The release of 2020 Château Berliquet this morning is a good moment to note Lisa Perotti-Brown MW's views on the 2020 vintage, published late last week in The Wine Advocate. She describes the vintage as "an enigma – a vintage that has been more difficult to understand than 2018 or 2019, with far more potential.” Agreeing with other critics that this is a great year for the Right Bank, she also scores many Left Bank wines highly, although the scores are less uniform than in the previous two vintages.
Berliquet is an excellent example of the 'enigma' of this vintage, a Right Bank wine so accessible and appealing on tasting as potentially to distract from what a great wine it is in the making. We found it heady and intense, with exceptionally pure fruit aromas (cherry, plum and damson) as well as delicate peony and woodsmoke notes. With so much charm, it would be easy to overlook what a fine wine this is, with polished tannins and complex mineral notes which continue to linger on the finish. In this instance, accessibility does not mean a lack of seriousness and Perotti-Brown spots the potential (94-96 points) as does James Suckling (95-96 points). The drinking dates also point to longevity, ranging well into the 2040s.
Berliquet was bought by the Chanel Group in 2017 (joining their other properties, neighbouring Canon and Rauzan Segla in Margaux) and we have seen each subsequent vintage grow in stature, narrowing the gap with Canon. Winemaker Nicolas Audebert has a very clear vision for expressing the terroir here, which he describes as distinct from Canon, formed by a unique mix of limestone from the plateau and clay. Released at £435 per dozen in bond and compared to the market price of 2019 Canon (£1150) it offers both great value for drinking and for longer-term investment potential.
Landing in spring 2023.
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|RED||2020||Château Berliquet||75cl||£435 per case of 12||Château Berliquet
2020 / / 75cl
£435 per case of 12
Tasting Notes"69% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Clean and effortless in style. Delicate summer-fruit notes with a hint of mint. Juicy and fresh with chalky tannins and dry finish. Eminently digeste. (JL) 16.5 points" jancisrobinson.com------"A slightly cooler terroir than its sibling estate Château Canon, a little more clay-based which gives weight, depth and power while also being austere right now, with grippy tannins and a bite of blood orange. Great stuff, can start drinking this in five to six years to allow the structure to soften while keeping the appeal of the wild cherry and blackberry fruits. 50% new oak for 16 months. Drinking Window 2028 - 2042. 93 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine------"The 2020 Berliquet is composed of 69% Merlot and 31% Cabernet Franc, weighing in at 14.5% alcohol. It is aging in French oak barrels, 50% new. Deep purple-black colored, it trots casually out of the glass with effortlessly flamboyant scents of stewed black cherries, warm plums and baked blackberries, plus hints of chocolate mint, violets and licorice with a touch of fertile loam. The medium to full-bodied palate is very tightly wound with layers of ripe black fruits and earthy accents, framed by finely grained tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and fragrant. Drink 2026-2046. 94-96 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, RobertParker.com------"Very soft and polished with beautiful tannins that are poised and beautiful. It’s medium-to full-bodied and gorgeously proportioned. Ready for even more polishing. 95-96 points" jamessuckling.com