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Fine wine news roundup: 15-21 May


Bordeaux 2020 releases roll out in earnest

Following last week’s kickstart from Chateau Cheval Blanc, more high-profile chateaux have made their 2020 releases. Notable labels include:

  • Angelus 2020, released at £3,048 per case of 12 – a 13% jump on 2019’s release
  • Chateau Langoa Barton 2020, released at £359 per case of 12 – up 1.1% on last year
  • Hosanna 2020, released at £1,000 per case of 12 – down 4.75 on 2019’s offer
  • Lafon Rochet 2020, released at £325 per case of 12 – a drop of 3.3% on last year
  • Leoville Barton 2020, released at £730 per case of 12 – a 12% increase on 2019’s price
  • Monbousquet 2020, released at £391 per case of 12 – up 7.1% on 2019
  • Pavie 2020, released at £2,890 per case of 12 – down 3% on 2019’s opening price
  • Pavie Decesse 2020, released at £996 per case of 12 – a decrease of 3.5% on last year
  • Suduiraut 2020, released at £504 per case of 12 – a jump of more than 20% on 2019


Wine Searcher reveals world’s most wanted Bordeaux

Wine-centric search platform Wine Searcher has unveiled the top 10 most searched-for Bordeaux wines, noting in its report that “change really is an alien concept to Bordeaux”.

The list was last published three years ago and hasn’t changed since, except for Chateau Pontet Canet's rise from 10th to seventh place.

In top spot is Chateau Mouton Rothschild, followed by Chateau Lafite Rothschild in second place and Chateau Margaux in third. These are followed by Petrus, Latour, Haut Brion, Pontet-Canet, Chateau d'Yquem, Lynch-Bages and finally Chateau Cheval Blanc in 10th place.

Wine Searcher notes that collectively, the global average price of these wines has risen 12% over the past year, driven particularly by a 17% rise for Mouton and a 14.5% rise for Margaux. “Not as spectacular as some Italian wines, or the stratospheric rises that Burgundy enjoys,” says writer Don Kavanagh, “but it's still way better than just a solid return”.


Tim Atkin awards perfect 100-point score to wine from ‘best ever’ Argentina vintage

Wine critic Tim Atkin MW has awarded his first South American perfect score to a wine from Argentina’s 2019 vintage, which he rates as the “best ever”.

For his 2021 Argentina Report – now in its ninth year – Atkin tasted a record 1,847 wines from 299 wineries. He singled out the exceptional quality of the cool, dry 2019 vintage, which he said is the best he’s tasted in nearly 30 years.


A total of 110 wines received 95 points or more, with 100 points going to 2019 Per Se Uni del Bonnesant Malbec, Gualtallary.

“Argentina’s signature grape just gets better and better,” he said. “It’s fitting that my first-ever 100-point wine from South America should be a Malbec from a world-class terroir.”


Sicilian wine to sell through La Place de Bordeaux for first time

A wine from Etna in Sicily will become the island’s first to sell via Bordeaux’s network of distributors, La Place de Bordeaux.

Giovanni Rosso’s 2018 Etna Rossa is made primarily from Nerello Mascalese, and will be offered through five of Bordeaux’s negociants for €35 per bottle. Around 18,500 bottles will be available.

Davide Rosso, owner and winemaker of the Piedmont label, said: “We are extremely proud to be represented in this historic moment by some of the world’s most renowned negociants. We take such pride in the wines that we produce, and we know that this care and attention to detail is shared by our negociant partners. We are very excited for this next step on the global stage.”

Sicily is the latest in a growing line of regions from outside Bordeaux to have its wine represented through La Place. However, unlike Bordeaux’s En Primeur, where wines are sold in spring while still in barrel, wines from outside Bordeaux are sold bottled via La Place during a short period in early September.


Brunello’s Ciacci Piccolomini unveils limited edition cycling-themed label

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona has released a limited-edition label for its Brunello to mark the return of the Giro d’Italia cycling race to Montalcino this year.

A small number of bottles from the producer’s Brunello di Montalcino 2016 vintage were adorned in bright pink to mark the historic occasion, which saw racers ride the region’s rolling gravel roads for the first time in 11 years this week.

It is only the second such limited edition of its kind to be created by the winery, with a similar project created exclusively in recognition of the Giro d’Italia when it passed through Montalcino back in 2010.

The limited edition label is only available to buy in Italy, although design aside, the wine has rated very highly with critics, earning 95 points from James Suckling, 95+ from and 97 from Wine Enthusiast.

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