Best 2020 Haut Medoc Wines, Tasting Notes, Ratings, Harvest Reports


2020 Haut Medoc, 2020 Listrac and 2020 Moulis offer some of the best values in the Left Bank today. Following the extremely wet spring, the hot, sunny, drought-plagued summer made 2020 Haut Medoc a difficult year for growers. For a detailed report on the 2020 Bordeaux growing season and harvest

However, those vineyards with the ability to retain ample water were able to produce some very fine, stylish, complex, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon based wines. If you know where to look, there are several fine wines worth tasting and adding to your cellar.

The following 2020 Haut Medoc wines were all tasted in my home office in non-blind conditions.

2020 Agassac – Smoke, espresso, black cherry and cassis with hints of licorice hit the nose. On the palate, the wine is round, soft, forward, sweet and fleshy with ripe blackberries all over the smooth textured finish. You can enjoy this young or age it for a few years. The estate was recently sold, so this is the final vintage for the previous owner. 90-92 Pts

2020 Arnauld – Ripe dark red fruits and tobacco leaf form the core of this medium-bodied, forward, accessible, chewy, bright, savory, easy-drinking wine. 88-90 Pts

2020 Beaumont – Deep in color, the nose opens with smoke, spice, tobacco, herbs and dark red fruits. Round, and with much more ripeness and volume than in previous vintages, this is already a delight to taste due to all its sweet, chewy, ripe, fresh red fruits on the palate and in the finish. This is clearly a big step up here in quality and character. 88-90 Pts

2020 Belgrave – Medium-bodied, fresh, crisp, juicy and savory, with a nice chewy quality to the medium-bodied, sweet, ripe fruits on the palate and in the finish, this should age and develop quite nicely. 90-92 Pts

2020 Belle-Vue – Spicy black raspberries, tobacco, cedar and flowers work on the nose, while on the palate the wine is bright, chewy, crisp and fresh with endnotes of savory kirsch and peppery currants. Belle-Vue is one of the few Bordeaux wines produced using 5 allowable grape varieties. 89-91 Pts

2020 Bernadotte – The nose with its cherry pipe tobacco, currants and cedar notes is quite nice. Medium-bodied, with a shot of juicy black currants and tobacco on the palate and plenty of chewy, ripe, earthy, lively fruits and cedar in the finish are good now, and it will be even better with 5-6 years of age. This is the best Bernadotte I have tasted in years. 88-90 Pts

2020 Bibian – With a strong savory leaning, here you find loads of earth, cedar, cigar wrapper, leafy herbs and olives along with its bright red berry profile. You can drink this on the young side before the savory components overwhelm the fruit. 84-86 Pts

2020 Branas-Grand-Poujeaux – With notes of tobacco, espresso, dark red fruits, herbs and cocoa, the wine is soft, round, polished, fruity and fresh. With a nice sweetness to the fruits and soft ripe tannins on the palate, the ripe berries taste and feel great in the finish. This is one of the top wines from Listrac and it sells for a song. 91-93 Pts

2020 Camensac – Spicy, earthy, red fruits, tobacco leaf and cedar are what you initially notice. From there, the medium-bodied wine comes through with sweet, chewy, ripe, bright crunchy red fruits with soft tannins in the mid-palate and in the finish. You should be able to enjoy this with just a few years in the cellar. 88-90 Pts

2020 Cantemerle – Dark, juicy cherries, bitter chocolate, savory herbs and a touch of espresso start the wine off. Medium-bodied, bright and energetic, with a lot of lift in the red fruits on the palate, this will age and develop nicely. 92-94 Pts

2020 Cap Léon Veyrin – Herbs, tobacco leaf, flowers and red fruits in a medium-bodied, soft, forward, early-drinking style for current, uncomplicated consumption with a touch of cocoa in the finish. 86-88 Pts

2020 Caroline – Medium-bodied, bright, lean, crisp and tart, the finish shows a lot of cedar and savory character. 84-86 Pts

2020 Caronne Ste. Gemme – Medium-bodied, firm, chewy and with a strong savory accent to the crisp, red fruits on the palate, the wine leaves you with an herb-infused, minty, red currant finish. 85-87 Pts

2020 Charmail – Soft red fruits, herbs and cedar come through easily on the round, juicy, spice-nuanced, red berry nose and palate. Fresh and savory, give it just a few years of age and it will be showing even better. 89-91 Pts

2020 Clement Pichon – Dark in color, the wine is soft, round, medium-bodied and fruity with a nice core of red and black fruits with hints of savory herbs, cocoa and espresso. You can enjoy this almost on release. 88-90 Pts

2020 Chasse Spleen – Tobacco, herbs, flowers and red fruits combine on the nose. On the medium-bodied palate, this classically styled wine delivers bright, fresh red fruits, soft tannins and a crisp, almost crunchy red berry finish. 88-90 Pts

2020 Chemin Royal – With a strong oaky presence, the wine is medium-bodied, with nutty, chocolate-tinged accents to the round fruits. Medium-bodied polished and forward, this will be enjoyable on release and should be a top Bordeaux value wine for those seeking uncomplicated drinking pleasure at a price anyone can afford. 89-91 Pts

2020 Cissac – Chocolate, tobacco leaf, blackberry, and a sprig of mint are found in the nose. Medium-bodied, ripe, chewy, fruity, and forward, you can drink this with just a year or two of age for its fruity character. 83-85 Pts

2020 Citran – Floral, fresh and fruity with its bouquet of black raspberries, cherries, cocoa and herbs, the wine is medium-bodied, soft, round, fresh and lifted with a nice, vibrant, juicy, chewy and crisp finish. 87-89 Pts

2020 Clarke – Sweet, ripe black cherries and earth form the core of this wine. Medium-bodied, with a dusty textured finish, this will be fine to drink and enjoy in its youth. 87-89 Pts

2020 Coufran – Medium-bodied, soft, round and fruity with a focus on its cassis, plum, mocha and herb character on the nose and on the palate. I like the chocolate overtones in the finish. This is clearly a step up from previous vintages. 88-90 Pts

2020 Croix du Trale – Dark in color, the wine is loaded with black, red and blue fruit. This is a big blast of ripe, fleshy, lush, round, sweet fruits with herbs and chocolate tones in the finish. 89-91 Pts

2020 dHanteillan – Medium-bodied, ripe, round and fruity, the wine is already open. With its forward character and chewy fruit on the mid-palate and finish, you can enjoy it young, but the oak is rather present at the moment. So, give it a few years to better integrate. 87-89 Pts

2020 Dillon – Medium-bodied with a core of glossy, chewy, peppery red fruits, savory herbs and a sweet and tart finish, you can drink this on release. 87-89 Pts

2020 du Cartillon – Bright, fresh, juicy and crisp, with a medium-bodied palate focusing on sweet, crunchy berries and savory herbs on the palate and in the finish. 88-90 Pts

2020 du Mont – With a nose of tobacco leaf, cedar and spicy currants, the wine is medium-bodied, soft, round, forward and deceptively easy to drink. 88-90 Pts

2020 Dutruch GrandPoujeaux – Garnet in color, the wine offers espresso, smoke and roasted dark red fruits on the nose and on the medium-bodied, round, sweet, red, polished, fruity palate. You can enjoy this on the young side for all its soft, ripe fruits and spicy chocolate touches. 90-92 Pts

2020 Fonreaud – With a touch of garrigue that reminds me of the Rhone Valley you also find bright red currants and dried floral notes. Medium-bodied with soft tannins and a crispness to the red fruits on the palate. Fresh and chewy, you can drink this shortly after release. 87-89 Pts

2020 Fourcas-Dupre – The smoke, spice, cedar, espresso and dark red fruits smell great. On the palate, the wine is round, medium/full-bodied, soft, fruity, fresh and chewy. There is length and energy here. Drink this well-priced, character-filled Left Banker over the next 10-15 years. 89-91 Pts

2020 Gironville – Medium-bodied, fresh and savory with a solid core of ripe, soft, polished, supple fruits on the mid-palate and in the savory, spearmint and spice-toned finish. This will be just great to taste on release and over the next decade. 89-91 Pts

2020 Giscours Haut-Medoc – Earthy, with loads of pipe and cigar tobacco along with touches of olives and currants, the wine is round, forward, soft and fresh, finishing with savory currants and ripe tannins. The wine blends equal amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. 88-90 Pts

2020 Haut-Madrac – Medium-bodied, fresh and juicy with a core of spicy, savory, red currants. The wine finishes with a nice crunchy bite of crisp, bright, savory red berries. 86-88 Pts

2020 La Lagune – Showing a serious depth of color, the wine is filled with floral aromas, espresso, leaves and spicy red fruit aromas. Medium-bodied, elegant, fresh and refined, texturally the wine feels like spun silk. There is good length and purity here. I am really liking the spicy freshness and savor character in the lingering finish. 92-94 Pts

2020 La Tour Carnet – Smoke, espresso, licorice, mesquite, black and red currant aromas appear in the perfume. The palate is lush, round, ripe and rich with smoky black cherries, bitter cocoa and black plums. The finish is powerful, full and almost muscular, leaving you with a big gulp of black fruits. 91-93 Pts

2020 Les Pensees de la Tour Carnet – Medium-bodied, plush, round, forward and fruity, with a core of sweet, black and red fruits, espresso, earth and herbs that is going to be easy to enjoy on release. 86-88 Pts

2020 Lamarque – Black raspberries, blackberries, espresso, cocoa, cedar, tobacco and herbs open the nose. On the palate, the wine is juicy, fresh, vibrant and fruit-filled, leaving with you loads of sweet, crisp, energetic currants and herbs with staying power. 89-90 Pts

2020 Lamothe Bergeron – Fresh, bright and fruity, the wine is medium-bodied, with a core of crisp red, savory berries, cedar and tobacco. Give it a year or two of age to enjoy it over the following decade. 88-90 Pts

2020 Lamothe-Bergeron Nove – Medium-bodied, fresh, forward expression of ripe, red fruits with tinges of vanilla, herbs, tobacco and red currants, with ample fruit on the mid-palate and earthy, bright, chewy finish. 88-90 Pts

2020 Lanessan – Toasty oak, dark red and black fruit, camphor and espresso come through on the nose. On the palate the wine is round, supple and structured. You find loads of sweet, ripe, fleshy fruits with a trace of cocoa in the finish. This should age quite nicely. 90-92 Pts

2020 Larose Perganson – Bright, fresh and chewy, the wine is medium-bodied, with a crisp, vibrant core of peppery, savory fruits. You can drink this on release or with just a year or two of aging. 88-90 Pts

2020 Larose-Trintaudon – Fruity, round and juicy with a nice sweetness to the savory, chewy currants hints of cocoa on the palate and in the finish. This is fine for early, uncomplicated drinking pleasure. 87-89 Pts

2020 Lestage – Medium-bodied, round and fruity with juicy, firm, chewy, dark red fruits on the nose, palate and in the finish. You can enjoy this with just a year or two of age. 86-88 Pts

2020 Lestate Simon – Fruity, forward, round and savory, with a chewy, tannic, cigar box, peppery spice and red berry finish, this will be best in its youth before the savory edge overtakes the fruit. 85-87 Pts

2020 Madame de Beaucaillou – Medium-bodied, chewy, fresh and fruity, with a nice core of ripe cassis on the nose and palate, this is perfect for enjoying in cafes and bistros. This should drink quite well on release and over the next decade. This solid value wine offers a lot of Left Bank character, and it sells for a song. 89-91 Pts

2020 Magnol – Bright, crisp, crunchy red berries, herbs, olives and pepper permeate this medium-bodied, chewy, tart, stoic wine. 84-86 Pts

2020 Malescasse – The wine is round, rich, fruity with loads of ripe, dark, fresh red fruits, soft tannins, hints of dark cocoa and flesh. 89-91 Pts

2020 Malleret – Dark in color the wine is smoky with notes of espresso, wet forest, thyme and cocoa. The palate is round, fruity and juicy, with sweet, ripe currants in a forward approach. This should be enjoyable to drink on release. 87-89 Pts

2020 Maucaillou – With a touch of smoke, licorice, espresso and bright red berries, the wine is medium-bodied, forward, chewy, crisp, fresh and classic in style. 87-89 Pts

2020 Mayne Lalande – Medium-bodied, firm, bright, fresh, juicy and chewy with a core of red currants on the nose and palate for early drinking pleasure. 86-88 Pts

2020 Moulin Rouge – The wine is fruity, forward, medium-bodied, chewy, savory and dusty in the finish. 84-86 Pts

2020 Paloumey – Peppery, dark red berries, medium-bodied, soft, polished, forward and already accessible, the wine is packed with sweet and savory herbs and a stony, firm finish. 87-89 Pts

2020 Peyrat-Fourthon – Medium-bodied, fresh and bright, with a core of vibrant chewy fruits, spice, cedar and tobacco leaf, you can drink this on release or with just 1 or 2 years of aging. 87-89 Pts

2020 Peyredon Lagravette – Medium-bodied, round, sweet, ripe and forward with dark currant fruits, soft tannins and sweet dark pit fruits and a tinge of bitter chocolate in the finish. 89-91 Pts

2020 Poujeaux – On the fruit side indeed, as all the sweet, ripe blackberries and cassis are starting to show their essence along with tobacco, smoke, herbs and wet earth. Round, focused and forward, with plenty of sweet, soft fruit in the finish, this is a strong vintage for Poujeaux. The wine blends 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. 91-93 Pts

2020 Reysson – Soft, medium-bodied, round, supple and juicy with a core of ripe plums, cherries and currants and a hint of chocolate poking through in the finish. You can enjoy this just about on release. 89-91 Pts

2020 Saint-Paul – Espresso, smoke, sweet blackberry, tobacco, spice and plums are found on the nose and on the palate. The wine is medium-bodied, soft, forward, fresh and fruity. This is a nice example of a Bordeaux value wine. 89-91 Pts

2020 Saransot-Dupre – Medium-bodied, bright and crisp, with an herbal, minty, savory accent to the red fruits on the nose and palate. The chewy finish is spicy and savory in the peppery endnotes. 87-89 Pts

2020 Senejac – Showing deep color, leather, cedar, tree leaf, spice and red currants pop right off the bat, this wine is medium/full-bodied with sandy, soft tannins and freshness in the finish. This should show well with just a few years of age. 89-91 Pts

2020 Sociando-Mallet – Deeply colored, with a nose offering flowers, touches of chocolate, wet earth, herbs and dark red spicy fruits. The wine is full-bodied, with a generous splash of black fruits, savory herbs and cocoa. Long and full in the mouth, this will age and develop for at least 3 decades with little effort. 92-94 Pts

2020 Sociando-Mallet Cuvée Jean Gautreau – Deeply colored, the perfume opens with cherry blossoms, espresso, black and red currants and Asian spices. Full-bodied, powerful, concentrated and fleshy, with a nice, chewy, mouthful of ripe sweet red berries and chocolate, along with the tannic structure to age and evolve for decades, this is a solid effort. 93-95 Pts

2020 Sociando-Mallet La Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet – Soft, round, lush, fruity and polished, the wine is forward, medium-bodied and already expressive with its dark red fruits, spice and tobacco character. Enjoy this while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. 89-90 Pts

2020 Tour-du-Haut-Moulin – Floral and fruity on the nose, the wine is medium-bodied, soft, chewy, sweet and fruity, with a charming, cherry and red currant edge in the rounded finish. 88-90 Pts

2020 Villegeorge – Loads of soft, round, sweet, juicy red fruits come through nicely in this forward, ready-to-drink, uncomplicated charmer. 89 Pts

Next, we will publish our notes and scores for the best 2020 Medoc wines before moving on to the Right Bank with 2020 Pomerol and 2020 St. Emilion, which will be in 3 parts.

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