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Rhône 2020 En Primeur: full vintage report and top-scoring wines

Having tasted over 1,200 wines for this year's en primeur report, Matt Walls delivers his expert summary and buying advice for the Rhône 2020 releases. Despite it being another hot and dry year, many of the wines offer freshness, lower alcohols and early drinking pleasure, but not as much concentration as 2019.

In brief: Rhône 2020 En Primeur

Northern Rhône 2020: 4.5/5

A reliably fresh, balanced and approachable vintage – a return to classicism after a series of powerful years. Excellent white wines.

Southern Rhône: 4/5

Fresh, juicy and immediate reds with lower alcohol than recent years, though some lack concentration. Beautiful white wines.

‘These are wines that will provide huge amounts of pleasure, straight out of the gate. It is that rare thing – an excellent vintage for early drinking.’

At the heart of the 2020 Rhône vintage lies a paradox. If growing conditions were marked by heat and drought – like several of the preceding vintages – then why are the wines so very different in style?

If you’ve opened many 2019s, no doubt you’ll have tasted how the roasting summer resulted in vigorous, intense wines that are impossible to ignore. The 2020s, however, are distinctly different: fresh, vibrant and deliciously drinkable.

Scroll down for Matt’s top-scoring Rhône 2020 tasting notes and scores

The vast difference in style is a puzzle that continued to perplex me during my three weeks in the region, tasting over 1,200 wines.

See Matt’s top-scoring Rhône 2020 tasting notes and scores:

The following wines all scored 97 points or above. Wines are listed white then red in score order. 

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