020 was released at the equivalent of £324 per 12 bottles in bond, although Liv-ex noted there was also value to be found in several back-vintages. Anson gave Coutet 2020 94 points, noting, ‘This is excellent and easy to recommend.’