The Bordeaux 2020 Vintage

by Angelus


2020, the mirror year, is also the golden number of this rare vintage -one of perfect proportion and ideal harmony. It evokes at the same time the cyclical time of the vine and its work, an ideal of balance and that duality, undergone, overcome and sublimated, which characterises it. 

Between the very mild winter and ensuing spring, there was no break but instead a fluid transition ensured by abundant rainfall. The equivalent of a whole year’s rain fell between November 2019 and June 2020, which replenished the soil’s water reserves, necessary for the vines during the summer period.

Months of hot weather followed, not extreme heat but very dry conditions, until storms arrived in mid-August, which delivered to the soils just what they needed in order to partner the vines in their growth cycle and avoid them slowing or shutting down. These alternating conditions which appeared very marked, even violent, were smoothed out by our clays soils which, acting like a sponge, were able to retain moisture and pass it on sparingly and with regularity to the vines.

This smooth, harmonious development of the vines was marked by a number of important stages. After an early start to the growing season and fears of frost, which didn’t materialise, the flowering process was fast and perfectly smooth, especially in the early-ripening vineyards just after the 15th May. The veraison process took place mid-July in excellent weather conditions.

The vines were in perfect health throughout the whole of the cycle, and the grapes filled up with sugar as they benefited from an even ripening right till the end. The berries remained small but perfectly formed, while the skins were thick and the pips ripe.

Although a hot and sunny year, this vintage is perfectly balanced. While the alcoholic degrees are relatively high, these are subtly balanced by pHs which bring out the freshness and intensity of the fruit flavour.

At Angélus this year, the harvest began on 15th September and lasted only a short time. The Merlot was harvested in just 8 days! The Cabernet Franc was picked in three days –September 28th, 29th and 30th in absolutely perfect weather conditions.  Rarely has a vintage produced such sublime Cabernet Franc at Angélus.

Our initial impressions when we tasted the berries have been consistently confirmed when tasting the wines: silky, tight-knit tannins, a very deep colour, precision in the ripe fruit aromas, amazingly intense aromatic complexity, and very long, very lively freshness of flavour on the mid palate.

This lively tension and sublime duality have forged the character of a new, remarkable Angélus which is bound to capture people’s imaginations and remain long in their memories.


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