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Balestard La Tonnelle 2020 (750ML)

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12 unit(s)
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Saint Emilion
Right Bank
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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

92-93 JS / 91-93 VM / 92 DE / 90-92+ WA / 88-91 JD

A ripe, round red with blackberry, plum and cherry character. Medium-to full-bodied with chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. - James Suckling

The 2020 Balestard La Tonnelle has one of the appellation’s more understated bouquets, and the restraint pays dividends in the form of fine delineation and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with good definition, fine grip and minerality, offering vivacious black fruit laced with cedar, dark chocolate and mint on the finish. There is a sensuality to this Balestard that I like, and I hope it remains in situ once in bottle. - Neal Martin, Vinous Media

Concentrated straight from the first nose, with inky purple, glass-staining fruits. This is pretty powerful, bounces off the walls with its tannins, with heat running through it. It holds on to a juiciness in the fruit though, alongside clear chocolate notes that up the exuberance. Not really my style of wine but this is successful, with a ton of in your face presence and an attractive slow-slate tugging through the close of play. A yield of 36 hl/ha, from 8.5ha on the clay-limestone plateau. Malolactic fermentation in new oak barrels. Drinking Window 2027 - 2040 - Jane Anson, Decanter

Opaque purple-black colored, the 2020 Balestard la Tonnelle opens with notes of cedar chest, stewed black plums and boysenberry preserves, giving way to notions of damp soil, tar and unsmoked cigars with a waft of dried Provence herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate is a little woody at this nascent stage, offering a lot of juicy black fruit beneath the oak with a chewy texture and bags of freshness, finishing long and spicy. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate

Lots of juicy cassis and blueberry fruits as well as violets and vanilla notes emerge from the 2020 Château Balestard La Tonnelle, and it’s medium to full-bodied, ripe, textured, and loaded with character. I love its tannins, but there’s enough oak here to warrant 2-4 years of bottle age. - Jeb Dunnuck


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