We're fastening our seatbelts here ...
As the Bordelais have begun to release pricing for 2020 futures. We weren't able to travel to France to taste the wines again this year, however, unlike last year, there was time for them to prepare samples to ship to us so we could get a good idea of the character of the 2020 vintage for ourselves. From what we've tasted so far, we can say that there is high quality in the 2020 vintage. In general terms, many of the wines are concentrated and structured, as a summer drought made for smaller fruit with thicker skins. In the bygone days, this would have made for hard, closed wines with heavy tannins. Modern winemakers have the ways and means of managing these tannins, making wines which are supple and accessible. In most cases, healthy, ripe fruit was brought in from all over the region. Acidity levels were proper, as the wines have a fresh, lively palate feel. It's not exactly a homogenous vintage, as there were some appellations which fared better than others, though there are very good wines from most locales. A wine that we've been following closely over the past decade was released this week, and we think enough of it to make it our very first offer: 2020 Château Tour Saint Christophe, Saint-Emilion.
Tucked away among the rolling slopes east of Saint-Emilion is the commune of Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes, where one will find such names as Fombrauge, Laroque, and Croix de Labrié. And, as you can see in the photo above, Tertre-Roteboeuf is also nearby. Château Tour Saint Christophe sits due east of the medieval village of Saint-Emilion, just past the famous Pavie slope. The property was purchased in 2012 by Peter Kwok, a businessman from China, who was born in Vietnam. Raised in Saigon, Peter grew up in a time when, "the coffee, music, and even the church had a French flavor." He has invested in a handful of properties around Bordeaux so his children would also be exposed to French culture. Part of the vineyards are planted on narrow terraces of clay upon limestone. This is quality terroir! So far, as the wines from Tour Saint Christophe continue their upward ascent in quality, they keep their pricing fair, making them bargains in each vintage. They've been kind to us once again, as we are offering our first batch of 2020 Tour Saint Christophe at $32 per bottle.
We recently tasted our sample of the 2020 Tour Saint Christophe and in a word, it's a stunner. Made from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, it will have you at hello. The aromas are of juicy, ripe fruit, a plummy cassis core with wafts of orange peel and red berries. The palate is fresh and lively, the fruit in symmetry with the freshness, a medium to full body, all caressed by soft tannins on the finish. Essential in evaluating a barrel sample, one must find balance and harmony, and they are ever present in the 2020 Tour Saint Christophe. This wine has a wonderful, long life ahead of it. All systems go! - Peter Zavialoff