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The iconic investment grade wine from California was released today – it is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%), Petit Verdot (6%), Merlot (5%), Cabernet Franc (4%), and Malbec (1%), spent 17 months in new French oak. The joint Rothschild/Mondavi project was one of the earliest adopters of La Place, all the way back in 2004.  

Critical Acclaim

This is our 4th Opus One vintage and this super wine has received improved scores on last year.

Antonio Galloni at Vinous rated the 2018 Opus One a score of 95-points. In his tasting note, Galloni observed: “Silky tannins and lifted, perfumed aromatics add to an impression of finesse that distinguishes the 2018 from some of the preceding vintages in a pretty big way”. 

Lisa Perrotti-Brown at the Wine Advocate awarded it 98-points, and said that, “the 2018 Opus One soars out of the glass with bright, bold boysenberries, warm cassis and ripe, juicy black plums notes, plus emerging nuances of lilacs, oolong tea, cinnamon stick, tilled soil and black truffles”. 

James Suckling gave it 99-points, noting that this “lasts for minutes”. “So wonderful to taste now, but better after 2026”, he added. The wine also received 97-points from Jeb Dunnuck 

Performance

Prices for Opus One tend to move with time rather than being influenced by critic scores. As can be seen in the chart below, older vintages command steadily higher prices.

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The 2020 Château Figeac has been released for £1,872 per 12×75, 25.1% less than the current Market Price of the 2019. In the context of rising prices, the 2020 Figeac looks to offer good value at release.

Critical Opinion

Today’s release received 96-98 points from Neal Martin (Vinous), who called it “a magnificent Figeac”.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Advocate) also rated it 96-98+ and said that “far more cerebral and quietly introspective than it is hedonic, this could only be Figeac”.

Antonio Galloni awarded 95-97 points, noting that, “the château has made a number of tremendous wines in recent vintages, but I don’t remember a Figeac with this much saline-drenched intensity and mineral drive”. “Superb,” he said.

James Suckling gave it 97-98 and described it as “a really sophisticated young wine”.

Jeff Leve (The Wine Cellar Insider) awarded one of the highest score brackets, 97-99 points.

Summary

The 2020 Figeac offers good value for money. It is priced below the similarly scored 20182015 and 2010 vintages.

This is considered one of the best releases of the 2020 campaign.

Château Mouton Rothschild 2020 has been released En Primeur for £5,196 per case, 6% more than the current Market Price of the 2019.

Critical opinion

The wine has been highly praised by critics. Neal Martin rated it 96-98 points, noting it was a, “less exuberant and lavish Mouton Rothschild” than it used to be in the 1990s. “As smooth as Snoop Dogg’s flow, this is a marvelous Mouton,” he concluded.

Antonio Galloni also rated it 96-98, saying it was, “a wine of unreal elegance and finesse”.

“It’s this gently teasing, achingly beautiful restraint that collectors are not going to want to miss,” noted Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (97-99), while Jane Anson (98-points) said it was a wine she could see being elevated to 100-points “after ageing”.

Summary

Although the 2020 is above our expected release price – however the positive appraisal of the First Growths this vintage means that there will undoubtedly be interest in this release.

The 2020 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou has been released for £1,920 per 12×75, 19.8% more than the current Market Price of the 2019.

2020 Ducru-Beaucaillou vintage is their tercentenary vintage. In celebration of its tercentenary, Château Ducru-Beaucaillou has reinvented its historic label.

Critical Opinion

Jane Anson (Decanter) rated today’s release 98-points. She called it “an amazing Ducru, one of the wines of the vintage”.

James Suckling awarded it 98-99 and praised its “gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon character”.

The wine received 97-99 from Jeb Dunnuck, who said that along with Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, “it might be the wine of the vintage from the Médoc”.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Advocate) gave it 95-97 points.

Summary

This is potentially one of the wines of the vintage, with a special label – therefore this looks like an attractive option.

Le Petit Mouton 2020, the second wine of Château Mouton Rothschild, has been released En Primeur for £2,040 per case by the international trade. This is 3% less than the current Market Price of the 2019.

The new release looks good value versus physical vintages, being the cheapest available Petit Mouton.

Critical Opinion

Both Neal Martin and Antonio Galloni at Vinous rated the second wine 92-94. Both noted the high (72%) proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend.

“Harmonious and poised with superb mineralité and tension toward the finish. So sophisticated. This is (yet another) great Le Petit Mouton,” said Martin.

“Gorgeous second wine,” said James Suckling, awarding a 97-98 point rating. Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW scored it 91-93 and Jane Anson 93-points.

Summary

Petit Mouton has the strongest correlation to age rather than scores. By that measure, the 2020 represents good value as a release.

Allocations are absolutely tiny here – so we have taken everything we can get hold of.

Château Montrose 2020 has been released En Primeur for £1,540 per case by the international trade. This is 28% more expensive than the current Market Price of the 2019.

Critical Opinion

Montrose was among the estates that did not send samples to critics this year. Its best score comes from Decanter’s Jane Anson who scored it 98-points.

“This is a great Montrose, inky, broad-shouldered and structured,” she said in her note. “This will need a long time and will reward patience.”

James Lawther MW for JancisRobinson.com awarded it an 18+ agreeing it had, “long ageing potential”.

Summary

Montrose is a global icon from St Estephe – and is always a popular wine in investment portfolios.

The 2020 Château Haut-Brion has been released for £5,196 per 12×75, 8.5% more than the current Market Price of the 2019.

Quantity released from the estate is down 30% on last year.

Haut-Brion dropped its price 30% for the 2019 vintage and was the most affordable First Growth in the last campaign.

Critical opinion

The 2020 Haut-Brion is the highest-rated First Growth this vintage alongside Margaux.

It picked up potential 100-points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Advocate), James Suckling, Jeb Dunnuck and Jeff Leve (The Wine Cellar Insider).

“Simply stunning,” said Perrotti-Brown. For Dunnuck, this is “unquestionably one of the top wines in this impressive vintage”.

Suckling was also impressed with the quality and questioned whether this is “wine of the vintage?”.

Antonio Galloni (Vinous), who awarded 97-99 points, echoed a similar sentiment. He said that “the 2020 Haut-Brion is shaping up to be one of the wines of the year”.

Neal Martin gave it 96-98 points, calling it “a magnificent, bold and almost audacious Haut-Brion”.

Summary

The 2020 Haut-Brion is the most expensive wine from the estate since the 2010 vintage. With 97-points from Neal Martin, and 100-point scores from various critics listed above make it look rather compelling and on par with the critically acclaimed 2005 vintage, which costs more.

Château Léoville Las Cases 2020 has been released En Primeur for £2,376 per case by the international trade. This is an increase of 36% on the current Market Price of the 2019.

The new release looks fully priced in the context of the estate’s recent back vintages.

Critical Opinion

The leading commentators have spoken of how “classic” the 2020 wine is. Antonio Galloni, writing for Vinous, said it was a, “super-classic Saint-Julien” and those with palates inclined that way would, “flip out over the 2020”.

He scored it 95-98 points, very similar to the 96-98 bracket of fellow Vinous critic Neal Martin. He noted how “Pauillac-like” the wine was, with a very distinct Cabernet Sauvignon character.

James Suckling scored the 2020 98-99, saying it was “incredibly classic in style”, a “real Las Cases” and “solid as a rock”. Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW added that the finish had “jaw-dropping fragrance and depth”.

Summary

We have taken a small parcel here – as it is such an excellent wine. It is a very good wine to have allocations of in the stella years.

The 2020 Château Palmer has been released for £2,880 per 12×75, 26.6% more than the current Market Price of the 2019.

Critical Opinion

Palmer did not send samples to critics so only those critics located in Bordeaux will have tasted and scored the wine.

James Lawther MW awarded the wine 18+/20 points. He found, “lots of life and persistence, the tannins fine-grained and fresh. Clear potential”.

Jane Anson awarded the wine 97-points, saying, “the aromatics grab hold straight away”. Jean-Marc Quarin gave 98-points.

Summary

Ch Palmer in Margaux was one of the early trend setters by going 100% biodynamic. The wine has a global following – and with volumes down, this is another good buy.

Click here to read more about the 2020 release.

Château Margaux 2020 has been released En Primeur for £5,196 per case by the international trade. This is 3.4% less than the current Market Price of the 2019.

The new release looks good value among current physical vintages.

Critical Opinion

Margaux’s 2020 wine has been one of the most consistently rated wines of the vintage. It was the only First Growth where Neal Martin improved his 2019 score, to a 97-99 point bracket.

“This is a classically styled Château Margaux… Cerebral and sophisticated, and one of the wines of the Left Bank in 2020,” he said.

Jane Anson (Decanter) agreed, rating it 99-points and naming it her wine of the Left Bank as well. Antonio Galloni (also 97-99) commented: “Margaux is very clearly one of the wines of the vintage in 2020. It’s a tremendous effort from the team led by estate manager Philippe Bascaules.”

“Another great Margaux,” agreed James Suckling who awarded it 99-100 points.

Summary

This is deemed as one of the wines of the 2020 vintage – and so we have taken our full allocations here.

Margaux had a sizeable cushion when it came to price increases. Even with a 30% increase on the 2019 release price, the 2020 still comes away looking good value relative to its back vintages.

It is less expensive than the 98-point rated 2016 and 2005 vintages and also less expensive than the 2019, 2010 and 2009 which have scores of 97.