2020 Château Giscours, Margaux, Bordeaux

2020 Château Giscours, Margaux, Bordeaux

Product: 20208005928
 
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2020 Château Giscours, Margaux, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 56%, Merlot 44%

The increased proportion of Merlot this year reflects the team’s efforts to maximise the variety’s potential across different locations in the vineyard. Alexander Van Beek describes the result as “bold”; it’s also seductive. The bouquet is overt but alluring, with notes of plum and tobacco. On the palate, well-polished tannins hold the line well, giving integrity to the mid-palate. This is a very pleasing 2020, retaining a vestige of classicism while offering a modern, open face, too.

Drink 2028-2045
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Critics reviews

Jane Anson95/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous93-95/100
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
Wine Advocate92-94+/100
James Suckling96-97/100
Jeb Dunnuck93-95/100
Michael Schuster92-94/100
Jane Anson95/100
This is an excellent Giscours, extremely precise, well drawn and seductive. There is both concentration and spice, and a vivid sappy feel to the raspberry and bilberry fruits, all drawn out through the palate as the slate texture kicks in. Plenty of things to keep track on here, not least that this is now the only estate in Margaux owned by the Albada family, as they have sold du Tertre. The focus is now entirely on Giscours, and I would expect to see a concerted effort to raise the visibility of the property. Changes include Thomas Duclos as consultant since 2019, and vineyard choices such as intra-plot harvesting, meaning going in waves through the plots picking individual vines when they are at full ripeness. Plus, Jerome Poisson is the new technical director (a French Canadian, who worked in Napa, Italy, Chile, Cognac and Alsace), replacing Lorenzo Pasquini. 50% new oak for ageing. A yield of 35hl/ha.

Drink from 2028 to 2044

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous93-95/100
The 2020 Giscours is surprisingly juicy and forward, with lovely mid-palate richness from the Merlot that comprises 44% of the blend. Inky dark fruit, new leather, spice, menthol and dried herbs all meld together effortlessly. In 2020 Giscours is a real charmer. I imagine it will drink well with minimal cellaring. Harvest started on September 8 for the Merlot and finished with the last of the Cabernets on October 3, which is a good week ahead of schedule. Yields are down about 25% from the 2019, mostly because of heat and dry weather during the summer. New oak is 50%.

Drink from 2030 to 2050

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
The 2020 Giscours was picked from September 21 to October 2. The huge difference in quality between the Grand Vin and Deuxième Vin is apparent on the nose of crystal-clear black fruit intermixed with raspberry, crushed stone and light crushed violet aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, taut and crisp, and quite tensile, leading to a classically styled, sapid finish. This is a classy Giscours with plenty of breeding.

Drink from 2024 to 2050

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate92-94+/100
A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, the 2020 Giscours reveals a deep garnet-purple color and compelling notes of crushed redcurrants, plum preserves and Morello cherries, leading to hints of lavender, wild sage, damp soil and black truffles with a touch of licorice. The medium-bodied palate bursts with vibrant red and black fruits and lots of savory accents, supported by soft, very well managed tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note.

Drink 2024 - 2044

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling96-97/100
Aromas of crushed berries, dried flowers and spices with undertones of ink and iron. Full-bodied with wonderful, fine tannins that are totally embedded in the structure. Endless length and such refinement. Rather ethereal. Another winner from Giscours.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck93-95/100
One of the most seamless Margaux in the vintage, the 2020 Château Giscours checks in as 56% Cabernet Sauvignon and 44% Merlot, brought up in 50% new French oak. Offering a wonderful, rich, powerful style that's classic Giscours, it has lots of cassis and darker currant fruits as well as notes of dried flowers, sandalwood, licorice, and earth. The tannin quality is spot on, which is rare in Margaux in 2020, and it has medium to full body, a great mid-palate, and a silky, layered mouthfeel. It's a beautiful Margaux.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster92-94/100
Dense, sweetly red-fruit ripe nose, subtly wild-rose herbal; rich, concentrated without any excess, moderate in superfine tannin, and with a perfectly integrated tannin and acidity; delicately sweet-cored, with a lovely aromatic scope, complexity and length, a superb combination of fruit, aromas, and silky texture, very long across the palate, with a finesse not seen here before, and with lovely delicate, fragrant length. A wine that very clearly signals a new era for Giscours, working with OenoTeam’s Thomas Duclos, and picking in tries, as in Sauternes, parcel by parcel, according to vine age, the maturity of individual vines, and so on. It certainly shows! A most beautiful Giscours, dense yet light on its feet, transparent and so fine in texture. Very Margaux—which, for all its virtues, was not something one often said about Giscours in the past. This is in a different league, and in a very different style, from the famous ’70s Giscours: 1970 and 1975. Really a revelation of the terroir! Alexander Van Beek’s smile was as wide as his wife Véronique’s in her new winery at Haut-Bailly!

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

About this WINE

Chateau Giscours

Chateau Giscours

Château Giscours is one of the largest Margaux properties and now producing wine worthy of its 3ème Cru Classé status. It is located in the commune of Labarde and has over 80 hectares of vineyards.

Giscours was in a dire state when it was acquired by Nicholas Tari in 1952. He invested heavily and the quality of the wine improved beyond recognition. In 1995 he sold up the property to Dutch businessman Eric Albada Jelgersma.

Giscours's wine is typically a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled tanks and the wine is then aged in small oak barrels (30-40% new) for 18 months.

Giscours produces richly aromatic wines that are surprisingly powerful on the palate, displaying ripe, black fruit with hints of cedar and new oak.

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Margaux

Margaux

If Pauillac can be seen as the bastion of ‘traditional’ Red Bordeaux, then Margaux represents its other facet in producing wines that are among Bordeaux’s most sensual and alluring. It is the largest commune in the Médoc, encompassing the communes of Cantenac, Soussans, Arsac and Labaude, in addition to Margaux itself. Located in the centre of the Haut-Médoc, Margaux is the closest of the important communes to the city of Bordeaux.

The soils in Margaux are the lightest and most gravelly of the Médoc, with some also containing a high percentage of sand. Vineyards located in Cantenac and Margaux make up the core of the appelation with the best vineyard sites being located on well-drained slopes, whose lighter soils give Margaux its deft touch and silky perfumes. Further away from the water, there is a greater clay content and the wines are less dramatically perfumed.

Margaux is the most diffuse of all the Médoc appelations with a reputation for scaling the heights with irreproachable wines such as Ch. Margaux and Ch. Palmer, but also plumbing the depths, with too many other châteaux not fulfilling their potential. There has been an upward shift in recent years, but the appellation cannot yet boast the reliability of St Julien. However, the finest Margaux are exquisitely perfumed and models of refinement and subtlety which have few parallels in Bordeaux.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Margaux, Ch. Palmer, Ch. Brane-Cantenac, Ch. Rauzan-Ségla , Ch. Dufort-Vivens, Ch. Ferrière, Ch. du Tertre, Ch. Giscours, Ch. d'Angludet.

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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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