There is plenty of power and fruit here and while the oak always seems a little too tough and raw in this wine, in its youth, I can sense that the fruit will win this war and this will be a rather strongly flavoured, albeit medium-weight, wine going forwards. I like what is happening here in recent years and this is another good vintage on a positive path. Rating: 17+ Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Jun 2021)
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 Haut-Bages Libéral is a powerhouse in its first impression. Veins of bright mineral notes give the 2020 its textural feel and persistence. Bright red fruit, cedar, dried flowers, mint, spice and sweet tobacco. Time in the glass brings out very pretty floral notes that add finesse and considerable aromatic presence. Drinking range: 2026 - 2045 Rating: 93-95 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jun 2021)
Unique character to this with mushroom, wet-earth, spice, and black-tea character on the nose and palate. It’s full and layered with chewy tannins that are plush and pure. Rose-bush and bark undertones to the fruit. Old merlot vines showing through! 72% cabernet sauvignon and 28% merlot. From biodynamically grown grapes. Demeter certification. Rating: 95-96 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator (Jun 2021)
A ton of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, chewy and concentrated, cassis fruit pastilles give a sweet but well textured feel, and a shot of acidity picks everything up on the finish. A yield of 44hl/had. They have limestone and clay soils here, atypical for Pauillac but they help in such a dry summer. Ageing takes place in 40% new oak, 40% one year oak and 20% in amphoras (jarre de limoges + concrete eggs). 3.59pH, because of the limestone. Drinking range: 2025 - 2038 Rating: 91 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot. Cask sample. Pure and precise with plenty of energy and drive. Fruit evident on the nose and palate. Sufficient depth on the latter. Firm and minerally behind but the tannins are silky and refined. Pauillac of a caressing nature. This property continues to improve. Should be GV. Drinking range: 2027 - 2040 Rating: 17 James Lawther MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2021)
Château Haut Bages Libéral
Pauillac Cinquième cru 1855 Château Haut Bages Libéral sits nearly atop the hill to the south of the hamlet of Bages - hence the name, Haut Bages - seperated by a country lane from Château Latour. The estate was owned by the Libéral family during the 18th Century, hence the last part of the name. Despite being surrounded by illustious neighbours - aside from Latour to the immediate south, Haut Bages Libéral can also count the two Pichons as "next door" - achieving 5th Growth status in 1855 seems to have been a bit of a high point as a century of typically Bordelais decline followed. In 1960 the Cruse family took control and, apart from cleaving off a portion of vineyards and handing them over to Château Pontet-Canet, the fortunes of Haut Bages Libéral began to improve. The Cruse family were forced to sell in 1982 and Château Haut Bages Libéral became part of the Merlaut family's Taillan Group, which includes Chasse Spleen and Gruaud Larose. The 28ha of vineyard are planted to 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. The wine is fermented in stainless steel before spending 16 months in wood (40% new). Whilst not living up to the greatest heights of its neighbour Latour, Haut Bages Libéral offers some very good value for a really well-made Pauillac.
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.
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.