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Best of Bordeaux: Top 20 wines of DWWA 2020

'Overall, it’s a very exciting year for Bordeaux' says DWWA Co-Chair Andrew Jefford. Discover which wines excited most - the 95+ point wines from the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards....

France performed particularly well at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards with 12 of the competition’s top 50 Best in Show medals going to wines from Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy, Provence, the Loire and Bordeaux – Bordeaux making up 25% of this.

From Bordeaux, the 2018 and 2019 vintages stood out with 16 of the top 20 wines coming from these two vintages alongside three wines from the 2016 vintage and one from 2015 – ‘a vintage without the flamboyance of 2016, 2018 and 2019, but whose ripe, rich qualities are now beginning to round out a little, whose pores are beginning to open, and whose sometimes stern fruit is beginning to soften’ as Best in Show winner Château Bellevue-Cardon’s tasting notes begin.

Premium – Anson: Bordeaux 2020 harvest – An insiders guide

On judging wines from Bordeaux, acting Regional Chair Andrew Jefford commented, ‘We’ve found lots of exciting wines and have been lucky enough to inherit some of the first 2019s come through into retail. At the same time, we have had good vintages like 2018 in a bigger, more opulent style, as well as very well balanced 2016s. We saw plenty of wines from those three vintages. Overall, it’s a very exciting year for Bordeaux.’

See below to discover Bordeaux’s top 20 award-winning wines – the Gold, Platinum and Best in Show medal winners from the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards – plus tasting notes.

For additional wine details and stockists, select the wine of interest.

DWWA 2020: Bordeaux’s top 20

Château Lacombe Cadiot, Bordeaux Supérieur 2019

Value Best in Show, 97 points
The 2019 vintage threw up a delectable cohort of young, fresh but almost irresistibly fruity red Bordeaux wines offering great value for money in this year’s DWWA: a ringing testimonial to the quality of this fine year, and a great opportunity for those who love the wines of this region but who don’t necessarily want to pay breath-shortening prices… or to wait half a decade or more. This Merlot-rich Bordeaux Supérieur is a fine example: dense purple-black in colour, with sweet, seductive black-cherry and elderberry scents and with a cascade of rich, exuberant fruits. There is some tannic firmness: just enough to give the beef or lamb a run for its money, but not enough to check the exuberant flow of the fruit.

Château Rauzan-Gassies, L’Orme de Rauzan-Gassies, Haut-Médoc 2016

Value Best in Show, 97 points
In all of the acclaim for 2019 in Bordeaux, we shouldn’t forget just how good 2016 was, too, and to find a Haut-Medoc wine still available from this vintage within our Value price category was an unexpected treat. This is dark purple-red, with earthy and purposeful aromas. The fruit is rich, dense and closely constituted, just beginning to leave the flush of youth behind it but with plenty of cladding to take it through another half-dozen years of ageing if you wish. The innate depth and tenacity of the fruit suggest serious vineyard origins. A bargain.

Château Bellevue-Cardon, Pauillac 2015

Best in Show, 97 points
The third of our Bordeaux wines to make it through to Best In Show level this year comes from the 2015 vintage, one without the flamboyance of 2016, 2018 and 2019, but whose ripe, rich qualities are now beginning to round out a little, whose pores are beginning to open, and whose sometimes stern fruit is beginning to soften. The fruits in this dark, agreeably chunky wine from Pauillac are just beginning to soften and surrender a little meaty fullness on the nose, while the palate is deep, earthy, close-textured and satisfying. The tannins will continue to soften for another half-decade, and the wine will continue to offer ample knife-and-fork pleasure as they do so.

Château Bourdieu, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux 2019

Platinum, 97 points
Flamboyant and deep, with ample, lush and fresh forest fruits, bramble and cassis, with cascading sweet spice swiftly following. A super, brooding wine which will shine brighter with time.

Château Haut Breton Larigaudière, Margaux 2018

Platinum, 97 points
A gorgeous wine, with deliciously ripe fruits including black cherry, blue plums and spice. There’s a huge amount here, in what is a brooding, deep, broad and earthy wine. A Margaux for the hedonists and sensualists.

Château Croix des Rouzes, Pomerol 2016

Gold, 96 points
Teasing and classical, with an abundance of mellow plum, blackberry, tobacco and forest floor at its core. This is an excellent wine, with plenty of earthy and soft fruits, but also with a structure which marks this out for rewarding ageing.

Château Montlabert, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2018

Gold, 96 points
Sweet, warm, respiring and earthy, with blackcurrant and goji berry notes of great refinement. Searching, long and deep, but delicate as well. An exemplary wine with a long finish which bodes well for the future.

Château Moulis, Moulis 2018

Gold, 96 points
Warm and meaty, with a note reminiscent of pounded raw steak alongside gruff elderberry, black cherry and cassis. Concentrated, dark, plunging black fruits are carried by lively acidity which keeps it driving and long. Outstanding.

Barton & Guestier, Thomas Barton Réserve Privée, Médoc 2016

Gold, 95 points
Earthy and brooding, presently still oaky but packed with lush blackcurrant, cherry and spice. This is truly dense, vigorous and ambitious. Richly freighted and with so much within, this will never disappoint.

Château Bourdieu, N°1, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux 2019

Gold, 95 points
Pristine definition of pure and driving damson, cherry and plum, with understated vanilla oak. Deep and long, the palate reveals a cascade of fleshy black fruits over ripe, fine-grained tannins and fruit-bonded acidity. Lovely stuff.

Château de Landiras, Graves 2018

Gold, 95 points
Grand generosity, showcasing deep, vigorous dark forest fruit and an appetising blackcurrant freshness within juicy and fabulously-integrated tannins. Lovely, boisterous and rich in fruit. Bravo!

Château Guillaume Blanc, Malbec, Bordeaux Supérieur 2019

Gold, 95 points
Warm, rich, lively and imbued with blackberry, plum, cherry and violets. This is ample but accessible, with a leafy tone to the fruits. An excellent reading of pure Malbec and well worth seeking out.

Château Guillon, Graves 2018

Gold, 95 points
Sweet, full and mellow, with settled, attractive, bright red berries, blackberry, cedar and leather. Extremely elegant and well put together, this is an accomplished and hugely satisfying wine.

Cru la Maqueline, Bordeaux 2019

Gold, 95 points
Fresh, deep, fleshy, persistent and exciting. Rich, juicy, firmly constituted and packed with blueberry, black cherry and violets. A superb effort which is complete and exciting.

Frederike Bouzon, Château Moulin de Bernat, Bordeaux 2019

Gold, 95 points
Poised, textured and rich, but with ample fresh charm. Lush cherry, dark plum and herbal leafy nuances on the long palate, underpinned by fine-grained tannins. An excellent wine.

Jules Lebègue, Organic, Saint-Emilion 2019

Gold, 95 points
Deep, textured and soft, but with a lovely undertow of ripe, sweet tannin which is beautifully fashioned around a core of classy plums, blackberries and sweet leather. Young claret heaven.

Vignobles des Quatre Vents, Clos des Quatre Vents, Margaux 2018

Gold, 95 points
Harmonious and refined, delivering intense cassis, blue plum, vanilla and spice. This is ample, vivid and charming, exhibiting all the allure of the appellation in a mature and settled guise. Spot-on.

Bordeaux 95-point white wines

Château de Chantegrive, Les Oiseaux de Chantegrive Le Panache, Graves 2018

Gold, 95 points
Sculpted and taut, gently revealing a complex array of flavours in what is a classically styled wine. Subtle, creamy oak interweaves with textured stone fruit on the elegant and finely layered palate. Long and vivid.

Château Haut Bertinerie, Grand Vin, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux 2019

Gold, 95 points
Excellent aromatics of elderflower, Sicilian lemons and a classy, barrel-fermentation creaminess. To taste it’s deft, subtle and soft, with finely-defined fruits and a leesy texture playing against citrus acidity.

Château Mongiron, Prior, Bordeaux Blanc 2018

Gold, 95 points
Pure, elegant, creamy and refined, with poised, nuanced fruits which hint at orchards, grapefruit, flowers and something slightly more tropical. Wonderful finesse, this is a classy white Bordeaux from top to tail.

Search all DWWA 2020 award-winning wines from Bordeaux

Read more: Best in Show – The top 50 wines of DWWA 2020

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