2020 Château Berliquet, St Emilion, Bordeaux

2020 Château Berliquet, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Product: 20201007039
 
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2020 Château Berliquet, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Description

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Merlot 69%, Cabernet Franc 31%

Ch. Berliquet comprises a small vineyard of just 10 hectares. It neighbours Ch. Canon, is under the same ownership, and it also shares a winemaking team. However, stylistically the wine here is very different: the red fruit is very focused, tight and almost citrus. The tannins are powdery, serried and precise. The finish is long and tight, with tension, a hint of cocoa nib and some saline minerality. This is a composed yet architectural wine, offering more with each examination. Drink 2027-2040.

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson93/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous89-91/100
Neal Martin, Vinous88-90/100
Wine Advocate94-96/100
Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20
Jeb Dunnuck92-94/100
Michael Schuster90-92/100
Jane Anson93/100
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

Drink 2028 - 2042

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous89-91/100
The 2020 Berliquet is the first wine that shows a real change in direction under its new ownership and the team headed by Nicolas Audebert. Bright and chiseled with energy this mid-weight Saint-Émilion is quite promising. Crushed red flowers, mint, sweet red berry fruit. There is still a bit of grittiness in the tannin, but this is a decidedly more finessed style than the wines of the recent past.

Drink from 2026 to 2040

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous88-90/100
The 2020 Berliquet has an open, quite generous bouquet of high-toned, quite floral aromas (iris and violet petals) mixed with Dorset plum, bilberry and wild strawberry. The palate is medium-bodied with a medicinal, menthol-tinged opening, ripe and again, generous. The candied finish just needs to show a little more restraint. Fine, but it will have to manifest more elegance and composure by the time of bottling. Perhaps it was unfair to pour this against the 2020 Canon, also owned by the Wertheimer family, but it highlighted the difference between their respective terroirs.

Drink from 2025 to 2038

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate94-96/100
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 from 2026 to 2046

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20
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

Drink 2026 - 2035

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck92-94/100
Notes of iron, toasty oak, violets, and ample red and blue fruits emerge from the 2020 Château Berliquet, a medium to full-bodied, gorgeously balanced and textured Saint-Emilion based on 69% Merlot and 31% Cabernet Franc. It has a solid kick of background oak, but the fruit is incredibly pure and it has a great mid-palate and outstanding length. Still aging in 50% new French oak, it should benefit from short-term cellaring and cruise for 15 years or more in cold cellars.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster90-92/100
A persistent nose of blackberry-ripe fruit; concentrated, vital in acidity, quite firm in tannin; long and ripely tasty, both fine and chewy at once, and with excellent length. You can taste the more clayey terroir here of Berliquet’s “Côte”; there is more matter than in Canon (made by the same team) and less finesse. That said, this is very good

Drink 2028 - 2040

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Château Berliquet

Château Berliquet

Ch. Berliquet comprises a square, 10-hectare handkerchief of St Emilion vineyard, surrounded on three sides by Ch. Canon’s vines. Its long history dates back to the 1740s, making it one of the appellation’s oldest vineyards. It is a Grand Cru Classé.

Until as recently as the 1970s, Ch. Berliquet's wine was made by the local co-operative. The quality was good but rather unexciting. Since 1978, the wine has been vinified and matured at the château and has improved beyond recognition.

In 2017, Ch. Berliquet was bought by Chanel, who brought in winemaker Nicolas Audebert to further refine the estate’s offering. Nicolas brought with him a wealth of experience, most recently from a decade in Argentina where he oversaw the Cheval des Andes project (a collaboration between Ch. Cheval Blanc and Terrazas de los Andes).

Nicolas brought in mapping and terroir specialists Géocarta and Kees Van Leeuwen to create a soil survey of the vineyard. Based on this deep knowledge of the clay-limestone plateau, and clay and sand slopes, Nicolas has formulated phased plans to variously grub up, replant and co-plant areas of the vineyard.

“We’ll replant a third of the vineyard with more Cabernet Franc than Merlot,” explains Nicolas. “We really consider that the terroir can bring Cabernet Franc to the highest expression of fruit, elegance and precision.”

In the winery, vinification takes place in stainless-steel tanks. The wines are aged for 16 months in oak, with 50% new barrels. The cellars have been carefully renovated in recent years.

You can read an interview with Ch. Berliquet’s winemaker Nicolas Audebert here.

Ch. Berliquet has made a strong commitment to working sustainability. In addition to introducing environmentally responsible practices in the winery, they have recently planted hedges, grasses, walnut trees and introduced green corridors to increase biodiversity.

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St-Emilion

St-Emilion

St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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