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Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Clerc Milon 2020 release as campaign picks up pace

Highlights from a spate of 2020 Bordeaux en primeur releases include a ‘hard to resist’ Grand-Puy-Lacoste, a powerful Clerc Milon and a ‘gorgeously juicy’ La Gaffelière.

Pauillac’s Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste has been released at €50.40 per bottle ex-négociant, and is being offered at about £50.60 by UK merchants, according to Wine Lister – 12% higher than the current market price of the 2019.

Scoring the 2020 at 95 points, Decanter’s Jane Anson described the wine as ‘enjoyable, powerful, concentrated – not the most generous of GPLs, but they have captured the essence of Pauillac, and it’s hard to resist’.

Wine Lister highlighted the market availability of the 2019 vintage, as well as the physically available 2016 – priced at a slight premium to 2020, but with higher critics’ scores.

Another Pauillac favourite, Château Clerc Milon’s 2020 wine is priced at €56.40 per bottle ex-négociant, or £57.50 with UK merchants, 11% higher than the current market value of the 2019.

For Anson, the 2020 is ‘powerful, a little austere, with tight black fruits that will benefit from adding flesh over ageing’. Awarding it 94 points, she said the wine was ‘good quality, [but] not as exuberant as some years of Clerc Milon’.

Wine Lister pointed to Clerc Milon’s 2019 wine – with similar scores and availability – and the 2016, currently sitting at about the same price.

In St-Emilion, Château La Gaffelière’s 2020 wine is being offered by the trade at about £48 per bottle, 5.6% below the current market value of its 2019 release, said Liv-ex, describing it as ‘good value for money’, although older vintages are available for less.

Jane Anson gave the 2020 release 95 points, lauding its ‘expert balance between power and finesse’, describing it as ‘just gorgeously juicy’ and adding: ‘This again proves why it is an estate to watch.’

Wine Lister highlighted the 17% increase in the price of the 2019 vintage since its release, adding: ‘The property’s upward trajectory and increasing interest from the trade could see good demand for this latest release.’

Back to Pauillac, and Château Haut-Batailley – now under the ownership of the Cazes family – has released its 2020 wine at about £39.76 with UK merchants, roughly 10% up on 2019. Liv-ex highlighted the ‘value’ of the estate’s 2019 wine, as well as the merits of older vintages such as 2014 and 2015.

The 2020 release is ‘an enjoyably sleek wine’, according to Jane Anson, who gave it 93 points and added: ‘This has an elegance to it that almost makes it more of a St-Julien’, especially when compared to sister property Lynch Bages.

Château Cantenac Brown’s offer of €34.20 per bottle ex-négociant is 14% ahead of its 2019 release price, with the UK trade offering it at £34.35 per bottle.

Anson praised the Margaux wine’s ‘signature gloss’, awarding the 2020 93 points and adding: ‘The austerity on the tannins is marked right now, but there is plenty of life ahead here.’

Wine Lister said the 2020 was entering the market at about the same level as the now scarce 2019. ‘Taking into account the high scores, as well as the future potential of this estate … this could be a Margaux worth backing,’ it added.

Among other recent en primeur releases, Château de Fieuzal’s 2020 red wine is being sold by the trade at about £25.30 per bottle, 12% higher than the 2019, while the Pessac-Léognan estate’s white is priced at about £35, similar to last year’s release.

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou’s second wine, La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou, is being offered at about £30 by the international trade, said Liv-ex, some 11% up on the market price of the 2019.

Château St Pierre’s 2020 was released at €38.40 ex-négociant, or £38.50 from merchants – a price which Liv-ex felt was ‘a little high’, despite Anson awarding it 94 points and praising its ‘gorgeous balance of power’.

Finally, Château Gloria 2020 is being sold by the trade at about £26.40 per bottle, up 5.6% on the current market price of the estate’s 2019 vintage.

More on Bordeaux 2020 en primeur

Decanter Premium exclusive: Bordeaux 2020 score table

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