winenews 5 11june

Fine Wine News Round Up 5 - 11 June


Bordeaux 2020 gains speed, Premiere Napa Valley finds success in new format, and could Bordeaux 2020 be the best ever?


Bordeaux 2020 releases continue apace

The fifth week of the Bordeaux En Primeur campaign has seen a quickening in the pace of releases. Notable labels include:

  • Alter Ego de Palmer 2020, released at €50.50 per bottle ex-negociant – up 16% on 2019
  • Clerc Milon 2020, released at €56.40 per bottle  – 11% higher than the 2019 release price
  • Cantenac Brown 2020, released at €34.20 per bottle – up 14% on the 2019 release
  • Clos du Marquis 2020, released at €37.20 per bottle – up 14.8% on 2019
  • Haut-Batailley 2020, released at €39.60 per bottle – up 13.8% on 2019’s opening price
  • La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou 2020, released at €30 per bottle – up 11% on last year
  • La Gaffeliere 2020, released at €48 per bottle – up 17.6% on the 2019 release
  • Gloria 2020, released at €26.40 per bottle – up 10% on the 2019 release
  • Grand-Puy-Ducasse 2020, released at €24 per bottle – up 8.1% on last year’s release
  • Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2020, released at €50.40 per bottle – 12% higher than the 2019 release
  • Haut-Bages Liberal 2020, released at €26.40 per bottle – up 15.8% on the 2019 release
  • Malartic Lagraviere 2020, released at €28.80 per bottle ex-negociant – up 9.1% on 2019
  • La Mondotte 2020, released at £1,596 per case of 12 in bond – an increase of almost 18%
  • Phelan Segur 2020, released at €30.60 per bottle – up 15.9% on 2019’s release
  • Rauzan-Segla 2020, released at €66 per bottle – up 22% on 2019’s opening price
  • Saint Pierre 2020, released at €38.40 per bottle – up 14% on 2019’s opening price
  • Talbot 2020, released at €39.60 per bottle – up 17% on 2019’s release price


New format Premiere Napa Valley auction raises $2.7 million

The new format Premiere Napa Valley saw 149 lots raise $2.7 million last week, with strong bidding coming both virtually and from in-person attendees.

The auction – traditionally held in February – was the first in-person Napa Valley industry event to take place since the start of the pandemic.

Top lots included; wines from Shafer Vineyards; a joint lot by Corison Winery, Dyer Vineyard, Gallica and Snowden Vineyards; and wines from Memento Mori, Dana Estates, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, ZD Wines, Favia and Silver Oak.

Combined with the smaller ‘Library Napa Valley’ auction which took place in February, a total $3.7 million has been raised for Napa Valley Vintners for efforts to “promote, protect and enhance” the region.

The 2022 auction is planned to return to its original format, with Premiere Napa Valley scheduled for the week of February 21.


Bordeaux 2020 reportedly the ‘highest scoring vintage ever’

Bordeaux 2020 is allegedly the highest scoring vintage ever based on a basket of 115 top wines rated by partner critics of Wine Lister.

The results come as part of the platform’s annual Bordeaux study, with many tasters agreeing that 2020 completes a “fine triptych of 2018, 2019 and 2020”.

In the foreword to the study, critics Antonio Galloni and Neil Martin write that the best wines reveal great “terroir expression”.

The pair adds that 2020 exhibits “greater focus and freshness” than preceding vintages such as 2018, forming “the third in a great trilogy of Bordeaux vintages”, but “without reaching the heights of 2019”.

The report states that “First Growths and their Right Bank equivalents [regained] their standing atop the quality ranking in 2020 compared with 2019”. It also noted that Pomerol tops the charts in terms of quality.

“The 2020 vintage achieves the highest average quality score of recent vintages on the market, earning five, nine and 10 points more than the high-scoring 2019, 2016 and 2015 vintages, respectively,” said the report.


Drouhin marks milestone anniversary with cuvee made from 450-year-old wine press

Burgundy winemaker Joseph Drouhin is set to mark the 100-year anniversary of the first purchase of its Clos des Mouches vines with a special cuvee made from a 450-year-old wine press.

While the Maison Joseph Drouhin label was founded in 1880, it wasn’t until 1921 that the estate purchased its first parcel of vines in the Clos des Mouches – the vines that have since contributed to Drouhin’s globally-renowned reputation.

To mark the centennial anniversary, the estate plans to make a special wine using a wine press that dates back to 1571. The press – called a ‘parrot’ given its spokes’ resemblance to a parrot’s perch – has been used just three times since 1980, when it was used to make a wine celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the founding of Maison Joseph Drouin.

According to head winemaker Veronique Drouhin, the press still “works very well”.

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