Matthew Jukes -Articles- Notes

2020 Bordeaux En Primeur Report – Episode 14 – Le Dôme & the JCP Maltus Portfolio

2020 Bordeaux En Primeur Report – Episode 14

Le Dôme & the JCP Maltus Portfolio

Le Dôme, Grand Cru, Saint-Émilion (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot

80% new oak

13.9% alc

3.69pH

Merlot harvest was 29th September, Cabernet Franc harvest was 8th & 9th October

Made in the car park of the new winery, which must be as beautiful as any in the world – the winery, not the car park!  Sir Norman Foster has designed a spectacular circular winery for Jonathan Maltus and it is set to be a must-visit spectacle when it opens later this year.  Le Dôme now resides in a locked room in this building site waiting to move into the new barrel hall in just a few months.  Is it possible to taste excitement in a wine?  I think it is and this wine clearly knows it is residing in a very special building and about to move into the master suite.  Dark, brooding, super-long and spicy and with a lower alcohol than usual, this is a surprisingly dynamic wine with an extraordinarily long finish.  18.5+/20


Vieux Château Mazerat, Grand Cru, Saint-Émilion (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc

80% new oak

13.2% alc

3.58pH

Merlot harvest was 29th September, Cabernet Franc harvest was 8th & 9th October

This is a raucously intense wine that benefits greatly from its Cabernet Franc component, which was planted in 1947.  Deep-fruited, inky black in colour, and yet crisp and lifted on the finish, this is a mighty VCM with a bounce in its step and this levity suits it extremely well.  18+/20

2020 Château Pontet Labrie, Grand Cru, Saint-Émilion (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

80% new oak

13.4% alc

3.49pH

Merlot harvest was 24th September, Cabernet Franc harvest was 8th October

Spicy and more backward than both Laforge and Teyssier, this is a muscular wine with more earth and oak entering the fray.  There is a stern edge here which makes this a more combative wine than expected and there is a smattering of Les Astéries and Le Carré in Pontet Labrie and also Vieux Château Mazerat making them more robust offerings than usual.  17.5+/20

2020 Château Laforge, Grand Cru, Saint-Émilion (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc

80% new oak

13.8% alc

3.69pH

Merlot harvest was 14th – 17th September, Cabernet Franc harvest was 8th October

I am a fan of Laforge with its generosity of flavour and luxurious texture.  In 2020 this wine was low-cropping and uncommonly refined, with a superb red-fruited perfume and silky texture.   The finish is bright and refreshing making this an expressive and rewarding wine and it will drink early, too.  17.5/20

2020 Château Teyssier, Grand Cru, Saint-Émilion (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

25% new oak

13.9% alc

3.5pH

Merlot harvest was 15th September – 1st October, Cabernet Franc harvest was 30th September – 8th October

Juicy, ripe and pure with a briary feel, this is a delicious Teyssier with more intensity of flavour than I have seen before.  What I really like about this vintage is that the depth of fruit is matched with an aromatic lift on the nose and pristine freshness on the finish.  17/20

Le Nardian, Lugaignac (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

70% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Semillon, 15% Muscadelle

13.95% alc

3.40pH

Floral, smooth, clean and bright with honeysuckle and stone fruit highlights, this is a silky Le Nardian and it has a lip-smackingly crisp finish that neatly balances the lush mid-palate.  17/20

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.