Weekly Tasting Report (Nov 30-Dec 6): Bright Future for 2019 Bordeaux, a Refined Salon Champagne and an Incredible California Pinot


Please don’t miss the excellent wines rated from Virginia in this report. Associate Editor Nathan Slone and Director Bill McIlhenny were in the state to taste at a handful of the best wineries, such as Barboursville Vineyards, Early Mountain and Linden. There are some top-rated wines, including a nebbiolo and a few single-vineyard cabernets.

I also started tasting a large selection of new Beaujolais from Georges Duboeuf. All were from the very good 2020. The reds seemed to have a solid core of fruit and slightly firm tannins. It’s hard to generalize but it seems that 2020 is not at quite the same quality level as the superb 2019 and 2018. The young Beaujolais have less depth and richness.

We have found the same sort of characteristic for hundreds of South African wines. So many are pleasant and rather humble in quality but should still satisfy at a their normally value-oriented price. Check out the ratings.

There are also lots of Italian wines rated, with a focus on the south, such as Abruzzo. Plus, we tasted a dozen or so Chinese wines, and don’t miss out on the ratings for the new releases from New Zealand’s Cloudy Bay. We tasted 514 wines in total, and they had an average score of 92.

All in all, it’s been a solid week for tasting and rating wines.

– James Suckling, Chairman/Editor

The list of wines below is comprised of bottles tasted and rated during the past week by James Suckling and the other tasters at JamesSuckling.com. They include many latest releases not yet available on the market, but which will be available soon. Some will be included in upcoming tasting reports.

Note: You can sort the wines below by country, vintage, score and alphabetically by winery name. You can also search for specific wines in the search bar.