Jancis Robinson and Jane Anson’s Bordeaux 2020 assessments compared with Saturnalia predictions of November

July 15, 2021

Following our last article on Bordeaux 2020, we now discuss what Jancis Robinson and Jane Anson stated by comparing our satellite-derived predictions published back in Nov 2020.

Let’s pick up right from where we left off in our last article: we were considering a comparison between Saturnalia November predictions and the main critics’ evaluations concerning the 2020 Bordeaux Primeurs.

After having shown an overall overview of the vintage based on our analyses of the growing season, we moved on to present our first comparison with the critic Lisa Perrotti-Brown, who commented on the impact of different terroirs to this vintage and how the heavy rainstorms in summer were crucial for many estates.

Let’s continue with our critics’ “pink” line-up, as we are now presenting two other very renowned women in the Bordeaux landscape: Jancis Robinson and Jane Anson.

Saturnalia predictions and Jancis Robinson’s vintage assessment

Starting with Jancis Robinson, she suggests that the “vines themselves are just getting used to climate change and these hot, dry summers, and [they are] in some magical way fighting it”. She also stated that “we all know it was hot and it was very dry. And perhaps, I see actually a strange parallel with Burgundy 2019, which is the same thing.” She also added that the second half of September was cooler and wetter and therefore some Cabernet struggled with ripening, while Merlot was better because of early-ripening.

The Right Bank was given due praise for being perhaps the more successful half of the Gironde, with more consistency and good freshness.

2-week cumulative rainfall by appellation Jancis_white.png

The chart above represents the sum of rainfall calculated every two weeks. You may notice - on the right-hand side of the chart - the accumulation of rain occurred in the second half of September.

Saturnalia predictions and Jane Anson’s vintage assessment

Jane Anson stated that “clay and limestone are soils to look for in 2020, as there are some brilliant wines there”. Anson rated the 2020 vintage a 4/5, the same as the 2018 but lower than the ratings she gave to vintages such as 2019 and 2016. She also reported that it is starting to become a new normal as heavy rains are followed by dry spells, such as in 2016 and 2018.

cumulative_precipitation_by_vintage Jane_white.png

The graph highlights the "new normal": heavy rains are followed by dry spells. How do we say that? Two key elements are to be considered to interpret the chart:

  • a “oblique” line means that it rained
  • a “flat” line means no rain

Now, looking at the chart, you may see that in the first half of the season the lines are oblique (except for 2017, when it rained less in the first part), while close to the centre they tend to be flat. More on that:

  • there was no dry spell in 2017 (basically no flat line in June and July)
  • the 2020 dry spell was one of the longest (very long flat line from mid-June until mid-August)

Saturnalia assesses the vintage potential quality in advance

“Why is Saturnalia different?” you may ask yourself: at the end, it seems we are only confirming what others have already said.

Saturnalia uses the data shown in these charts (along with other data collected from several satellites) to take a further step and assess the vintage potential quality in advance thanks to our AI-driven algorithms.

What does this mean? It means that in November, soon after the harvest, we publish a report on the appellations to assess the overall quality of the growing season and highlight which Bordeaux areas show the highest potential for the April En Primeur campaign.

Not only do we do that, but we elaborate this quality evaluation of the growing season also for single wines, summing up the predicted value into a score in hundreds, the Saturnalia Vintage Score. Moreover, you can take advantage of our price predictions models to steer your next purchase decisions for your collection.

Join Saturnalia and see for yourself our quality and price predictions, our early scores for 100 2020 Bordeaux primeurs and the Saturnalia comparison tool: you can compare up to 7 wines and vintages of your choice. But there is much more to be discovered on Saturnalia: our platform covers also the Burgundy, Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello and Bolgheri areas.

Are you ready to test it for one week for free? Credit card is not required.


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Jancis Robinson and Jane Anson’s Bordeaux 2020 assessments compared with Saturnalia predictions of November Following our last article on Bordeaux 2020, we now discuss what Jancis Robinson and Jane Anson stated by comparing our satellite-derived predictions published back in Nov 2020. July 15, 2021
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