Clos de Sarpe 2020

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Tasting Notes and Scores


Wine Advocate

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%.
Drink Date
2026 - 2051
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW


Neal Martin

The 2020 Clos de Sarpe, which has undergone a change in tack in recent vintages, has a very intense and floral bouquet of macerated black cherries, blueberry and violet notes, and even a light honeyed scent in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannins, fine acidity, a silky-smooth texture and very fine balance. It is not a subtle wine, but it has more delineation and sense of place compared to others cut from a similar cloth. It just needs a prudent élevage, then it should become a fine Saint-Émilion.


James Suckling

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.


Jancis Robinson

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.


Antonio Galloni

The 2020 Clos de Sarpe is one of the most intense, primary wines I tasted for this report. Inky and exotic to the core. Clos de Sarpe possesses tremendous unctuousness from start to finish. Inky red berry fruit, spice, new oak and soaring floral notes all meld together. I imagine it will be many years before the 2020 is ready to drink, but even today, it is quite beautiful and wonderfully expressive. Tasted two times.


Jeff Leve

With a strong mineral essence, flowers, licorice, crushed rocks, red fruits and cocoa, the wine is concentrated, fresh, bright, focused, stony, polished and long. The salty energy in the finish from all its stony minerality really stands out here. 92-94


Jeb Dunnuck

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.