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Château Haut-Brion 2020 released en primeur

Haut-Brion 2020 has become the latest first growth released in the Bordeaux en primeur campaign, alongside debuts for highly rated La Mission Haut-Brion from the same owner and a 'great' Château Montrose in St-Estèphe.

Château Haut-Brion 2020 red has been released en primeur this morning (23 June) at €432 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, according to Liv-ex, which has led to UK merchants offering it for around £5,196 per 12-bottle case in bond.

That’s equal to the release price of fellow first growth Château Margaux yesterday.

Millesima UK was offering three bottles of Haut-Brion for £1,299 in bond, with Fine & Rare selling six bottles for £2,598.

While Haut-Brion has achieved strong critical praise for its 2020 grand vin, scores have varied slightly.

Decanter’s Jane Anson rated Haut-Brion 2020 at 96 points, describing it as impressive and ‘concentrated, powerful and precise’, with notes of cassis bud, chocolate and blackcurrant pastille.

‘This is going to need serious ageing,’ she wrote. Her scores were slightly higher on Haut-Brion 2019 and 2018 vintages.

Liv-ex noted strong critical acclaim for Haut-Brion 2020, but also that Haut-Brion’s ex-Bordeaux price was up by around 50% on last year’s en primeur release of the 2019 vintage.

Like many estates, the first growth dropped its price significantly during last year’s delayed en primeur campaign, amid concerns around the economic impact of Covid.

The 2019 vintage has since risen in price, although Liv-ex market price data showed the 2020 was slightly above both the 2019 and 2018 wines. ‘The 2020 Haut-Brion is the most expensive wine from the estate since the 2010 vintage,’ Liv-ex said. Prices can vary by merchant, however.


Decanter Premium exclusive: Bordeaux 2020 releases and prices


La Mission Haut-Brion 2020: One to watch?

Anson suggested after her tasting that buyers should also track La Mission Haut-Brion 2020 red, which was also released this morning amid market debuts for the wines of Haut-Brion owner Domaine Clarence Dillon.

La Mission was priced at £3,024 per 12 bottles in bond, according to Liv-ex.

Anson scored the wine 98 points, her highest rating since the 2016 vintage.

Prior to its release, she wrote in her tasting note, ‘This is the wine to go for in the [Haut-Brion owner] Domaine Clarence Dillon stable this year.’ She praised its ‘kick of black fruit and confident spice’.

While La Mission Haut-Brion 2020’s ex-Bordeaux price was €252 per bottle, up 40% on the corresponding debut price for the 2019 wine, Liv-ex said the 2020 was still slightly under the current market price of the 2019 vintage.

Analyst group Wine Lister said La Mission 2020 ‘could be an attractive buy’.

Château Montrose 2020 release price

Château Montrose, owned by the Bouygues brothers since 2006, also received a 98-point score from Anson for its 2020 vintage, equal with her rating for the St-Estèphe estate’s 2019 and 2018 grands vins.

‘This is a great Montrose, inky, broad-shouldered and structured,’ said Anson. ‘This will need a long time and will reward patience.’

Montrose 2020 was released today at €128 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up by 33% on the 2019 release, according to Liv-ex. It was being offered by merchants for around £1,540 per case, which Liv-ex said was around 28% higher than its current market price for the 2019 wine.

Wine Lister said Montrose 2020 was pitched above the price of many recent vintages, apart from 2016, but also noted the estate’s ‘relatively low price in the context of  Bordeaux’. It added, ‘This could work for en primeur buyers who are fans of Montrose, and its appellation at large.’

Haut-Brion Blanc 2020 makes debut

Also released en primeur today was Haut-Brion blanc 2020, rated 96 points by Anson, who praised its ‘excellent persistency and a deliciously mouthwatering finish’.

It was being offered by merchants at £7,200 per 12-bottle case in bond, having been released at €600 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, according to Liv-ex.

Other Domaine Clarence Dillon releases today

Haut-Brion’s second wine, La Clarence de Haut-Brion 2020, was among the other releases from the portfolio released en primeur today.

It was being offered for £1,440 by merchants, according to Liv-ex, with Anson scoring the wine at 92 points.

On the Right Bank, Clarence Dillion’s Château Quintus 2020 in St-Emilion was released this morning at €78 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up by around 16% on the opening price of the 2019 vintage, according to Liv-ex. That translated to a UK price of £924 per 12-bottle case in bond.

Anson gave the wine 93 points, describing it as ‘full of signature St-Emilion glamour’, although the 2018 and 2019 vintages achieved slightly higher scores – 94 and 95 respectively.

It is anticipated that there could be more big-name releases in the Bordeaux 2020 en primeur campaign in the coming days.


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