The St Estephe AOP is a single estate Cote de Provence wine from the St Estephe appellation that goes back to the 12th century. It is made primarily from 90-100% Grenache, with 15-20% Syrah (the other half of the blend is made from Carignan, Grenache, and Mourvedre) and is aged in oak barrels. The AOP designation means the wine is made from at least 75% grapes from the St Estephe appellation .
In order to help you find the best wines for your budget and palate, we have created a complete guide to the wines of 2019, based on our extensive tasting notes and ratings, and our extensive buying tips. It is a great way to discover new wines and wineries, while also learning how to make better wine choices in the future.
So another year has come to an end, bringing with it the fact that our brains have grown accustom to January. (And, indeed, in recent years, January has been the month when our minds effortlessly spring to life, as if they were expecting to get action and excitement at any moment.) And so, today, you get a bit of a preview of the next 20 years of wine, as we look at the 2020 vintage wines from St Estephe.. Read more about bordeaux vintage chart 2019 and let us know what you think.
The wines of Saint Estephe from 2020 are among the finest in the Medoc. Deeply pigmented, intense, rich, lushly textured, and fragrant wines. The vines’ capacity to cope with the severe summer heat and drought conditions was aided by the cold clay soils.
As you will see, the 2020 Saint Estephe wines are the product of a challenging growing season that had three threats: frost, heavy spring rains, and a long, hot summer topped by drought.
As you can see, the 2020 vintage in St. Estephe had a lot more to offer. March brought torrential rains, which were followed by a spring frost, after a warm winter. With an unusually warm April, conditions quickly shifted, hastening the vintage. Flowering had occurred 10 days earlier than normal due to the warm May, making 2020 Bordeaux an early vintage.
Saint Estephe is often preferred in early vintages. Consider the years 1989, 2003, and 2009.
Drought conditions arose as a result of the hot, sunny, and dry summer. The cold clay terroir came into play here, as the vines were nurtured by the water-retentive clay. Vineyards with less moisture experienced water stress and did not achieve the same degree of maturity as those with more moisture.
While the August rains were helpful, they were heavy, and some vineyards near Saint-Estephe got over 110 mm (4.3”), resulting in somewhat diluted wines when compared to farms farther south, as was the case with the 2015 vintage. Temperatures fell as well, thus harvesting took place in mild to cold weather. More rain began to fall in the middle of September and continued for the duration of the harvest.
Picking for new Merlot vines started in early September, which is unusually early. This was soon followed by a Cabernet Sauvignon harvest that was also early. By the end of September, the majority of the Cabernet Sauvignon had been harvested.
For a full report on the Bordeaux growing season and harvest in 2020, click here.
According to Dominique Arangoits of Chateau Cos d’Estournel, the tough 2020 growing season in the Saint Estephe appellation required a lot of care.
“Our grapes have again showed an exceptional capacity to overcome unexpected circumstances in 2020 Bordeaux, requiring continuous attention on our side and a willingness to react to changing conditions at any time.”
Under my home office, I sampled the following 2020 St. Estephe wines in non-blind circumstances.
Notes about the 2020 Saint Estephe wine.
2020 Beau-Site — Medium-bodied, savory, earthy, and spicy, with a core of crisp fresh red berries and hints of cedar, tobacco leaf, peppery spice, and red currants, ending with cedar, tobacco leaf, peppery spice, and red currants. With just a few years of age, you may appreciate this traditionally flavored wine. Pts: 89-91
Bernard Magrez – Bernard Magrez – Bernard Magrez – Bernard Magrez Bright, sharp, and crunchy on the tongue, with a strong burst of chewy red fruits and a medium-bodied, elevated red berry aftertaste. You may drink this wine soon after it’s been released, or wait a few years before removing the cork. Pts 88-90
2020 Le Boscq – The wine is fresh, sweet, and juicy on the nose, with hints of smoke, herbs, blackberries, and spicy cassis, and a sharp, red berry finish. Before corking, let this medium-bodied wine 3-5 years in the cellar. Pts 90-92
2020 Calon Segur – If you don’t know what’s going on with Calon Segur right now, you need to try this wine. With Asian spice, boysenberry, black currants, cedar, cigar box, tobacco leaf, lead pencil, and forest foliage, the wine leaps from the glass without hesitation. It’s rich, full-bodied, concentrated, and strong, yet it’s also balanced, refined, and intense. The fruits are pure, fresh, and symmetrical, culminating in continuous waves of wonderfully ripe, crème de cassis. Allow at least a decade for this to settle before enjoying for another three decades or more. The wine is made up of 78 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. The alcohol by volume (ABV) is 13.8 percent. Pts 96-98
2020 Calon Segur’s Marquis – The fruit is sweet, robust, meaty, and chewy, with a chilly, peppery quality and a savory flavor on the scent and tongue. The wine finishes with a generous helping of juicy, chewy, robust fruits. This infant Calon Segur is ideal for sipping while you wait for the Grand Vin to mature. Allow it to mature for 3-5 years before corking it, and it will become even better. Pts: 92-94
2020 Capbern – The nose opens with spicy dark red berries, blackberry, savory herbs, cedar, and cigar box. The wine is meaty, rich, chewy, and filled with juicy currants and peppery, savory herbs on the tongue. There’s a lot of length, freshness, depth, and personality in this piece. This is a vineyard worth keeping an eye on as it improves. The wine has a 14.1 percent ABV and is made up of 69 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 29 percent Merlot, 1 percent Cabernet Franc, and 1 percent Petit Verdot. Pts: 92-94
Cos Labory 2020 – The wine is medium/full-bodied, round, ripe, chewy, sweet, and fresh, with a wonderful explosion of blackberry, Asian spice, and currants on the scent and tongue. Cos Labory has recently stepped up their game. This is the third year in a row that the vintage has been excellent. Pts: 91-93
Cos dEstournel 2020 – The wine has a deep crimson color with aromas of tobacco leaf, currants, spice box, cigar wrapper, blackberry, and cassis as it emerges from the glass. The wine is smooth, lengthy, and precise, and it is elegant, fresh, and bright. On the mid-palate and in the finish, there’s a cool peppery note that blends nicely with the layers of delicate, polished fruits. For COS, this is a sophisticated vintage. Even though the pH is high at 3.9, the wine has less alcohol and seems more lively on the tongue and in the aftertaste. Before popping the cork, let it rest for at least a decade. The harvest took place from September 10 to September 24, and the wine was made from a combination of 62 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 38 percent Merlot with a 13.46 percent ABV. Pts 97-99
2020 Les Pagodes de Cos – This dish is light, bright, and spicy, and it’s nearly ready to eat. The wine is flavorful, elevated, and refined, with a medium body. On the scent, taste, and finish, fresh red pit fruits are complemented by tobacco leaf, spice, cigar box, and savory flavors. While you’re waiting for the Grand Vin to mature, enjoy this while it’s still young. The wine is made up of 58 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. Pts: 92-94
Cos d’Estournel Blanc 2020 – On the scent and tongue, vibrant, brilliant yellow citrus, lime, green apple, tangerine, and honeysuckle aromas abound. With a lengthy blast of zesty green apples, lemon peel, and a touch of vanilla in the aftertaste, this wine is crisp and lively. This is one of the finest Cos d’Estournel Blanc vintages ever made. The wine is made up of 66% Sauvignon Blanc and 34% Semillon. 96 points
2020 The Cos Blanc Pagodas — On the scent and taste, aromas of crisp pomelo, lemon, lime, and green apple work nicely. With a core of white peach and creamy yellow citrus on the end, the wine is bright, sweet, juicy, and fresh. 92 points
Haut Marbuzet 2020 – The wine has a dark hue with aromas of coffee beans, cherries, smoke, spice, and peppery herbs. Medium-to-full-bodied, with a pronounced oak presence that complements the round textures as well as all of the herbs, spices, and fruits. On top of the espresso-tinged finish, the wine has a savory note. Allow time for the oak to come around, as it is still very present. This will be a better wine if it integrates. Pts: 91-93
2020 Haut-Beausejour — The perfume is scented with a cigar box, tobacco leaf, red currants, and floral notes. With a blackberry, chocolate, spice, and savory centered, chewy finish, the wine is medium-bodied, round, smooth, and polished. Pts: 89-91
2020 La Haye – Medium-bodied, upfront, gentle, and approachable, the wine will be ready to drink right now thanks to its fresh, polished, lighter character. Pts: 87-89
Laffitte-Carcasset 2020 The Corsair is a fighter aircraft. The scent combines a hint of coffee with herbs, pepper, florals, and ripe fruits. The wine is delicate, fresh, and fruity on the tongue, with gentle tannins and a lovely finish of rich, polished black cherries. Pts 90-92
Lafon Rochet 2020 – The wine is full-bodied, intense, lengthy, dark, round, dark, and vigorous, with a deep hue. The fruit is plump, ripe, sweet, and juicy. With minimal effort, the mid-palate displays cassis, blackberry, chocolate, tobacco leaf, and spice. With a creamy textured endnote, the finish is lengthy, clean, and bright. This should last at least two decades and develop well. Pts: 94-96
2020 Le Crock — The wine is vibrant, fresh, juicy, and deeply textured, with excellent color. With lots of luscious, sweet, round fruit, spice, and chocolate on the finish, this wine is medium/full-bodied. You may enjoy it right now since it is so wonderful now. And with just a few years of experience, it will be even better. Pts 90-92
Lilian Ladouys – Lilian Ladouys – Lilian Ladouys – The spicy nature of the fresh, sweet red fruits, cigar wrapper, cedar, and blackberries on the scent appeals to me. Richness, smooth grained tannins, luscious dark red fruits, and a touch of chocolate in the finish characterize this medium/full-bodied, round, gentle, and lively wine. Pts: 92-94
2020 Ladouys, Lilian Lilian’s Deception – Early-drinking, medium-bodied, lighter-styled attractive wine with a fresh, crisp, red currant flavor. While you’re waiting for the Grand Vin to mature, sip this. 86-88 points
2020 Martin – Herbaceous, with intense green flavors that overpower the fruit, finishing hard, chewy, acidic, and green. Pts: 79-81
2020 Meyney – A nose of black and blue fruits with a plethora of Asian spices and espresso greets you straight away. The wine is rich, supple, luscious, and polished on the tongue, with a core of ripe, dark, sweet fruits, silky tannins, and a peppery fruit, chocolate, and espresso bean finish. Allow at least 5-6 years in the cellar before drinking throughout the next 20-25 years. Pts: 92-94
Meyney Prieur de Meyney 2020 – The wine is already delivering its exquisite layers of dark crimson, supple textured fruits, which are round, soft, upfront, juicy, and medium-bodied. Pts: 87-89
Ormes-de-Pez 2020 – Things are only getting better in our town, and 2020 will be no exception. Forest leaf, tobacco, pepper, black and red fruits, and earthy undertones are all present in the nose, which has a spicy attitude. The wine is lush, round, and ripe on the tongue. On the mid-palate and in the open, soft textured finish, it’s jam-packed with sweet, fresh, polished, juicy red berries. With just 3-4 years of age, this wine should be ready to enjoy. Pts: 92-94
2020 Petit-Bocq — Soft core of dark red fruits, morning tea, damp soil, and ripe, spicy black currants in the finish. Pts: 89-91
2020 de Pez – The peppery flavor is fantastic here. It instantly gives the perfectly ripe, luscious, fresh red fruits more flavor and depth. The ripeness and vitality in the red berries continue from the mid-palate to the finish, making the wine soft, round, and inviting. Pts: 91-93
2020 de Pez 2nd Pez – This medium-bodied, already completely drinkable, red berry, soft-textured charmer is ready to go for simple sipping enjoyment. Pts 88-90
Phelan Segur – Phelan Segur – Phelan Segur – Phe There’s a lot of lift and energy here, and it’s bright, fresh, spicy, and a little peppery. In the scent and on the palate, there are flowers, cigar wrapper, cedar, red currants, raspberries, and red plums all over the place. The wine has a lengthy, well-balanced, and elegant finish. On the palate and in the finish, there is freshness, length, and a crisp, silky texture. Rich and well-balanced, with the oak almost completely integrated. The wine is a 13.5 percent ABV mix of 54 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 42 percent Merlot, 2 percent Cabernet Franc, and 2 percent Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot will be used in the mix for the first time in 2020. Pts: 93-95
2020 Saint-Pierre de Corbian – The savory wine is medium-bodied, soft, round, fruity, and upfront, with notes of tobacco, cedar, and black currants on the nose and chewy, fresh flavors on the tongue. With just a year or two of age, this will be simple to drink in its youth. Pts 88-90
On the scent and taste, there are ripe, velvety, dark crimson fruits. The wine is medium-bodied, refined, fresh, and juicy on the palate, with a hint of spice on the creamy finish. Pts 90-92
Tour Saint-Fort 2020 – Medium-bodied with round, juicy fruits and polished tannins in the sweet and savory finish, the wine is dark in color and filled with dark red berries, damp soil, chocolate, herbs, and spice. Pts: 89-91
2020 Tour de Pez – A medium-bodied, fresh, creamy wine loaded with currant, cedar, and tobacco leaf, with round, soft textures and a wonderful burst of sweet, polished red fruits and spice in the juicy finish. Pts: 89-91
Tour des Termes 2020 – The wine has a deep color with aromas of black and blue fruit, chocolate, black raspberries, and spice, with layers of round, ripe, sweet, fresh black and red fruits and a creamy finish. Pts: 91-93
The emphasis of our next post is on all of the finest 2020 Pauillac wines. Please submit any questions or comments you may have.
I have been a wine drinker my whole life, and I always look forward to tasting a new region, and that is what this guide is for. I wanted to share my tasting notes and comments for you to read and use to help make your buying decision for one of the best wines produced in St Estephe in 2020.. Read more about best value bordeaux 2019 and let us know what you think.
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