2020 St. Emilion Wine Guide Pt 3 Tasting Notes, Reviews, Buying Tips, N-Z


2020 Saint Emilion part 3 covers all the wines from N to Z. The annual St. Emilion report was split into 3 separate articles because we were able to taste so many wines.

If you want to read an in-depth report on the weather, growing season, and harvest for the Right Bank, focused on 2020 St. Emilion along with quotes from several vignerons please read 2020 Saint Emilion Pt 1 A-G

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

2020 Palais Cardinal – Licorice, smoke, herbs, espresso, plums and cocoa create the nose. On the palate, the wine is rich, opulent, sweet, fresh and fruity with silky tannins and a touch of peppery spice in the fruit-filled finish. 90-92 Pts

2020 Palatin – Incense, flowers, tobacco, cocoa and licorice-infused dark red fruits are easy to find on the nose and palate. Medium-bodied, fresh, bright and juicy with a creamy finish, this will drink well on the young side. 89-91 Pts

2020 Paradis – Dark in color, the wine is packed with flowers, cherries, licorice and black raspberries. Ripe, sweet, lush and voluptuous, this supple textured wine is fresh and juicy with ample dark cocoa, espresso and licorice in the endnote. 91-93 Pts

2020 Pas de l’Ane – Medium-bodied, juicy, round and polished, with oaky overtones to the ripe fruits, the wine finishes on the savory, chewy, oaky side of the style range. 86-88 Pts

2020 Patris Querre – Ripe, round, chewy, polished, forward and a bit oaky in the savory, fruity finish, so give this a few years to better integrate. 87-89 Pts

2020 Pavie – Aphotic ink with purple accents in color, the intense sensation of crushed rocks and stones, flowers, licorice, truffle, wet forest, smoke, plums, black and blue fruits with oceanic smells captivate your interest. Full-bodied, concentrated, lush and palate-staining, with all its depth of flavor, the wine remains light on its feet. The fruit coats your palate with layers of opulent, sensuous, salty fruits that hold on to you for at least 60 seconds. Leave this in the cellar for 12-15 years and enjoy the thrills for the next 3 decades. The wine blends 50% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.82% ABV, pH 3.61. Harvesting took place September 21 – September 30. Yields were low at 31 hectoliters per hectare. 98-100 Pts

2020 Pavie Aromes de Pavie – Deeply colored, the wine offers red and black plums, flowers, boysenberry, espresso and dark chocolate on the nose. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, lush and concentrated, velvet texture and loads of sweet, fleshy, flashy, dark red fruits, spice, espresso and cocoa in the finish. Aromes de Pavie is no longer the second wine of Pavie. Because all its fruit comes from a specific 11-hectare parcel, it should be looked at as its own brand. The wine blends 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc. 93-95 Pts

2020 Pavie Macquin – Inky in color, with dark purple accents, the wine explodes with flowers, incense, licorice, black fruit and touches of blueberries. Rich, intense, flamboyant, sensuous and silky, this hits all your pleasure buttons simultaneously. The wine paints your palate with layers of decadently ripe fruit that is simultaneously sweet, fresh and dense. The seamless finish does not quit. Instead, it builds and expands, growing in intensity and complexity. This is going to be stunning with a decade or so of aging. 96-98 Pts

2020 Pavie-Decesse – Aromas of blackberry, flowers, licorice, plum and dark chocolate come to the surface easily. On the palate, the wine is soft, silky, polished and fresh, with the cut of minerality and salty tannins. You find length, complexity, richness and sensuous textured in the long finish. Make sure you give these 7 – 9 years to develop. The wine is produced from 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, 14.81% ABV. 95-97 Pts

2020 Peby Faugeres – Opaquely colored, the fruit here matches the color. Dark, dense and intense, the wine is packed with licorice, black and blue fruit, chocolate, smoke and espresso. Powerful, sensual, rich and frankly decadent, with a 60-second finish, this is the type of wine Caligula would serve at dinner. 98-100 Pts

2020 Peby Faugeres Le Merle de – Deeply colored, the wine pops with its nose of licorice, coffee bean, spearmint and dark cherries. Round, soft, medium-bodied and sweet, with juicy red fruits, cocoa and licorice on the back end, this finesse-styled wine is going to be delicious on release and is perfect to enjoy while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop into maturity. 90-92 Pts

2020 Petit Faurie deSoutard – Floral, fresh and fruity, the wine is soft, elegant, refined and rich. Cocoa, licorice, smoke, plums and flowers form the wine’s essence, which finishes with elegant, sweet red berries and a touch of oak. 91-93 Pts

2020 Petit Gravet Aine – Savory fruits, spice, crushed rocks and forest leaf come to the surface easily. Silky, fresh, vibrant and juicy with a purity to the fruits and refinement on the palate, the wine finishes with salty tannins, crushed rocks, savory red fruits and mint. Give it time in the cellar to develop and it will be an even better wine. This is clearly the finest vintage of Petit Gravet Ainé produced yet. 94-96 Pts

2020 Petit Val – Dark in color, the nose with its espresso, flowers, plums and sweet cherries gets you ready for the soft, round, polished, lush core of black plums, blackberry and chocolate-covered cherries. Sweet, lush, soft and fruity with loads of juicy fruit on the mid-palate and in the finish, this will be delicious with just a few years of age. 91-93 Pts

2020 Petit Val Muse du Val – Bitter espresso and cocoa-covered black cherries with vanilla bean, herbs, licorice and incense on the nose. The wine is lush, supple, soft and filled with sweet, ripe, lifted fruits from start to finish. You can age this for more development, or enjoy it for its exuberant fruit. 88-90 Pts

2020 Pierre 1er – Packed with layers of sweet, soft, silky, polished, ripe red and black pit fruits and a quarry full of crushed rocks and stones, this is already showing well. Long, focused, complex and mineral-driven, the crisp red berries in the finish stand out and linger. This is going to be even better with 5-7 years of aging. 91-93 Pts

2020 Pierre de Lune – Incense and toasty oak, along with juicy ripe plums, licorice and flowers are what you initially notice. Medium-bodied, round, polished, soft and fleshy, with spicy overtones to the red fruits and oak on the palate and in the supple-textured finish are what you find here. 90-92 Pts

2020 Poesia – Deeply colored, the wine is packed with nuances of flowers, licorice, wet earth, crushed rocks, plum, blackberry and dark cherries. On the palate, the wine is lively, silky, rich, creamy, concentrated and mineral-driven, with a beautiful salty character in the finish. The wine blends 70% Merlot with 30% Cabernet Franc, 14.5% ABV. 93-95 Pts

2020 Pontet Labrie – Quite floral in the perfume, with sweet, black and red pit fruits, smoke, licorice and herbs. The wine is medium-bodied, vibrant, with a blast of soft, sweet, fresh plums in the finish. This is going to be enjoyable in its youth, yet it should age for at least 15 years or more. 90-92 Pts

2020 Pressac – Elegant, floral and smoky, the wine is medium-bodied, lifted and loaded with sweet, juicy, silky plums, licorice, spice, cherry liqueur and mesquite. The finish is long, fresh and refined with layers of creamy wild cherries and black raspberries in the endnote. 93-95 Pts

2020 Quintus – Deeply colored, the wine is packed with nuances of crushed rocks, black raspberries, flowers, plums and forest leaves. Extremely poised and polished, the silky palate offers purity in the fruit, length and the sense of minerality, finishing with an array of red pit fruits, cocoa and salty tannins. The wine blends 62.5% Merlot with 37.5% Cabernet Franc, 15.2% ABV. 95-97 Pts

2020 Quintus Le Dragon de Quintus – Opening with flowers, black cherries, black raspberries, plums and dark chocolate, the wine quickly moves to its core of soft, plush, dark red fruits. Fresh, silky and fruity, this is perfect to drink while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. The wine is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, 15.2% ABV. 90-92 Pts

2020 Ripeau – Inky in color, the wine is loaded with toasty oak, licorice, cocoa, flowers and black, red with blue fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, lusciously textured, polished and plush, the finish offers freshness, length and hedonistic pleasures. Under the new owners, the wines here keep improving vintage after vintage. 93-95 Pts

2020 Roc de Candale – Medium-bodied, fresh, peppery, soft, early-drinking, cherry and red plum toned wine that will be at its best in its youth. 85-87 Pts

2020 Rochebelle – Dark garnet in color, the wine opens with spicy, dark red fruits, licorice, flowers, espresso and wet earth. Medium/full-bodied, elegantly textured, fresh and silky, the fruit expresses a beautiful sense of purity. Polished and refined from start to finish, this is clearly a new style of wine at Rochebelle and a big step up in quality from previous vintages. Much of that credit deservedly goes to their new consultant, Thomas Duclos. 92-94 Pts

2020 Rocheyron – Elegant, fresh, vibrant, and long, the nose entices you with its flowers, sweet red fruits, wet earth, crushed stone, espresso and dark chocolate fragrance. The purity in the fruit, along with its silky textures, and layers of sweet, lifted, red fruits hits all the right notes. This is refined hedonism at its best. Give it at least 6-8 years in the cellar and enjoy over the following 2 decades with ease. 95-97 Pts

2020 Rolland Maillet – Soft, silky, fresh and polished, this medium-bodied, vibrant, easy-to-like wine is packed with black and red fruits, licorice, spice and espresso on the mid-palate and in the finish. 90-92 Pts

2020 Rol Valentin – Medium-bodied, silky, fresh, pure and vibrant, the fruits are elegant and refined in texture. Finishing with loads of sweet, ripe, red berries with floral touches, this elegant charmer will be just great with only a few years of aging. 91-93 Pts

2020 Roylland – Black raspberries, spicy plums, licorice and kirsch create the character here. Medium-bodied, soft and approachable, this charming easy to drink silky wine will be delicious on release and over its first decade of life. 89-91 Pts

2020 Saint-Georges-Cote-Pavie – Deep in color, this full-bodied, rich, opulent, velvety-textured wine hits all the right notes. There is length, supple, sensuous tannins and layers of perfectly ripe, mineral-driven dark red fruits and spice. This is a huge step here from this estate. 92-94 Pts

2020 Saintayme – Medium-bodied, focusing on its freshness, approachability and ripe, sweet fruits, the wine offers wet earth, flowers, red berries, oak and a soft, sweet, silky, fresh, palate presence. Made from 100% Merlot, there is a lot of charm and early drinking character here. 90-92 Pts

2020 Sanctus – Fruit cake, blackberry, plum, spice and licorice nuances create the perfume. Medium-bodied, soft, silky, sweet and fresh with core of ripe, supple, sultry fruits accompanied by licorice, espresso, cocoa and a touch of savory herbs. There is a good sense of purity and elegance found here. 92-94 Pts

2020 la Bienfaisance Sanctus – Deep ruby in color, the wine offers it floral, licorice and spicy plummy profile easily. Medium-bodied, soft, silky and fruity with a forward approach and a touch of savory herbs on the backend, you can enjoy this on just a year or two after release. 91-93 Pts

2020 Sansonnet – Inky in color, the wine is opaque in your glass. Strong notes of licorice, wet earth, chocolate-covered black raspberries, smoke, espresso and charcoal create the nose. The wine is full-bodied, plush, opulent and sensuous. Even, with all its weight and density, the wine is silky, fresh and vibrant. The voluptuous finish builds and expands with wave after wave of dark, hedonistic fruits. This is a superb wine that should age and develop for at least 2 decades. 95-97 Pts

2020 Sol Beni – Coffee grounds, black cherry, spice, smoke and licorice open the wine. Dark in color, the wine is fruity, forward and lushly textured. This should be easy to drink on release. 88-90 Pts

2020 Sol Beni Coup du Chapeau – The large, oversized bottle makes an impression on the table. The wine strives to be equally impressive with all its waves of inky dark berries, licorice, dark chocolate and strong espresso notes. Full-bodied, concentrated and lush, the wine hits 15% ABV, finishing with a wealth of dark fruits and oak. Give it a few years to develop and allow the oak to become better integrated. 88-90 Pts

2020 Soutard – The complex set of aromatics opens with 5 spice, smoke, licorice, tobacco leaf, chocolate and blackberry liqueur notes. Full-bodied, lush, opulent and silky, the wine is deep, concentrated and rich, yet light on its feet, elegant, balanced and fresh. The finish lingers with an array of ripe, red, black and blue fruits, licorice and toasty oak. There is a lot going on here, so give it some time to come together, maybe 6 years or more. 93-95 Pts

2020 SoutardCadet – Dark in color, the wine is round, lush, deep and rich, with blackberry and plum liqueur notes in its core. Sensuous, velvety and palate coating, the wine is dense, concentrated and full-bodied, yet light on its feet. 94-96 Pts

2020 Tauzinat L’Hermitage – Dark in color. the wine is loaded with chocolate-drenched plums and cherries. Earthy, with soft-textured, sweet, ripe, dark, juicy fruits on the mid-palate and finish mean that you should be able to enjoy this almost on release. 89-91 Pts

2020 Tertre Roteboeuf – The striking nose with its exotic perfume is just the start here. Full-bodied, opulent, sensuously textured, the fruits are perfectly ripe, fresh, sweet and addictive. With a fabulous blend of ripe and almost overripe crushed black raspberries, kirsch, flowers, crushed rocks and forest notes, the wine seeks your attention. Rich, silky, concentrated and multi-faceted, the wine is long, intense, pure and energetic. This uniquely styled wine stands out in a crowd and should age and evolve for at least 2-3 decades with little effort. 97-99 Pts

2020 Teyssier – Camphor, jammy black and red fruits, herbs, mint, tobacco and forest leaf on the nose get you into the medium-bodied, soft, forward, fruity, easy-to-drink style here. The chewy finish comes along with a touch of mint and espresso in the endnote. 88-90 Pts

2020 Tour Baladoz – Chocolate-coated blackberries, espresso, plums and savory herbs fill the perfume and palate. Round, lush, forward and fruity, the spicy endnotes come along with ripe red pit fruits, spice and oak. So, give this a few years in the cellar to fully come together. 89-91 Pts

2020 Tour Fonrazade – Roasted red fruits and wet forest floor notes combine to create the core of this forward-styled wine. Medium-bodied, soft, silky and polished, the fruit is sweet and fresh, with a mild chocolate touch. This is open and accessible and should be delicious on release. 89-91 Pts

2020 Tour Peyronneau – Medium-bodied, forward, fresh and ready to go with its bright red berry and licorice, bright, chewy, crisp character. The wine was produced and bottled without the use of sulfites. 86-89 Pts

2020 Tour Peyronneau Cabernet Franc – Medium-bodied, soft, fresh, sweet, uncomplicated, savory, round wine for early drinking consumption. The wine was produced and bottled without the use of sulfites and is made from 100% Cabernet Franc. 87-89 Pts

2020 Tour Saint Christophe – Deep, and dark in color, and equally dark and deep in its fruit, the nose pops with perfectly ripe dark red and black fruits, licorice, smoke, cherry blossoms, crushed rocks and stones. The wine has depth, sensuality, luscious texture and layers of ripe, opulent fruits. The finish lingers with layers of black and red fruits with dark chocolate that feel as good as they taste. This could be the finest vintage of Tour Sant Christophe ever produced, and that is really saying something. The wine is made from blending 80% Merlot with 20% Cabernet Franc. You can age it for 20-25 years. Or if you like, you can also enjoy this on the young side. 95-97 Pts

2020 Trianon – Medium-bodied, soft, bright and savory, the wine shows a strong oak presence that will take time to integrate and allow the chewy, crisp red fruits to show through. 89-91 Pts

2020 Trimoulet – Soft, fresh and polished, the wine is medium-bodied, forward and packed with ripe, dark plums, cherries, espresso and spice on the palate and in the finish. Give it 2-4 years in the cellar and it is going to be even better once the oak integrates into the wine. 90-92 Pts

2020 Troplong Mondot – Inky dark in color with purple around the edges, the wine jumps out of the glass with its complex nose of plum liqueur, flowers, licorice, caramel, cappuccino, herbs and earth. Full-bodied, seductive, concentrated and powerful, yet even with all its richness, the wine remains light on its feet. The strong sense of minerality accompanying the fruit in the endnote adds complexity. There is lift, length and purity from start to finish making you want to go back for sip and sip. 96-98 Pts

2020 Trotte Vieille – Deeply colored, the wine jumps from the glass with flowers, licorice, chocolate, spice-box, black cherry, plum liqueur and crushed stone nuances in the perfume. Full-bodied, velvet-textured, silky and vibrant, the finish has real staying power, purity and energy, leaving you with layers of chocolate-coated plums, espresso, spice and herbs on the backend. Concentrated, long and deep, give these 7 – 8 years in the cellar and it is really going to rock. 95-97 Pts

2020 Trotte Vieille Dame de Trotte Vieille – The wine is forward, bright, crisp, fresh, juicy and sweet. It is medium-bodied with a core of red plums, licorice, cocoa and spicy kirsch with soft textures that is going to be just great on release. 88-90 Pts

2020 Valandraud – Completely opaque in color, the wine grabs you with camphor, flowers, plum liqueur, licorice, blueberry, cherry pie and Asian spice aromas. Hedonism at its best, this a bringing sexy back to wine with all its layers of voluptuous, opulent, palate-staining fruits. Yet, even with all of that going on, the wine remains fresh, focused and complex. The array of sensations here is exactly what the doctor ordered. If you can wait a decade before popping a cork, this is going to be a true cellar treasure. No guts no glory. But you can quote me. This is the best vintage of Valandraud ever produced. 97-99 Pts

2020 Vieux Chantecaille – Fresh, soft, sweet, and silky, the wine is medium-bodied, accessible, fruity and ready to go for easy drinking pleasure. 88-90 Pts

2020 Vieux Chateau Mazerat – Spicy, fresh, vibrant and mineral-driven, the wine shows off its ripe cherry, black raspberry, plum and floral elements with little effort. Medium/full-bodied, fresh, stony and with a combination of sweet red fruits and oak on the palate, this is going to take 6-8 years to come together. 92-94 Pts

2020 Villemaurine – Richly colored, the nose is filled with dark chocolate, licorice, smoke, black cherry, plum and herbs that get the wine moving. On the palate the wine is lush, fleshy, sweet, ripe and polished, finishing with opulently textured fruits and freshness. This is the last vintage for Justin Onclin, as the owner. The estate was sold earlier this year. 93-95 Pts

2020 Virginie de Valandraud – Earthy, savory, fresh and filled with fruit, the wine is ripe, bold, sweet, juicy and rich. The voluptuous layers of fruits in the finish, along with their cool touch of mint really sticks with you. You can drink this young, or age it for 3-5 years and enjoy it over the following decade. 91-93 Pts

2020 YonFigeac – Black cherries, espresso and licorice with earthy nuances come through on the nose. Medium-bodied with dusty plums, oak, green olives and herbs are found on the medium-bodied palate and in the finish. You can drink this on the young side. 88-90 Pts

The next 2020 Bordeaux report focuses on the best 2020 Bordeaux value wines from the Right Bank.

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