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Ausone 2020 release: ‘a potential 100-point wine’

Château Ausone 2020 has been released en primeur and is tipped as a possible 100-point wine in the Bordeaux 2020 vintage, while Les Carmes Haut-Brion could be one to watch among other estates making their debuts in the campaign.

Château Ausone 2020 has been released this morning (Tuesday 15 June) at around £6,000 per 12-bottle case in bond.

That’s up by around 14% on the current market price of Ausone 2019, according to Liv-ex figures, but cheaper than the 100-point 2018 vintage from the St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A estate. 

Decanter’s Jane Anson gave Ausone 2020 99 points after tasting a barrel sample ahead of the Bordeaux en primeur campaign. She will taste the wine again after bottling and said it could go up to the perfect 100 score.

This is powerful and blows away much of the competition with its depth and layers,’ she said. 

On an ex-Bordeaux basis, Liv-ex said Ausone 2020 was released at around €500 per bottle, which is up 19% on the 2019 vintage release price. 

‘This is a wine worth betting on,’ said analyst group Wine Lister. While a small amount of Ausone 2019 vintage still exists at its original price, it said the 2020 vintage release is ‘otherwise comfortably below market prices of the physical 2018, 2016, and 2015’.

Ausone 2020 en primeur release in context

Ausone 2019, 97 points (Anson) | current Liv-ex price: £5,280 ($7,434) 12x 75cl in bond

Ausone 2018, 100 points | current price: £7,000 ($9,856)

Ausone 2017,  97 points | current price: £4,780 ($6,730)

Ausone 2016, 99 points | current price: £7,200 ($10,138)

Château Ausone is the last of the four St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A estates to release, after Cheval Blanc helped to kick-start the Bordeaux 2020 en primeur campaign last month.

Angélus and Pavie followed closely behind, as the early stages of the campaign were largely dominated by top Right Bank names.

Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2020 one to watch?

Among the other releases so far this week was Les Carmes Haut-Brion in Pessac-Léognan.

Anson rated Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2020 at 96 points, equal to her rating of the estate’s 2019 vintage.

The Château has a recent track record of ‘impeccable price performance post-en primeur release’, as Wine Lister put it.

Liv-ex said Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2020 was released at €78 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up 20% on the debut price of the 2019.

Yet the 2020 vintage was available for £948 per 12-bottle case in bond at UK merchants, around 10% less than the current market price of Les Carmes 2019, Liv-ex noted. It’s also cheaper than the 98-point 2018 vintage.

Other releases: Brane-Cantenac and Trotte Vieille

Anson also lavished praise on a number of other wines released this week. She rated Trotte Vieille 2020 at 96 points, equal to the St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B estate 2018 score and one up on 2019.

Trotte Vieille 2020 was being offered at £650 per 12 bottles in bond (Farr Vintners, Bordeaux Index), and Wine Lister said this was ‘below all recent vintages in the market going back to 2013’.

Château Brane-Cantenac 2020, rated 94 points, was also released at at €48 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up by 21% on the 2019 release price.

According to Liv-ex figures, the international trade price of £600 per 12 bottles in bond is 20.5% higher than the market price of the 2019 vintage, rated 96 points by Anson.

Other releases have included fellow Margaux estate Château Giscours. Anson described Giscours 2020 as ‘excellent’ and ‘extremely precise, well drawn and seductive’. She rated the wine at 95 points, ahead of both 2019 and 2018.

Giscours 2020 was released ex-Bordeaux at €40.8 per bottle, up 21.4% on the equivalent 2019 release price. It was being offered by international merchants at £492 per 12-bottle case in bond, 17% up on the 2019 market price, according to Liv-ex data.

Over on the Left Bank, Château Lafite Rothschild released its 2020 vintage en primeur at the end of last week, ahead of the other first growths.

Will Hargrove, head of fine wine at Corney & Barrow merchant, told Decanter yesterday that the Lafite stable of 2020 wines sold well after release.

He described the overall campaign as a ‘mixed bag’ so far. ‘We had good early success with the Moueix wines and Mitjavile wines as they were the same price as last year and released early.’

More on Bordeaux 2020 en primeur

Decanter Premium exclusive: Bordeaux 2020 scores table

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