2020 Pessac Leognan wines are at their best, simply, beautiful. Pessac Leognan is a complicated appellation. Some vintages favor red wines, other years white wines, and every now and then you get lucky, and both the red and white wines turn out great. However, 2020 is a red wine vintage. The top red wines offer length, purity, richness, elegance, and silky, sensuous textures with a smokey edge that can be enjoyed young, yet age for decades. It is also interesting to note that several wines have really stepped up their game, with some producing the best wines in the history of their estate!
While there are some white Bordeaux wines that hit all the right notes, the best wines of the vintage for 2020 Pessac Leognan are the red wines. It is important to know what took place during the growing season to produce the vintage.
2020 Pessac Leognan started off with a rainy winter before warming up in the spring when the rains started falling all over again. In fact, the amount of rain drenching Pessac Leognan from March to June was of historic proportions. If the excessive amount of water in the vineyards at that time was not enough to deal with, March 25 and March 26 were icy cold, and frost hit some vineyards, reducing yields.
By the end of April, the weather started heating up again, warming and drying out the soils. The first part of May once again soaked the soils with a massive amount of rain. However, once temperatures began warming up, flowering started early, promising that 2020 Pessac Leognan would result in an early harvest.
The 2020 Pessac Leognan vintage was the result of its on-and-off repeated weather patterns according to Guillaume Pouthier of Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion.
“2020 Pessac Leognan was a kind of two-in-one vintage in terms of climatic conditions. It started out very humid before becoming extremely dry. This made us become more focused on water management as we needed to remove the excess water from the soils to optimize the hydric restriction in the first part of the vintage. Later, the vines needed water in the second half of the growing season to allow the grapes to reach the perfect tannic maturity.”
By the middle of June, just in time for the summer, the weather became hot, sunny, and very dry with almost no moisture to nurture the vines between July to August. Making the situation more complex, temperatures shot up to 40 Celsius, (104 Fahrenheit), bringing drought conditions.
At the time, Olivier Bernard of Domaine-deChevalier worried that 2020 Pessac Leognan could turn into another vintage like 2003 if the vineyards did not receive any much-needed rain.
“With 2020, the hot, very dry summer with its drought shaped much of the vintage’s character. However, clearly August saved the vintage due to the desperately needed rain. Without that rain, the vintage could have developed like 2003. But as you have tasted the wines, you know that is not the case!”
2020 Pessac Leognan was indeed saved by the rains that fell on August 11, August 12, and August 13. Here, the rains were almost half of what vignerons experienced in the northern part of the Medoc at an average of 60 mm, (2.36″).
With the soils becoming very dry, the desperately needed rain that fell in August was perfect. The 2020 Pessac Leognan harvest came early. Starting with the white Bordeaux wine grapes, growers started picking Sauvignon Blanc just after the August rains, around August 20, and finished with the Semillon by early September. By the start of September, the weather heated up, drying the soil and propelling the grapes to reach maturity.
The red wine grape harvest started early with the young vine Merlot being picked in early September. Most of the Cabernet Sauvignon was brought in by the end of September. Depending on the terroir and desires of the grower, when to pick was paramount, as Fabien Teitgen of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte recalls.
“The date of the harvest was important. We needed to pick at the right time which meant not too late to preserve the balance in the grapes. With the hot, dry temperatures, picking one or two days later could have changed things quite a bit!”
2020 Pessac Leognan wines are undeniably superb. But it was not an easy vintage as Veronique Sanders of Chateau Haut-Bailly recalls.
“The challenges 2020 gave us allowed our team to exert focus in the vineyard and in the cellars. The 2020 vintage is a Phoenix in many ways. We were able to create an incredible wine from unprecedented challenges.”
With all that in mind, let’s look at the wines. Of course, you will notice the temporary omission of Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut Brion. I will taste both of those wines in April and will add my tasting notes and scores at that point in time. To read reports on the 2020 Bordeaux vintage in every appellation, as well as a 2020 Bordeaux vintage summary and analysis, please see The 2020 Bordeaux Complete Guide
All of the following 2020 Pessac Leognan Red and White wines were tasted in non-blind conditions at my office.
2020 Bouscaut – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, bright, vibrant, fresh red fruits with smoke, and tobacco make their way into the perfume. On the palate, the wine is crisp, chewy, and lifted, with a piquant edge to the red berries with a touch of spice on the back end. Drink from 2024-2040. 91 Pts
2020 Bouscaut Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Lemons, flowers, and green apples with honeysuckle show on the nose, and creamy, sweet, citrus-filled, mildly, spiced palate. You can enjoy this on release. Drink from 2023-2030. 90 Pts
2020 Bouscaut Les Chenes Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Pears, green apples, and grapefruit pith form the nose here. On the palate, the wine is forward, fresh and fruity with a touch of lemon, and lime in the finish. Drink from 2023-2026. 87 Pts
2020 Bouscaut Les Chenes de Bouscaut – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, floral, smoky, and fresh with a palate that is already serving up its sweet, red fruits, and silky, refined tannins with ease. This is fully ready for its prime-time window of enjoyment, which is perfect as you can enjoy this while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. Drink from 2023-2030 89 Pts
2020 Cantelys – Pessac-Léognan – Smoke, scorched earth, olives, currants, and tobacco create the nose. Medium-bodied, forward, soft, round, and loaded with tobacco-tinted red fruits, the chewy finish has a lot to offer. This is going to offer fabulous, early-drinking pleasure. Plus, it should age and evolve for at least 12 or more years after that. The wine blends 70% Cabernet Sauvignon with 30% Merlot. Drink from 2024-2035. 91 Pts
2020 Carbonnieux – Pessac-Léognan – The nose, with its smoke, flowers, cocoa, and wet earth scents is a treat. But it is on the palate, with all its layers of lush, elegant, ripe, silky, blackberries, plums, and cocoa where the wine shines. Soft, supple, long, and complex, with a solid depth of flavor in the finish that is packed with ripe fruits, chocolate, and coffee bean, this is in contention as the finest vintage of Carbonnieux I have ever tasted. Drink from 2025-2045. 93 Pts
2020 Carbonnieux Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Orange rind, mint leaf, green tea, honeysuckle, spice, and lemon peels are found in the nose, and on the fresh, creamy, sweet, lush, palate. This is simply delicious. Drink from 2023-2034. 92 Pts
2020 Carrosse Martillac – Pessac-Léognan – Savory herbs, red fruits, and a touch of spice come together to form the perfume. On the palate, the wine is soft, forward, sweet, fruity, and with a touch of cocoa that pops in at the end of the finish. This is fully ready to go. You can enjoy this with pleasure on release, and over the near term. Drink from 2023-2031. 88 Pts
2020 Carrosse Martillac L’Equipage – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, forward, simple, savory, red berry oriented wine for early-drinking, uncomplicated, pleasure. This will be at its best over the next few years. Drink from 2023-2026. 85 Pts
2020 ChateauOlivier – Pessac-Léognan – Black plums, smoke, licorice, orange zest, and flowers pop in the nose with no trouble. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, round, silky, and fresh, with a finish that leaves you with nuances of dark chocolate, espresso, and more of those, sweet, ripe, black, juicy plums. Drink from 2024-2040. 92 Pts
2020 ChateauOlivier Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Flowers, lemon rind, mango, and pineapple find their way into the perfume. On the palate, the wine is loaded with Meyer lemon, green apples, pears, and white peach, leaving you with a creamy, citrus endnote. Drink from 2023-2032. 91 Pts
2020 Clos Marsalette – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, elegant, soft, silky, fresh, and vibrant with a core of cocoa-dusted, plums, cherries, currants, and leafy herbs. Refined, and polished on the palate, with an energetic, tobacco-infused, cherry-filled mouthful of fruit, with a hint of chalk, espresso, and dark chocolate, this is going to be great with a year or two of age. Drink from 2024-2040. 92 Pts
2020 Clos Marsalette Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Flowers, vanilla, orange rind, white peach, and pineapple create the nose. On the palate, the wine is fresh, creamy, and fruity with a lush, sweet, yellow citrus finish. Drink from 2023- 2033. 92 Pts
2020 Couhins – Pessac-Léognan – Loaded with black raspberries, flowers, mint leaf, and black cherries in the perfume, the medium-bodied wine is fresh, and juicy, offering espresso, smoked red fruits, herbs, spice, and sweetness with lift, and energy on the mid-palate, and in the finish. Drink from 2025-2038. 91 Pts
2020 Couhins Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Because the wine is produced from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, you find a lot of bright acidities that add to the blast of green apples, lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and yellow plums. Juicy, creamy, fresh, and lifted at the end, this is a fabulous, white Bordeaux. Drink from 2023-2035. 93 Pts
2020 Couhins La Dame de Couhins – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, soft, fresh, vibrant, and forward, with a savory touch that rides along with all of its sweet, ripe, cherries, this is perfect for enjoyment on release. Drink from 2023-2029. 89 Pts
2020 Couhins La Dame de Couhins Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Crispy, fresh lemons, and green apples are at the core of the perfume, and on the fresh, fruity palate. Drink from 2023-2026. 89 Pts
2020 Couhins Lurton – Pessac-Léognan – Flowers, black raspberries, currants, cherries, and cigar box aromas create the nose. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, elegant, refined, and filled with sweet, red fruits that express their essence with ease. Drink from 2024-2045. 93 Pts
2020 Couhins-Lurton Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Zesty yellow citrus, white peach, pineapple, and green apples are found from start to finish in this forward, spicy, already-delicious Bordeaux Blanc. Drink from 2023-2032. 91 Pts
2020 Cruzeau – Pessac-Léognan – Flowers and smoky red fruits create the nose. The wine is medium-bodied, with good energy, and a chewy mouthful of chalky red berries with a savory edge, and a touch of spice to wrap things up nicely. This has put on a lot of character, and weight during its barrel aging. Drink from 2024-2037. 90 Pts
2020 Domaine de Chevalier – Pessac-Léognan – Showing a solid depth of color, the moment the wine hits the glass you find a wealth of black raspberries, cigar box, mint, oceanic influences, smoke, licorice, black currants, blackberries, bay leaf, and black raspberries in the nose. On the palate, the wine exudes an incredible purity of fruit, dark chocolate, and layers of ripe, dense, sensuously-textured black, red, and blue fruits that unfold seamlessly across your palate, and linger for close to 50 seconds. There is lift, energy, volume, and depth on the palate finishing with waves of dark red currants, creme de cassis, tobacco leaf, blackberry, savory herbs, and a gentle wisp of spearmint on the backend. Clearly, this is one of the great vintages of Domaine de Chevalier that fans of the estate should run, (not walk) to buy! Drink from 2026-2055. 97 Pts
2020 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Ripe, lush, and opulent, the wine opens to a wealth of fragrances, flowers, spice, honey, vanilla, green apples, lemon rind, mango, and pink grapefruit aromatics are easy to find. On the palate the wine is silky, lush, and fresh, finishing with yellow citrus, and creamy green apples. You can enjoy this beauty on release, but it has the ability to age as well. Drink from 2023-2036. 96 Pts
2020 Domaine de Chevalier L’Esprit de Chevalier Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Salty lemon peels, green apples, white flowers, and pomelo open the nose. On the palate, the wine is round, forward, lush, and fruity, leaving you with a sweet, creamy, lemon finish with just a drop of honey in the endnote. Drink from 2023-2031. 92 Pts
2020 Domaine de Chevalier L’Esprit de Chevalier Rouge – Pessac-Léognan – Black cherries, smoke, roasted nuts, flowers, and red fruits come to the front of the perfume. Forward, soft, silky, and polished, with additional nuances of cocoa, spice, and licorice that accompany the sweet, ripe, red fruits on the palate, this is already quite nice and should be perfect for near-term drinking while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. Drink from 2023-2032. 92 Pts
2020 Domaine de la Solitude – Pessac-Léognan – Dried flowers, tobacco, smoke, and red fruits combine in the perfume. Medium-bodied, lifted, and silky on the palate, the finish, with its soft, elegant textures, and sweet, red fruits feels as good as it tastes. You can enjoy this early or age it for a few years. Drink from 2024-2040. 91 Pts
2020 Domaine de la Solitude Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Scents of white peaches, flowers, green apples, and honeysuckle show with ease on the nose. Fresh, creamy, and fruity, with a core of sweet, ripe, yellow citrus, and spicy pineapple in the finish. 92 Pts
2020 Fieuzal – Pessac-Léognan – Lusciously-textured with multiple layers of perfectly ripe, black cherries, and blackberries, complicated by nuances of smoked wood embers, blueberries, cocoa, espresso, and licorice, this fabulous, sensuous wine is long, rich, and deep, with staying power you can sense in the opulently-textured mid-palate, and long, fruit-packed finish. Drink from 2025-2045. 93 Pts
2020 Fieuzal Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Waxy lemons, limes, green apples, flowers, spice, and orange rind create a fabulous perfume. Fresh, creamy, bright, and fruity, with layers of sweet yellow citrus in the creamy textured, finish, with a gentle hint of honeyed lemon, and white peaches that come through in the endnote. Drink from 2023-2034. 92 Pts
2020 Fieuzal L’Abeille de Fieuzal – Pessac-Léognan – Elegant, silky, fresh, and showing elements of its sweet, cherry, orange, cocoa, licorice, and smoky character on the nose, and palate, this is already delivering the goods. Drink from 2023-2029. 90 Pts
2020 Fieuzal L’Abeille de Fieuzal Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Lightly colored, here you find mango, orange rind, and a light, core of yellow citrus that will be best in its youth. Drink from 2023-2026. 87 Pts
2020 de-France – Pessac-Léognan – Red fruits, dried flowers, and green, leafy herbs create the nose. On the palate, the wine has lift, energy, and vibrance to the red berries, and spice. The finish is equally fresh, as well as elegant. Chateau de France has been on quite a roll lately, and 2020 is no exception. Drink from 2024-2040. 92 Pts
2020 de-France Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Grapefruit, orange, honeysuckle, white peach, and spice create the nose. From there, you find polished, fresh, creamy, green apples, and citrus on the mid-palate, and in the finish. This is definitely good-to-go on release. Drink from 2023-2032. 91 Pts
2020 Haut Bailly – Pessac-Léognan – Initially, you find a display of flowers before moving on to all of its cigar wrapper, spice, blackberry, currant, black cherry, smoke, and hints of forest leaf. Deeply concentrated, vibrant, and refined, the palate is packed with multiple-layers of perfectly, ripe, red fruits, a fabulous sense of purity, silky, soft, polished tannins, and ample lift in the finish, providing the backdrop to age, evolve for decades. Drink from 2027-2060. 98 Pts
2020 Haut Bailly II – Pessac-Léognan – Smoke, tobacco leaf, cigar wrapper, spearmint, flowers, and red berry aromas make the nose. On the palate, the wine is elegant, fresh, and silky, with a polish to the tannins, and ample, sweet, red fruits with a hint of spice, and dark chocolate that remains in the endnote. Already showing fabulous today, it is only going to get better. Drink from 2023-2040. 93 Pts
2020 Haut Bergey – Pessac-Léognan – The nose kicks off with an espresso, coffee bean, chocolate, black cherries, and flower-packed perfume. The wine is rich, fleshy, and concentrated with dark red fruits, toasty oak, and chocolate. Round-textured, and youthful, it is going to need a year or more in the cellar to allow the oak to better integrate. Drink from 2025-2040. 91 Pts
2020 Haut Nouchet – Pessac-Léognan – Even better in the bottle than in the barrel, the wine opens with smoke, spice-box, dried flowers, and red pit fruit scents. Soft, medium-bodied, and polished, with a core of sweet, ripe, silky fruits, and freshness, the mix of red, and darker red fruits in the finish is quite nice. This is fully ready to go. This little-known estate is situated close to Smith Haut Lafitte. Drink from 2023-2035. 91 Pts
2020 Haut Nouchet Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Almonds, grapefruit, and lemon zest fill the perfume. On the palate, the wine is fresh, round, and creamy, with a lemon-rind edge to the finish. Drink from 2023-2028. 90 Pts
2020 Haut-Bacalan – Pessac-Léognan – Flowers, cocoa-dusted cherries, spice, and currants appear with little effort in the nose. Lush, soft, and fresh with sweet, dark, red pit fruits, and chalky tannins end the experience. Showing much better in the bottle than it did in the barrel, while you can drink this with pleasure on release, it will also age nicely. Drink from 2024-2038. 91 Pts
2020 Haut-Lagrange – Pessac-Léognan – Flowers, sweet, and crisp red fruits, and an of smoke open the wine. Medium-bodied, soft, supple, and easy to like, with a touch of chocolate accompanying the cherries on the back end, this is already quite nice to drink, and will only get better. Drink from 2024-2037. 90 Pts
2020 La Garde – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, fresh, energetic, chewy red fruits with chalky tannins, and additional nuances of currants, cocoa, spice, smoke, and green, leafy herbs, give this a year or so to soften, and fill out, and it will deliver a lot of pleasure for 15 or more years after that. Drink from 2024-2040. 91 Pts
2020 La Louviere – Pessac-Léognan – Black cherries, blackberries, plums, licorice, flowers, and spearmint resonate in the nose. From there you find a wealth of fresh, silky, vibrant, dark red fruits on the palate, buttressed with dark chocolate, espresso, elegant, supple textures, and vibrancy which stick with you from start to finish. Drink from 2025-2045. 92 Pts
2020 La Louviere Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Crushed rocks, lemons, grapefruit, green apples, spice, and white flowers create an intense perfume. Rich, fresh, fruit-filled, and juicy with a yellow, and orange citrus, white peach, and green pear, packed finish, with a touch of ginger in the endnote, this is already fabulous in your glass. Drink from 2023-2034. 92 Pts
2020 La-Tour-Martillac – Pessac-Léognan – Perfectly ripe, dark red, and black fruits are all over the place here. What makes them even better is the additional nuances of orange rind, flowers, smoke, cocoa, and dried flowers. But as good as the nose is, it is on the palate, with its layers of silky, sensuous, ripe, fruit-filled wave of flavor that does not want to quit. This is absolutely delicious today, but if you have patience, it is only going to get better, and better with age. This could be the best vintage of LaTour Martillac ever produced! Drink from 2025-2048. 94 Pts
2020 La-Tour-Martillac Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – The layers of sweet, lemons, grapefruit, pineapple, and oranges on the palate balance their proclivity to creaminess with freshness, leaving you with waves of luscious, yellow citrus, green apples, pears, and white peaches with a touch of chalk on the backend of the endnote. Drink from 2023-2035. 93 Pts
2020 Lagrave Martillac – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, dusty, earthy cherries, spearmint, flowers, and tobacco make an appearance n the nose, and on the soft, silky palate. Drink from 2023-2030. 90 Pts
2020 Larrivet Haut Brion – Pessac-Léognan – It is the purity in the fruit coupled with the wine’s elegant nature that is at the core of this wine. Silky, refined, and fresh, the layers of polished red fruits, sweet, ripe, clean cherries, blackberries, and background notes of cocoa, coffee, and spice really come alive on the palate. This is probably the finest vintage of Larrivet Haut Brion I have ever tasted. Drink from 2024-2045. 93 Pts
2020 Larrivet Haut Brion Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Waxy lemons, honeysuckle, white peach, and lemon grass notes stand out here in the perfume, and on the soft, creamy, yellow, and orange citrus palate, with its sweet, white peach accents. Drink from 2023-2032. 91 Pts
2020 Latour Martillac Lagrave Martillac Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Fresh lemons, flowers, and tea notes open the nose, and the palate of this ready-to-go, easy-drinking, charmer. The finish is all about its sweet, ripe, lemon-zest character. Drink from 2023-2026. 87 Pts
2020 Le Thil Comte Clary – Pessac-Léognan – Lusciously-textured, with layers of dark red fruits, chocolate, plums smoke, and black cherries, the wine is medium-bodied, opulent, and polished., and it is already delicious to drink! Plus, it can age as well, if you prefer more tobacco-edged complexity. Drink from 2024-2040. 92 Pts
2020 Le-Pape – Pessac-Léognan – Dried flowers, black raspberries, orange citrus, and wet earth create the nose. The wine is medium-bodied, elegant, fresh, and pure, with a lift, and sweetness to the fruit in the long, finish. Drink from 2024-2040. 92 Pts
2020 Les Carmes HautBrion – Pessac-Léognan – Medium/full-bodied, concentrated, vibrant, fresh, refined, elegant, and completely focused on its purity of fruit. Initially, you find notes of flowers, tobacco leaves, thyme, red pit fruits, mint, and an array of spices. The fruit gracefully unfolds on your palate with nuances of sea salt, herbs, spices, red, and black currants, cocoa, and espresso. The long, seamless, vivacious finish, with its spicy, mint, and oceanic edge takes its time building in intensity and width as it lingers. Drink from 2027-2060. 99 Pts
2020 Lespault-Martillac – Pessac-Léognan – Even better in the bottle than it was in barrel, the wine opens with dried flowers, powdered chocolate, roses, smoke, spice, and red fruits with a touch of citrus in the nose. On the palate, the wine is lush, soft, and fresh, with layers of ripe, polished fruits, cocoa, licorice, and espresso on the mid-palate, and in the fruit-filled finish. Drink from 2023-2038. 93 Pts
2020 Lespault-Martillac Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Mildly, honeyed lemons, lime, mango, spice, and flowers create the character here. On the palate, the wine is creamy, fresh, and fruity with a juicy, finish that shows off its green apples, yellow citrus, and oily-textured pears easily. Drink from 2023-2031. 92 Pts
2020 Luchey-Halde – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, soft, supple, and charming, this already delicious wine delivers its lightly smoked, cigar box, and creamy, cherry-filled character with ease. This is going to be just great on release, and over the next few years. Drink from 2023-2029. 89 Pts
2020 Luchey-Halde Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Forward, soft, and fruity, with a light core of lemons, are found in this easy-going, light, summer quaffer. Drink from 2023-2025. 85 Pts
2020 Malartic Lagraviere – Pessac-Léognan – Dark in color, the wine shows its blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, smoke, espresso, and an array of spice aromas on the palate with ease. Rich, full-bodied, vibrant, and intense. the wine is fresh as well as lush, and polished. Vibrant, expansive, creamy, and deep, this is going to rival many of the best vintages produced here. Drink from 2025-2048. 96 Pts
2020 Malartic Lagraviere Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Green apples, honeysuckle, spice box, orange rind, white peach, and vanilla emerge from the perfume. On the palate, the wine is fruity, lush, creamy, and rich, with finishing touches of white peach, waxy lemons, mangos, Granny Smith apples, and an array of spices on the backend. Drink from 2023-2035. 94 Pts
2020 Malartic Lagraviere Le Comte de Malartic – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, soft, silky, fresh, and fruity with a sweet core of red cherries, and plums on the mid-palate that carries through to the cinnamon-accented finish. If you do not already know, Le Comte de Malartic is the new name for the second wine of Malartic La Graviere. Drink from 2023-2032. 91 Pts
2020 Malartic Lagraviere Le Comte de Malartic Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Spicy green apples, flowers, lime, and lemons create the perfume. Fresh, forward, juicy, and fruity, this will be perfect to enjoy on release, and over the next few years. Le Comte de Malartic Blanc is the new name for the second wine of Malartic Lagraviere. Drink from 2023-2030. 90 Pts
2020 Olivier Le Dauphin d’ Olivier – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, soft, forward, fresh, and silky, with a core of ripe, already approachable red fruits in the nose, and on the palate, this is perfect for easy, near-term enjoyment while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. Drink from 2023-2029. 89 Pts
2020 Pape Clement – Pessac-Léognan – With a deep hue that is close to opaque, the wine exudes smoke, roasted espresso, cigar wrappers, blackberries, black cherries, licorice, and chocolate. There is fabulous depth, purity, length, and complexity here. The richly-textured finish is fleshy, powerful, intense, and polished, with an endnote that keeps on going long after the wine has left the glass. This is the finest vintage of Pape Clement in years. Drink from 2026-2055. 97 Pts
2020 Pape Clement Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Rich, lush, ripe, concentrated, and fresh, here, you find a plethora of yellow, and orange citrus fruits with nuances of honeysuckle, green apple, mango, and a smidgeon of vanilla. On the palate, the wine is full, rich, creamy, oily, lively, and ready to go. Drink from 2023-2035. 95 Pts
2020 Picque Caillou – Pessac-Léognan – Medium-bodied, floral, firm, and fresh, the red fruits range from sweet to tart, showing a savory, spicy edge on the mid-palate, and in the grippy, tannic, currant, and cocoa finish. Give it a year or two to allow the tannins to soften, and the wine should be even better. Drink from 2024-2040. 90 Pts
2020 Picque Caillou Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Yellow tropical fruit, and citrus blend to create this forward, sweet, juicy, and creamy wine, finishing with notes of lemon curd, and crunchy green apples on the backend. Drink from 2023-2029. 88 Pts
2020 Rouillac La Decennie – Pessac-Léognan – Subtle notes of chocolate, tobacco, herbs, and spicy, red fruits open the wine, with a bit of coaxing. On the palate, the wine is soft, creamy, and fresh, with a blast of blackberries, and black cherries in the mildly, dusty finish. Drink from the judicious display of ripe, sweet, dark cherries, and herbs. Drink from 2023-2031. 89 Pts
2020 Seguin – Pessac-Léognan – Smoke, herbs, tobacco leaves, spice, red currants, and a hint of cocoa create the bouquet. On the palate, the wine is vibrant, lifted, spicy, smoky, and fresh, with a round edge to the savory fruits, and their dusty, chocolate finish. Drink from 2025-2042. 91 Pts
2020 Smith Haut Lafitte – Pessac-Léognan – The impressive dark hue provides the introduction to the equally dark-fruited profile on the nose and palate. The wine is all about its richness, intensity, length, and palate presence, which somehow, remains perfectly balanced, with all of its layers of blackberries, smoke, espresso, black cherries, licorice, smoke, and chocolate. What is important to pay attention to here is the purity in the fruit, the lift, balance, and freshness on the palate, and of course, the length which goes on for close for over 50 seconds! The finish blends power with polished, elegance, creamy tannins, and a showy display of sweet, black cherries, plums, chocolate, and spice. As I mentioned in my barrel notes, previously, in some years, it felt like you were tasting a wine made in the cellars. But that is no longer the case at Smith Haut Lafitte, as now, you are clearly tasting a wine produced in the vineyard. Drink from 2025-2055. 98 Pts
2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Rich, lush, and creamy, with an alluring bouquet of honeysuckle, lemon rind, white peach, vanilla, and honeyed lemon peel, this is going to be simply fabulous on release, providing pleasure for over a decade. Drink from 2023-2034. 96 Pts
2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Smith Haut Lafitte – Pessac-Léognan – Vibrant, fresh, lifted, and elegant, it takes no effort to dig into the glass and find all of the layers of chocolate-covered plums, currants, cherries, licorice, smoke, and salt-edged tannins. Medium-bodied with opulence, and vibrance, this could be my favorite vintage of Le Petit Smith Haut Lafitte produced yet. Drink from 2024-2040. 92 Pts
2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Blending about 80% Sauvignon Blanc, with 20% Semillon, you find a nose of flowers, vanilla, spice, almonds, grapefruit, orange rind, and honeysuckle. Rich, and creamy, this is already a treat in your glass. Drink from 2023-2028. 93 Pts
2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Les Hauts de Smith – Pessac-Léognan – Lush, ripe, ripe, and fresh, this multi-layered wine offers silky, polished textures, and layers of chocolate-covered plums, and black cherries with a smoky edge. The wine is a blend of 60% Merlot, and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is so delicious now, it is impossible not to finish your glass, and go back for more. Drink from 2023-2039. 92 Pts
2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Les Hauts de Smith Blanc – Pessac-Léognan – Flowers, grapefruit, Meyer lemon, orange rind, and flowers with white peaches create the perfume. Right in the middle between the corner of fresh, and creamy, the finish has accents of spice, and almonds to compliment the yellow citrus and pineapple in the finish. The wine is produced with 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Drink from 2023-2028. 93 Pts
Up next, all the best 2020 St. Emilion, PT 1 Wines A-C Because we tasted almost 200 wines from Saint Emilion, we needed to break up our report. That will conclude our Right Bank coverage. From there, we wrap up our report on 2020 Bordeaux with all the top wines from 2020 Margaux, 2020 St. Julien, 2020 Pauillac and 2020 St. Estephe.