Bordeaux 2020 at a glance
A challenging vintage in which difficulties were faced both in and beyond the vineyards, with lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions adding to mildew, unprecedented drought, heatwaves and harvest storms.
Overall red wine vintage rating: 4/5
Good but variable quality and quantity, with the third-lowest yields in a decade after 2013 and 2017.
Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for the top-rated Bordeaux 2020 wines
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Individual appellation analysis and top-scoring wines
Pauillac | St-Julien | St-Estephe | Margaux | Pessac & Graves | St-Emilion |Pomerol
It’s both a blessing and a curse approaching an in-bottle vintage ‘blind’ as it were, having not tasted these wines en primeur. There are no expectations, meaning each is judged on its own merits, yet there’s a lack of context and inability to detect improvements over time.
It’s also difficult tasting so many wines over an extended period, putting those tasted in November 2022 at a potential disadvantage to those tasted at the beginning of February this year. Even so, many of the 2020s were in general much less friendly, less approachable and less charming than the 2019s were at the same point in their development; however, the vintage also produced some of the most detailed, precise and compelling young wines I’ve ever tasted.
Comparatively, the 2020s offer a combination of the 2005 and 2016 vintages in terms of structure and refinement – more elegant and fresh than the ripe and opulent 2018s, and more focused but less immediately charming than the 2019s. It’s a trio of vintages offering something for every Bordeaux lover.