2020 Margaux Château d'Issan


There is a touch of unripeness here and there is a grainy, tight feel throughout this wine. It is a touch too sour and I cannot see this evening out given time. Having said this, the perfume is pretty attractive, but this wine is a bit too much of a gamble in my opinion. Rating: 16+? Matthew Jukes (Jun 2021)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 6)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

The 2020 Blason d'Issan is plump, juicy and easy to like. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, new leather, licorice, spice and lavender meld together in this attractive, open-knit second wine from Issan. Blason is built on a core of young-vine Merlot, plus Cabernet Sauvignon, and in 2020 a touch of Petit Verdot for the first time. Drinking range: 2022 - 2032 Rating: 88-90 Antonio Galloni, (Jun 2021)

The 2020 Blason d’Issan has a rather compact bouquet that needs coaxing from the glass. I would have liked a little more nascent energy, but it seems a bit reluctant to show what it can do. The palate is more expressive, featuring attractive blackberry and cranberry fruit, a crunchy texture and good tension on the finish. I suspect the aromatics were just closed on the day and it should end up a very decent Margaux Deuxième Vin. Drinking range: 2024 - 2034 Rating: 88-90 Neal Martin, (May 2021)

The second wine of this estate is the 2020 Blason D'Issan, and it's a pure, fruit-forward, impressive barrel sample. Lots of sweet cassis and darker cherry fruits as well as chocolate, spicy oak, and espresso notes define this youthful, medium to full-bodied wine that's going to offer ample pleasure right out of the gate. The blend of the second wine is 57% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Petit Verdot, brought up in 35% new French oak. Rating: 90-92 Jeb Dunnuck, (May 2021)

The 2020 Blason d'Issan is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 57% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, aging in French oak barriques, 35% new. It has an alcohol of 13.49%, a pH of 3.77 and an IPT (tannin index) of 68. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose delivers notions of baked black plums, mulberries and cherry compote, plus wafts of tree bark, pencil lead and dried Provence herbs. The medium-bodied palate is chock-full of lively black and red fruits, delivering a refreshing backbone and pleasantly chewy tannins, finishing savory. Drinking range: 2023 - 2033 Rating: 87-89 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, (May 2021)

Seductive aromatics, good balance running through the palate, this is enjoyable. Petit Verdot for the first time in the blend, from the Pontac-Lynch vines. This has some lovely depth and width through the palate, one of the better second wines. With the addition of new plots and new grapes, they did many more blending sessions than usual, to be sure especially, whether to add the 1% Malbec to the first wine (most of this info needs to be switched into the Issan entry). Young vines mainly in this wine, Merlot oriented. This year they added 7ha of vines (as of March, from Pontac Lynch, including a 1948 plot of Petit Verdot and a 1958 Cabernet Franc, plus 1% of Malbec that has gone into the blend of the 1st wine). Harvest September 17 through to October 2. A yield of 38.5hl/ha (last year was 50hl/ha). Drinking range: 2025 - 2034 Rating: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)

Margaux Troisième cru 1855 When Pierre l'Essenault inherited what became Château d'Issan through his marriage in the mid-17th Century, he knocked down the old castle that stood on the site and built the present château. He also gave it its name, these days somewhat abridged. During the 18th Century, part of the estate was divided away and became today's Château Palmer. In 1945, Château d'Issan was bought by Emmanuel Cruse who bought a run-down estate, ravaged by Depression and War with only 2ha of working vineyard. The vineyards now occupy 53ha, planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. Wines typically spend 18 months in wood. In 2013 Jacky Lorenzetti, who owns Lilian Ladouys, bought 50% of d'Issan to become co-owner with the Cruse family. Château d'Issan is among the fullest and richest Margaux's, a facet which sometimes in the past has suggested a lack of charm. Indeed, the Cruse family's care and attention to d'Issan has taken many years to bear fruit, with the wines only returning to top-flight quality in the latter years of the 20th Century. They are now among the better wines in the appellation and well worth their 3rd Growth status. There is a second wine at Château d'Issan called Blason d'Issan. Château d'Issan also includes some vines which fall outside the Margaux appellation - Château de Candale, Haut-Médoc and Moulin d'Issan, Bordeaux Supérieur.

Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do contact our private client team via email or on 0207 221 1982.


Prices are all in bond by the case size stated.

Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.

Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.


All orders will be confirmed by email and are binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of email confirmation. Pre-orders are not binding if the release price is above your upper price band.

Invoices are all raised at the in bond price (excluding any duty and VAT) which will become payable at the prevailing rates when the wines arrive in the UK, should you wish to take duty paid delivery.

Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We regret we cannot accept credit cards for en primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.


  • Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
  • Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
  • Other deliveries (In Bond and Duty Paid) are also free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £500. Orders below this total will be charged an administration and handling fee of £16.50+ VAT when invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchases, not a per-case charge.
  • Delivery of 2020 Bordeaux bought en primeur is expected during 2023. Delivery dates may vary as wines are shipped from Bordeaux at different times.
  • We do not anticipate any problems but please be aware that delays to delivery may occur should Britain's possible departure from the European Union result in additional border customs checks or other regulatory requirements. Any additional or unforeseen duties, tariffs, charges or other financial liabilities relating to 'Brexit' must be due to the customer and will be invoiced as required.

Practical notes - how it works

We start a sale in each customer's name and add all their primeur orders to one sale which is invoiced at the end of the campaign (or when the customer wishes). Immediate payment of invoices is then required by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We and our customers find that having a single invoice for the vintage is the simpler option but please note that confirmed orders are still binding even if the final invoice has not yet been issued.

Please specify on your wishlist order form where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. If this is to a third-party bonded warehouse, please specify the relevant account details. If the wines are required duty-paid we will issue a second invoice for duty and VAT at the prevailing rate when the wines are available for delivery.

Half-bottles, Magnums and larger bottles.

One of the additional advantages of buying en primeur is being able to order the wine in the format you want. While most of our listings are for 75cl bottles, we can source wines in any format if offered by the Château. Please note that format requests cannot be changed once wines have been invoiced. Additional charges for special formats do apply and are as follows:-

  • +£20 per case of 24 half-bottles
  • +£10 per case of 6 Magnums (2 bottles equivalent, 1.5 litres each)
  • +£35 per individually boxed Double Magnum (4 bottles equivalent, 3 litres)
  • +£50 per individually boxed Imperial (8 bottles equivalent, 6 litres) for Salmanazars, Balthazars, Nebuchadnezzars and Melchiors please enquire for availability and price.

Storage Options:

Wines bought en primeur won't arrive in the UK until 2023. If you do not wish to take home delivery at that point, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped. Lea & Sandeman offers duty paid and in bond storage through a dedicated storage company called Elephant Storage. For more details on the terms and fees associated with storage please go to our Storage Homepage or contact our private client team for more information.