Opaque purple-black in color, the 2020 Clos de Sarpe rolls seductively out of the glass with opulent scents of Chinese five spice, rose oil, sandalwood and camphor, leading to a core of plum preserves, blueberry pie and fragrant soil, with a touch of woodsmoke. The rich, full-bodied palate is, as always, not lacking in freshness, delivering layer upon layer of spicy black fruit preserves and a velvety texture, finishing very long and beautifully perfumed. The blend this year is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, aging for an estimated 13 months in French oak barrels, 70% new. The alcohol weighs-in at 15%.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021)Score: 94-96+/100Drink 2026-2051
I continue to love the wines from this estate, and certainly today, they show a more pure, polished style than wines from just a decade ago. Their 2020 Château Clos De Sarpe boasts a vivid purple hue as well as gorgeous notes of blue fruits, black cherries, toasty oak, violets, white truffle, and tobacco. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it has ripe tannins, a balanced, layered texture, and that rare mix of richness and freshness. This tiny, cooler terroir on the upper plateau has produced a thrilling 2020 readers will love. It will have 30+ years of longevity. Tasted twice.
Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021)Score: 94-96+/100
Powerful, this has pretty overpowering liquorice and smoked oak overtones. Cloves, wax and blackcurrant pastilles, struggling to find balance through the mid palate.
Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)Score: 87/100Drink 2026-2036
Full-bodied and layered with blackberries, black olives, walnuts and bark. Juicy. Superb depth and richness with so many layers of fruit and tannins. From organically grown grapes. Old-vine cabernet franc comes through.
James Suckling (April 2021)Score: 95-96/100
Full bottle 1,350 g. Certified organic. Very dark, concentrated blackish crimson. Despite the alcohol on the label, this has obvious and appealing freshness on the nose. In fact, unlike many of its peers, acidity not tannin is the dominant feature – possibly a tad too much so? Very lifted but just a bit aggressively tart and lacking real undertow of fruit concentration.
Jancis Robinson MW (April 2021)Score: 15.5/20Drink 2027-2040
This is lifted and exotic, really ripe and intense. There’s a headiness to it, voluptuous and rich with more delicate aromas of delicate black tea, cinnamon spice, a sweet lick of oak, liquorice, a herbal note that is almost menthol, and a dried-redcurrant richness. But this isn’t over-ripe, on the palate there’s plenty of acidity with a crunch of vibrant fruit, firm yet ripe tannins and a sweet cocoa note.
FINE+RARE (April 2021)