2020 Bordeaux En Primeur Report
Episode 19 – La Conseillante
2020 Château La Conseillante, Pomerol
87% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc
70% new oak, 27% older oak and 3% amphorae
9.77ha of the overall 11.79ha went into the Grand Vin
Winemaker Marielle Cazaux explained that she will remember 2020 as a vintage when all of her colleagues, not just the winemaking and viticultural teams, played a part in the vineyard. With the various challenges of lockdowns, kids school runs, and a desire to adhere to social distancing, while keeping the employees safe, La Conseillante operated an ‘all hands to the pump’ system which meant that they all multi-tasked and in doing so became more au fait with each other’s responsibilities. This team effort brought a new harmony and understanding to this estate and its employees and for this reason, despite some of the challenges which the weather presented, it was a very happy vintage and one in which every member of staff can genuinely say that they played a full role in making this wine taste so exquisite. Of course, a collaborative team, combined with some very happy vines is likely to make delicious wine. The clay soils at La Conseillante meant that while the summer was hot, and there was a degree of hydric stress, the vines did not suffer. They have learned a lot here over the last few warm vintages and so an adapted cover-crop, mulching as well as a careful (slightly earlier than normal) green harvest all contributed to a perfect vendange with all of the team involved. Harmony breeds harmony and 2020 La Conseillante is a quintessential creation which not only perfectly reflects the vintage but also acknowledges the human skill involved in making a wine of this elegance and distinction. Deeply perfumed at the same time as being refreshing aerial, the nose is sensational, drawing you deeper and deeper into the glass. With a luxurious black-fruited theme, the precision here is breath-taking and the balance is astonishing, too, given that the fruit is so profound. The finish is amazingly bright and alive, and the tannins are pure cashmere. This is one of the most elegant and complete wines of the vintage and I am sure it will starting drinking relatively early and then hold for three or four decades with ease. 19.5+/20
nb – you will have noticed that the 150th anniversary is noted on the label of this wine. This refers to 2021 being the 150th anniversary of this Château (the estate was established in May 187i) and not this particular 2020 vintage wine! This coming year’s 2021 vintage wine label will see a little make-over celebrating this milestone.
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.