Bordeaux 2020 – a guide

2020 Merlot being picked at Ch Leoville Barton in St-Julien

25 June 2021 The campaign (to extract more money from Bordeaux lovers) is almost over, with widespread price increases which seem to have been far from compelling to judge from this thread in our Members' forum with its many opinions and comparisons with earlier vintages. We will unpin this article tomorrow so as not to clutter up our home page.

12 June 2021 It's tempting to unpin this article from our home page but as prices continue to come out, sometimes with seriously reduced quantities of wine available, the popularity of this thread in our Members' forum with Nick Martin of Wine Owners' value charts and well over 200 posts suggests we should keep it here a while longer. This campaign is proving very different from last year's 'miracle' campaign.

6 May 2021 Prices are starting to trickle out and, as last year, Nick Martin of Wine Owners is offering invaluable guidance on the relative value of each new release in this thread in our Members' forum.

26 April 2021 All about the COVID-19 vintage. And let us fervently hope it will turn out to be the only Bordeaux vintage to have been harvested by masked pickers. Above, Merlot grapes being picked at Ch Léoville Barton, as captured by Gavin Quinney of Ch Bauduc.

This year, as last, Bordeaux's en primeur campaign has been limited by pandemic-related restrictions. Those of us based in Britain are unable to travel anywhere, and certainly not to France with its much higher level of COVID-19 infections than the UK. So this year, like last year, we are relying on our fellow Master of Wine James Lawther, who lives in Bordeaux's Entre-Deux-Mers region, to make visits to those important châteaux unwilling to allow cask samples to leave the estate.

He will also attend the tasting being held in Bordeaux this week by the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux. But quite a high proportion of our tasting notes are based on tastings of cask samples by Julia and Jancis in London.

Given this less-than-perfect scenario, we are concentrating on the wines most avidly bought en primeur and look forward very much to retasting them, as well as a much wider array of 2020s, in 2022 once they are all safely in bottle. Please note that these cask samples are only just over six months old and present only a suggestion of what the final wine is likely to be like. We are also publishing our tasting articles before they are complete so as to provide you with as much information as possible. Please keep visiting to see the latest additions. Most recent articles appear at the top of the two lists below. Those in italics are yet to be published.

Within red wine tasting articles the reviews are grouped by appellation. After each of them is published we will keep adding tasting notes to the tasting articles in a separate group named Recent additions.

Tasting articles

Bordeaux 2020 four years on – left-bank reds 15 February 2024

Bordeaux 2020 four years on – right-bank reds 14 February 2024

Bordeaux 2020 four years on – whites 13 February 2024

More bordeaux 2020s in bottle 19 December 2022

UGCB 2020s in bottle – left-bank reds 9 December 2022

UGCB 2020s in bottle – whites and right-bank reds 8 December 2022

More bordeaux 2020 – whites and right-bank reds 9 June 2021

More bordeaux 2020 – left-bank reds 2 June 2021

Whites 28 April 2021

Left-bank reds 27 April 2021

Right-bank reds 26 April 2021

Other coverage

Bordeaux 2020 revisited (Inside information) 12 February 2024

All change in Bordeaux (Free for all) 8 May 2021

Bordeaux 2020 – the sweet-wine struggle (Inside information) 5 May 2021

Bordeaux 2020 - the improbable year (Inside information) 4 May 2021

Primeurs in a pandemic (Don't quote me) 27 April 2021

Bordeaux 2020 primeurs – our plans (Free for all) 22 April 2021

Bordeaux 2020 in numbers (Free for all) 22 February 2021

Bordeaux 2020 weather and harvest report (Free for all) 14 October 2020

Re-thinking en primeur (Free for all) 23 April 2020

When should Bordeaux launch its 2019s? (Don't quote me) 20 April 2020