Matthew Jukes - Wine Notes

2020 Bordeaux En Primeur Report – Episode 1 – Léoville Poyferré & Family

2020 Bordeaux En Primeur Report

Episode 1 – Léoville Poyferré & Family

2020 Château Léoville Poyferré (2ème Cru Saint-Julien)

64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot

80% new oak and 20% one year old for 18-20 months

13.75% alc

3.69pH

35.88hL/ha

85 IPT

Harvested between 14th – 30th September

LP is all about controlled delivery and restraint in 2020.  The nose is reticent and measured with fascinating depth and intrigue.  This is not a bigger wine than the others in this portfolio but it is considerably longer!  The message is black-fruited and admirably pure, but there is a cloak of tannin around its core which prevents me from getting too carried away.  It was worth persisting with my sample bottle because it opened considerably over half an hour and I even went back to it a day later to see if there was even more movement in its flavour.  Of course, there was!  There is a faint, wild mulberry note which grows among the blackcurrant and blackberry themes, like ivy up the front of a stately home and this magical component interweaves exoticism and flair among the order and regimented Cabernet notes.  All in all, this is a tremendous wine and I am always in awe of wines that build gracefully and deliberately on the palate ending with a fanfare of class and distinction.  18.5+/20

2020 Pavillon de Léoville Poyferré (2nd wine of Léoville Poyferré)

58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot

2-year-old oak for 18 months

13.59% alc

3.85pH

35.88hL/ha

77 IPT

Harvested between 14th – 30th September

While the nose is a little raw and incomplete there is definitely more juiciness, gusto and interest on the palate before the tannins come in and dry out the experience.  This is always a little coarse and angular in its youth, not least because it has been given the fruit which didn’t make the cut for the Grand Vin, but there is a yearning to perform here and when the tart blackberry-soaked tannins subside this will make a more than decent Sunday lunch wine.  16.5+/20

2020 Château Moulin Riche (Saint-Julien – from the Léoville Poyferré portfolio)

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot

25% new oak for 15-18 months

13.37% alc

3.85pH

35.88hL/ha

77 IPT

Harvested between 14th – 30th September

This is an expressive vintage for Moulin Riche with a robust, full-frontal attack of juicy Cabernet coupled with a decent sprinkling of tannin which certainly pricks the palate with its raw energy.  The oak is prominent on the nose but more settled on the palate and there is more than enough gras to leave a nice, long aftertaste here.  With finely sooty tannins and a lovely rebound of black cherries and dark chocolate on the finish, this is an impressive wine and one which will age like clockwork.  As always, there are more than enough Saint-Julien traits here to keep fans of this commune happy and it has an LP signature running the length of the palate, too, so purists will be impressed, too. 17+/20

2020 Château Le Crock (Saint-Estèphe, Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel – from the Léoville Poyferré portfolio)

46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot

30% new oak and 70% one year old for 18 months

13.56% alc

3.82pH

34.09hL/ha

84 IPT

Harvested between 14th – 28th September

With a typically lush Le Crock perfume, this wine announces itself without wasting a second by flooding the senses with bright, ripe, juicy black fruit tones.  The oak detail brings a savoury and spicy element to the experience and the finish is tart, crisp and nicely balanced.  It is not the longest wine but it is superbly balanced and you are left with a feeling of completeness.  This is a classic expression of this estate and it is clear that ripeness and poise have been consummately achieved.  There is no doubt that this will drink fairly young but hold well into the medium term such is the energy and finesse of the tannins.  17.5/20

Scores – I have attached my scores out of 20 for each wine.  If a score has no ‘+’, this indicates a wine that is in balance and can be drunk relatively young thanks to its precocity and charm. One ‘+’ indicates a wine that will benefit from medium-term ageing (in accordance with the style of the wine), while two ‘++’ indicates a wine that should manage to make the long haul, softening and evolving as it goes.   A ‘?’ means that I am unsure about an element within the wine – this will be explained in my note.