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NEW 2020 BORDEAUX EN PRIMEUR RELEASE - Ch. L'Hermitage-Lescours - another out of the blue stunner!

May 2021

2020 Château L’Hermitage-Lescours

£130 per 6 bottle case in bond

£145 per 3 magnum case in bond

£145 per single double magnum in bond

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Chateau

Before you are swamped in Bordeaux En Primeur releases from the 2020 vintage, I want to highlight one particular wine that is anything but a mainstream release.
 
Last year we released the 2019 Château L’Hermitage-Lescours, a wine I described as one of the bargains of the vintage and a wine that Neal Martin termed a ‘hidden gem’ and ‘an out of the blue stunner’ with a score of 93-95 points. All good plaudits, as I am sure you will agree. Well, it sold incredibly well on these endorsements but also on account of its remarkably reasonable price point of £110 per 6 bottle case in bond. Frankly, such a sum seldom gets you a particularly interesting wine in Bordeaux, and certainly not of this quality. I am pleased to say that the wine from this tiny 3.4 hectare property is now exclusive to Atlas in the UK. I can confirm that the 2020 is equally impressive, perhaps chiming with the comments of Jane Anson on Decanter’s website last week, when she suggested that there would be great value to be found in outlying vineyard areas on the right bank, on account of how well the 2020 vintage suited Merlot. The price has unsurprisingly stepped up a bit, that was inevitable, but it is by no means lofty, nor beyond justified given the quality. It remains one of the bargains of the vintage to my mind.
 
It proved quite a challenge to access a sample of L’Hermitage-Lescours last year; I knew very little of the property aside from the fact that in 2018 it was purchased by Owen Hong, who runs a wine club in China. On account of the COVID-19 situation, I am yet to visit this estate, situated a couple of kilometres to the south-west of St. Emilion in the commune of Saint-Sulpice-de-Faleyrens, which approaches the twisting route of the Dordogne as it heads south. Saint-Sulpice is also home to the Perse family’s Château Monbousquet, which might rank as the highest profile Château in the area, though that wine is certainly not one that I rate at all. It remains high on my agenda to visit Château L’Hermitage-Lescours when we are next able to do so.
 
The investment brought about by the new owner has had a significant impact on the quality of the winemaking - there appears to have been progression to greater refinement at this estate, judging by the notes from various critics in recent years. The winemaker has remained the same, but he now has the facilities to deliver far higher quality as is evidenced by the 2019, and now the impressive 2020.
 
2020 was an intriguing vintage from a weather perspective, with a hot, dry summer following a wet yet warm spring. For Merlot, it has proven to be a very fine vintage, notably where there is clay in the terroir, which is able to sustain the vines through periods of drought. So far, from what I have tasted, Merlot is going to be the key attraction this vintage and particularly where the ripeness is allied to freshness. Indeed, that is what strikes me most about L’Hermitage-Lescours, the balance is reminiscent of the wines of Châteaux much further up the pecking order. That is no mean feat given this is an outlying, relatively unknown St.Emilion estate. Simply put, there is a touch of magic about this wine and the 2020 has a touch more roundness and generosity than the 2019, while retaining the same sense of poise that turned my head the first time. I think you will gather this comes highly recommended.




2020 Château L’Hermitage-Lescours, Grand Cru, St. Emilion

 
£130 per 6 bottle case in bond
£145 per 3 magnum case in bond
£145 per single double magnum in bond

(A blend of Merlot, which dominates, with a good proportion of Cabernet, both Sauvignon and Franc. In fact, the vineyard, which comprises a base of sand with elements of clay and gravel, is planted with 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc).



Bright in the glass with a youthful purplish hue, the aromas take a little time to emerge, offering dark, fresh berry fruit nuances, blackberry and damson with an attractive leafy touch and discreet toast in the background. Showing a slightly more opulent character to the fruit than I recall last year, just juicy ripe Merlot fruit, notes of lush, freshly picked stone-fruit meld with racier, leafy-nuanced black hedgerow fruits. Yes, there is more generosity here than I recall in the 2019, but it captures the same elegance and refinement, with the Cabernets leading to a long, pure, well-defined finish. The purity of this wine impresses greatly and once more it captures the sense of the optimal moment for harvest: the fruit is ripe, but by no means is it extravagant. It might be a touch more forward than the 2019, but that is splitting hairs, I still expect this to reward cellarage over the next decade and beyond. What an impressive wine proving that 2019 was anything but a one-off for this estate. Outstanding. Drink 2025-2037. (SL)

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If you enjoy drinking refined Bordeaux, at sums that won’t break the bank, this punches well above its weight and should be on your list.  And if you had become disenchanted with lesser known Bordeaux at this kind of level, this is a wine to rekindle your interest.
 
Please let us know of your interest.
 
All the best,
 
Simon


To request a wine, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Atlas team. We can be reached on +44 (0) 20 3017 2299, info@atlasfinewines.com or by submitting the form below. Please note that stock may be limited and is always sold on a 'first come, first serve' basis. 

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Atlas Fine Wines Ltd. 

4-5 Castle Court  
London EC3V 9DL
T: +44 (0) 20 3017 2299
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