Cask sample. Sweet black fruit on the nose that goes suddenly dry on the palate, and leaves a somewhat hollow middle. In a way, this is a pleasant alternative to some of the richer 2020s, and perhaps it is more typically Margaux to have lighter body. (RH)
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2033
Robert Parker 94.0
The 2020 D’Issan is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, aging in French oak barriques, 50% new. It has an alcohol of 13.29%, a pH of 3.71 and an IPT (tannin index) of 73. Displaying an opaque purple-black color, it has vibrant notes of Bing cherries, boysenberries, ripe redcurrants and juicy black plums, plus hints of pencil shavings, wild thyme, lavender and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate has impressive energy with crunchy red and black fruits and compelling tension, framed by fine-grained tannins, finishing long and mineral laced.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2045
The 2020 d’Issan is the first vintage that incorporates Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec to complement the traditional Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the blend. Pretty floral and savory accents complement a core of ripe red/purplish berry fruit. Medium in body and vibrant, with superb persistence, Issan is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. The purity of the flavors is striking. Harvest took place over three weeks between September 17 through October 2, which is only about a week earlier than normal, so not that displaced relative to what was the norm in much of Bordeaux. Tasted three times.
Anticipated maturity: 2035-2055
Jane Anson 96
Clear muscular weight to the tannins and carefully-constructed architecture overall. This has dark fruits aromatics, cassis, bilberry, loganberry, with layers of flavour and a texture that plays with silk and slate through the palate. Fresh mint leaf and eucalyptus on the finish, the architecture of the tannins is serious but with a sense of energy, and totally delicious. Harvest September 17 to October 2, yield 38hl/h and the first vintage with five grape varieties in the blend including Malbec and Malbec – these add layers of spice and intensity that will be fascinating to watch age compared to the earlier pure Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon vintages.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2048