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Cantemerle 2020

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Haut Médoc
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

A popular classed growth château from the southern Médoc, situated just below the village of Margaux. Cantemerle always provides reliable quality and value for money. The wines are never heavy or jammy. Good traditional claret that is usually sold at a modest price and with quality on the rise in recent vintages. The vineyard is 96 hectares in size and planted with 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.

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Tasting Notes

Aromas of blackcurrants and kirsch with hints of dried blood orange, licorice and cocoa. Medium- to full-bodied with layers of well-integrated, finely polished tannins. Structured and toned with a fresh and lively fruit-forward palate, seasoned with spices and dried herbs. Lingering, chalky finish. Delicious now, but better after 2026.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2023

The 2020 Cantemerle has turned out well in bottle, offering up aromas of rich black fruits, plums, pencil shavings and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, broad and fleshy, with ripe, powdery structuring tannins and a nicely defined finish, it's generous and expressive while remaining classically proportioned. 2025 - 2050

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, April 2023

The 2020 Cantemerle is tightly wound on the nose, requiring a lot of coaxing to reveal the blackberry, cedar and tobacco scents; a touch of iodine emerges with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black and red fruit, a light licorice touch on the back palate and a solid, slightly monochromatic finish. Hopefully this will develop more personality and race by the time of bottling, but given the potential of this fine estate, I was expecting more. 2026 - 2040.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2021

Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Cantemerle reveals a great intensity and purity of blackcurrant cordial, stewed plums and black raspberry scents, plus hints of dried Provence herbs, Indian spices and woodsmoke. The medium-bodied palate delivers approachable chewy tannins and just enough freshness to support the savory-laced black fruit flavors, finishing with an herbal lift. 2024 - 2036

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, May 2021

Ruby red colour, bursting with brambled fruit, these are young and still closed down tannins, trace of chalkiness, opening to show cassis and blueberry fruit, sleek and pretty. Attrractive austerity in this wine gives this a savoury quality, medium bodied, with cocoa bean and mint left on the finish. Tasted twice, love the aromatics after a good few hours of opening. 45hl/ha yield, 40% new oak

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, February 2023

Full bottle 1,319 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot. 40% new oak.
Dark purple crimson with black core. Distinctive aroma that brings together not just cassis and damson but also the more lifted scent of Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. Gently leafy (not unripe) and with a light floral note like peony. Really pretty. On the palate, darker fruited but also with a marked dark-chocolate-like sweetness. Smooth, chewy tannins. Lots of flavour and a fruit and oak sweetness on the finish (though of course it is as dry wine), as well as the more savoury side from the dry tannins. Well integrated even now. (JH) 13.1%
Drink 2025 – 2032

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2021

58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot in 2020. The wine will be aged in 40% new French oak for 12 months. 13.5% abv. Bright ruby colour in the glass. Cool blackcurrant and fresh cherry on the nose with some cedar and tobacco. The palate follows, with an always-savoury edge to the fruit, bringing a moreish vibrancy to this compact and elegant style. The tannins are fine and persistent, in keeping with the intensity of fruit. By no means flashy, this honest and pure wine should offer excellent mid-term pleasure.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2021

(58% CS, 29% M, 7% CF, 6% PV; 70% harvest; 13.5% ABV; 40% new)
A red-fruit fresh, vivid, and minerally nose; elegantly balanced medium-full wine, lively, very finely tannic, a perfectly proportioned Médoc; sweetly red- and black-fruit ripe, clear in mineral aromas, with tannins so silky as to be almost imperceptible; a lovely, rich yet restained classic style, packed with flavor, long, graceful, effortless, refreshing, and with gorgeous black-fruit sweet persistence. You sense the richness conveyed by the now old vines, planted in the early 1980s when the property was the first to be purchased by an insurance company. A great success, and likely to be great value. What a wine on which to finish a career for Philippe Dambrine, director since those early days! 2026–46+.

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine, May 2021
Read more tasting notes...

Lots or richness and fruit for this winery, showing blackberry, blackcurrant and dark-chocolate character. It’s full and layered. Well done.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2021

This has the tight tannins of the vintage with damson and an edge of bitter dark chocolate, but it is a success all the same - confident, succulent, elegant and classic. Philippe Dambrine retires as director of the estate as of this vintage, replaced by Laure Canu from Château Angélus. A yield of 45hl/ha, 40% new oak, 6% Petit Verdot completes the blend.

Drinking Window 2028 - 2042

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2021
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.