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Cheval Blanc 2020 release kick-starts Bordeaux en primeur

Château Cheval Blanc has potentially made a 100-point wine in 2020, according to Decanter's Jane Anson, as the St-Emilion powerhouse became one of the first major names to release in this year's Bordeaux en primeur campaign.

Château Cheval Blanc 2020 was released en primeur this morning (11 May) at €380 per bottle ex-Bordeaux.

That’s up by around 3.5% on the 2019 release and merchants were selling the wine for £4,656 per 12-bottle case in bond, according to Liv-ex.

It has the potential to be a 100-point wine in future, said Jane Anson after sampling Cheval Blanc 2020 as part of her Bordeaux en primeur tastings. Full report and tasting notes coming soon to Decanter Premium. 

She gave it 99 points, pending further assessment once bottled in around 18 months. ‘The wine feels full of life, with acidity that pulls the palate forward from the first moment,’ she said.

Cheval Blanc 2020 release analysis: ‘This should absolutely fly’ 

Cheval Blanc is also the first of the very top names to emerge in the Bordeaux 2020 en primeur campaign.

Its release may offer early clues about buyer sentiment following a relatively successful-yet-narrow campaign for Bordeaux 2019 en primeur wines last year, and signs of Bordeaux garnering greater enthusiasm on the fine wine market in general. 

‘The first key release out of the gate for 2020, Cheval Blanc complies with whispered requests from the international trade to keep prices around the same as last year,’ said analysis and research group Wine Lister

‘Given how well the welcome gesture on pricing worked last year (there appears to be little 2019 left on the market from reliable merchants), and Cheval Blanc’s impeccable quality track record, this should absolutely fly, marking a good start to the campaign.’

Matthew O’Connell, head of investment at Bordeaux Index, told Decanter, ‘Cheval’s somewhat unexpected release this morning appears well-judged price wise and we hope it will set the tone for the campaign.

‘The release ticks the two key boxes of being only slightly (2-3%) above the 2019 release in Sterling currency, and also then being the cheapest top-tier vintage in the market.’

Liv-ex said early reports suggested strong sales demand in general for Cheval Blanc 2020.

‘Cheval Blanc could very well set the pace for this year’s En Primeur campaign – with more major châteaux expected to release in the coming days.’

Liv-ex data showed Cheval Blanc 2020 was cheaper than the highly regarded 2018, 2016 and 2015 vintages.

However, it also said that buyers interested in ‘physical’ vintages might want to look at Cheval Blanc 2014, which was available at a discount of more than 20% on the new release.

Other releases so far include Château Doisy-Daëne 2020 in Barsac. It was released at €24 ex-Bordeaux, equal to the 2019 release price, with UK merchants selling 12 bottles for £290 in bond, according to Liv-ex.  

More releases are expected soon. ‘We should release everything in the second part of May and in June,’ Philippe Tapie, president of the Bordeaux Négoce committee for classified growths, told Decanter recently. 

Cheval Blanc 2020 release: See Jane Anson’s tasting note

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