Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur
Spring is now in full bloom, with sun spells blessing the reopening of UK hospitality.
Spring also coincides with the En Primeur Season, a much-anticipated event for collectors and wine lovers world-wide. Following the unprecedented 2019 En Primeur campaign, the Bordelais are back, dispatching samples to every corner of the globe, asking for the quality assessment of Wine Critics and members of the Trade.
While expert reviews are yet to be written, we have tried to offer you a first glimpse into the upcoming 2020 EP campaign. From a quick peek into weather conditions across the region, moving to a brief look at market trends and expected pricing, ending into our short-list of the Dark Horses of the year, herein you will find everything you need to know in order to prepare yourself to the new, exciting set of releases from Bordeaux.
For the past decade, Wine Source has nurtured direct relationships with several of the historic families of Bordeaux, offering exclusive Ex-Château access to our beloved clients. With offices and warehousing in Bordeaux, London and the USA, we truly believe to be the to-go place for sourcing the finest wines during the Primeurs, year on year, offering you prime allocations, flexible bonded storage options and international shipment.
While we still remember the 2019 campaign for the huge discounts offered versus previous vintages, we may have overlooked the quality of the vintage - 2019 was a superb vintage, and early commentators suggest 2020 might well be a rightful contender. So let's look at what was 2020 like, and what we believe will soon be upon us.
Saturnalia is an independent body providing information on annual growing seasons and weather patterns across different wine regions. Their report on the 2020 vintage in Bordeaux suggests that “2020 was a warm vintage, but without the excesses of 2018 and 2015”. “Even though 2020 was in total a very wet season, the extended period of drought caused water stress”. In terms of production, similarities have been drawn to the 2016, 2018 and 2019 growing seasons, but while 2016 delivered a sizeable crop and both 2018 and 2019 hit the 10-year average, 2020’s final yield is about 10% lower than the two years that preceded it. While no catastrophic events took place, such as the recent frost hitting European vineyards few weeks ago, vintage 2020 has produced a far from homogeneous set of wines, hence careful selection is advised for your en-primeur purchases.
The heatwave at harvest has benefited the vineyards of the Right Bank, where the early ripening Merlot appears to have delivered majestic wines of imposing stature and long-ageing potential.
At present, Saint Emilion and Pomerol might be the regions where we can find the strongest runner-up for "wine of the vintage". We have reported a short-list of names we feel could fight for supremacy within this category. These are the Chateaux we have included in the "Dark Horses of 2020" list, which you can find below. These are properties on a winning streak, whose wines are fast rising within the ranks and are now competing with the First Growth Aristocracy.
Another trend we wish to highlight is the raise of the second wines from much coveted Chateaux. These are experiencing a surge in demand, thanks to increased levels of quality, unbeatable value and pedigree offered to savvy buyers. The most important Chateaux, such as Palmer, Cheval, Lafite and Co., have invested heavily in their young vineyards, which are now delivering outstanding quality, often well above the ones from lesser Chateau trading at similar price levels.
Lastly, few words on pricing. We have strived to provide an expected bracket for each of the wines we will release this year. Our team in Bordeaux has garnered invaluable insights from our partners, and proceeded with a forecast offering you a sneak peek on what to expect. While we may not see the same levels of 2019 ever again, we do believe these projected prices would still provide a compelling opportunity for your cellar. Given the speed of recent campaigns, registering early interest is strongly advised to avoid disappointment.
We invite you to browse our wish-list and post your preferred selection via this online form. We will soon share further insights following our tastings, to provide you with all the necessary information to make an informed decision.
Wine Source is here to help you in navigating an ocean of Fine Wine. Our team is always an email or phone call away, so do not hesitate to contact us at any time.