En Primeur News : Tuesday, 15th May 2012
There is no doubt in our minds that Denis Durantou is a genius. His Eglise Clinet is, year after year, one of the greatest wines of not just Pomerol, but of the entire Bordeaux region. However, the skill of this brilliant wine-maker is perhaps even more apparent in his wines from neighbouring appellations.
It’s hard to believe that we can offer a Saint Emilion rated 93 points by a well-known critic at just £95 per case but we are very pleased to offer Denis Durantou’s succulent Saintayme at this price.
“No wonder Denis Durantou had a smile on his face during en primeur week. Even his lesser wines are impressive in 2011. This pure Merlot cuvée has notes of aniseed, red fruits and sweet oak, with fine tannins and flavours that are almost Italian on the palate, finishing with a firm, concentrated finish that promises bottle development. 8+ years. 93 points.” Tim Atkin MW
We are absolutely convinced that you will not find a better buy in the 2011 en primeur campaign that Durantou’s delicious La Chenade. Rated 94 points by Tim Atkin MW and with high praise from many other critics too, it’s hard to believe that this wonderful wine is just £98 per case. Fantastic value!
“When the Right Bank got it right in 2011, even in less famous appellations, it really got it right, especially with Denis Durantou as winemaker. Violets and rose petals on the nose, this outstanding Lalande de Pomerol is beautifully balanced on the palate, with plush tannins, lovely oak integration and the concentration to age. 8+ years. 94 points.” Tim Atkin MW
“The La Chenade is a blend of 80% Merlot picked between 9th and 16th September and 20% picked on 19th September aged in 30% new oak. The nose is very fresh with a Burgundy-like purity and effervescence. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, a lovely core of sweet red fruit laced with new oak, leading to a dark chocolate tinged finish. This is a top class La Chenade that could be as fine as the 2010. Another great wine courtesy of Denis Durantou. 90-92” Neal Martin, erobertparker.com
La Chenade’s “big brother” is Les Cruzelles which is made from the older vines on the best terroir. This genuinely reminded us of a top Pomerol and at £145 per case with high ratings it’ another very good deal.
“A wine that isn't afraid to look to the long term, this is a blend that will develop in bottle. Lovely oak integration, a touch of ginger spice on the nose and firm, yet well-integrated tannins complemented by dense blackberry and tangerine fruit. A very classy wine that is liked to be offered at a price that most of us can afford. 10+ years. 94 points.” Tim Atkin MW
“The Cruzelles is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc picked between the 5th and 12th September and 19th September respectively. It is being aged in 50% new oak. It has a fresh, sorbet-like bouquet with pure mineral-rich dark red fruit that maintains impressive linearity. The palate is medium-bodied with a crisp, charcoal tinged entry. It has very well integrated oak, the finish very clean and precise with that focus and linearity never wavering from start 'til finish. Very fine, though it will need 3-4 years in bottle. 90-92 points.” Neal Martin, erobertparker.com
Denis Durantou’s Cotes de Castillon – Montlandrie – is described by Robert Parker as “a big time sleeper of the vintage” with an extremely enthusiastic review. The price of £140 could certainly be described as “selling for a song”.
“From Chateau l'Eglise Clinet's proprietor, Denis Durantou, this big time sleeper of the vintage may be even better than the 2009 Montlandrie. The dark ruby/purple-colored 2011 appears to have hit every sweet spot on the palate, offering lots of plum, black currant, incense and floral notes. With a velvety palate, attractive opulence and terrific fruit intensity (but no hard edges), this is a hedonistic as well as intellectually pleasing wine that sells for a song. Drink it over the next 5-6 years. 88-90” Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
And finally into Pomerol itself where we now have La Petite Eglise at a very fair £240 per case. This is a superb Pomerol in its own right that received a massive 95 point rating from Tim Atkin MW – just one point less than Petrus.
“The second wine of L'Eglise Clinet is better than many châteaux's top wines in 2011. This is extremely fine and aromatic, more open than it often is at such a young age, with sweet fruitcake and red cherries on the palate, filigree tannins and a classy, perfumed finish. It's denser than it seems at first, and should age well. 10+ years. 95 points.” Tim Atkin MW
We have selected Denis Durantou’s wines today as we feel that they offer the best value for money for our customers in the 2011 vintage. We could have chosen to write about some of the 30+ other wines that were released this morning but time, space and our own lack of enthusiasm simply do not allow more than a list of some of these :-
Angelus - £1470
Calon Segur £430 (with a 92-94 point rating from Robert Parker and 18 points from Decanter this must be considered a bargain when compared to the price of Cos d’Estournel)
Clarence Haut Brion £780
Clarté Haut Brion £650
Clinet £550 (a surprisingly modest price for this leading Pomerol)
Clos de l’Oratoire £220
Croix St Georges £315
Dragon de Quintus £265
Fieuzal Blanc £340
Fieuzal Rouge £240
Grand Mayne £240
Haut Brion £3800
Lafon Rochet £270
Langoa Barton £340
Lynch Moussas £225
Mission Haut Brion £2300
Peby Faugeres £650
Prieuré Lichine £305
Quintus £1000We also have small stocks of Haut Brion Blanc and La Mission Haut Brion Blanc which will be offered to pre-order and wish-list customers on an allocation basis.