2020 Grand Cru Saint Emilion


The 2020 Grand Corbin-Despagne is one of the most elegant, polished vintages I can remember tasting. Silky and beautifully perfumed, the 2020 is all class. Freshly cut flowers, mint, sweet red berries and licorice grace this wonderfully classy Saint-Émilion. Drinking range: 2027 - 2040 Rating: 92-94 Antonio Galloni, (Jun 2021)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 12)

* 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 Grand Corbin Despagne was tasted from two samples, the first showing a bit of oxidation, the second better, featuring blackberry and light meaty aromas, a little more feral than its peers. The palate is balanced with pliant tannins, a grainy texture and white pepper and Provençal herbs interlacing the black fruit on the finish. This is a fine Saint-Émilion, though I suspect it will show best in the next 8–10 years. Drinking range: 2027 - 2040 Rating: 89-91 Neal Martin, (May 2021)

A terrific showing on multiple occasions, the 2020 Château Grand Corbin-Despagne boasts a deep purple hue as well as a rich, fresh, yet powerful style in its earthy red and black fruits as well as notes of graphite, chocolate, and background oak. It starts out rich and decadent, yet like a lot of 2020s, it shows more and more freshness and vibrancy as it sets in the glass. Along with the 2019, I suspect it’s one of the top wines from this estate. Rating: 92-94 Jeb Dunnuck, (May 2021)

This has depth and intensity that holds the line from beginning to end. Majors on blue and black fruits, fairly angular and austere in its tannic structure - this has less easy approachability than some, with clear acidity on the finish, but also waves of juicy minerality when you give it time. Good stuff from owner François Despagne. A yield of 36hl/ha. Drinking range: 2028 - 2042 Rating: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)

This is very tannic with a solid core of phenolics that frame the wine nicely and take you down to the center palate. Full and fruity, too, if a little austere. Should come around nicely with barrel aging. Rating: 92-93 James Suckling, (Apr 2021)

Extremely deep, dark purple. Much subtler, deeper nose than many of its peers. You can be convinced that there are hidden depths here. Intense, ripe, supple purple-fruit flavours – even some very ripe cassis – and very persistent. This has the richness of late-20th-century St-Émilion but also has great freshness. Palate-coating with quite a charge of ripe tannins underneath. Impressive. Drinking range: 2026 - 2043 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (Apr 2021)

Unusual in Bordeaux is to find the family that gave an estate its name – or, in this case, part of its name – still in situ but, at Château Grand Corbin-Despagne, François Despagne is the latest in a line of Despagnes going back to Louis Despagne who purchased some vines here in 1812. The Corbin estate had been, in antiquity, a vast estate to rival neighbouring Château Figeac and counted the Black Prince amongst its owners, but was divided and sub-divided over the years such that several estates have Corbin in their name. The Despagne family gradually accumulated more vineyard and, by 1852, it had reached its current 26ha. The vineyards are in the north-west corner of the St Emilion appellation, some distance from most of the famous châteaux, but near to Château Cheval Blanc. They are planted to 75% Merlot and 24% Cabernet Franc with the remaining 1% being small plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. The vineyards are in the process of conversion to organic viticulture.

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.