Denis Durantou is making stunning age-worthy wines that, since 1985, have invariably matched or beaten all the top names of Pomerol in blind tastings at Southwold and elsewhere. Produced from 40 year old vines over 4.2 hectares, picked when ripe but never late. No fancy tricks here, just old vines, great terroir and inspired, yet traditional, wine-making. As our blind tastings have proved over and over again, this is one of the top wines of the Pomerol appellation. 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc in 2016 with 80% new oak. Deep colour and quite viscous in texture, the nose is creamy, exotic and peprfumed with dense bramble fruits, wood smoke, violets and star anise. The palate is rich and round with hugely impressive intensity for the vintage. High levels of ripe, yet chewy tannins provide a perfect frame for dense, ripe fruits at the core. Building through black cherry and blackberry fruit, wood smoke, black chocolate, herbal sage and thyme, with a hint of roasted coffee bean, this is without doubt one of the most complex wines of the vintage. Flourishing through ripe fruits on the long finish, this manages great density yet ethereal balance, and is without doubt one of the wines of the vintage. Another knockout from the Chateau.
|Score: 18.5+||Farr Vintners, April 2017|
The 2016 L'Eglise-Clinet is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc picked between 21 September and 4 October for the former and on 6 October for the latter. It was cropped at 43 hectoliters per hectare and matured in 80% new oak, with around 14.2% alcohol. Lucid in color, it has a quintessential L'Eglise-Clinet bouquet with blackberry, raspberry coulis, liquid minerals and hints of iris and incense. The palate is very precise and crisp, some of the finest tannins that you will encounter in Pomerol, tensile right from the beginning, taut and linear with immense precision towards the extended mineral-soaked finish. This is nothing less than a brilliant wine from Denis Durantou, undoubtedly one of the stars of the vintage.
Drink Date 2024 - 2050
|Score: 97/99||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
This has so much violet and black-olive character to it. It’s full-bodied and powerful with incredible power and depth of old-vine tannins. It just rolls on and on. What a finish.
|Score: 98/99||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017|
The 2016 L'Eglise-Clinet is a magnificent, heart-stopping wine. Deep and expressive, yet with striking translucence, the 2016 simply has it all. Scents of graphite, crushed rocks, blueberry jam, spice, menthol and smoke resonate on the palate with soaring intensity and tremendous richness. Mind blowing in its depth, with tremendous persistence, an extraordinary poise, the 2016 is captivating.
|Score: 96/99||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
Fragrant the nose has violets and bramble freshness the palate is rich with ripe black plum fleshy and supple. The tannins are fine, ripe, discreet the mid and back palate are opulent with rich fruit the finish though lighter fresh with elegance and length. 2028-43
|Score: 94/97||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
You’d better not be in a hurry to drink this, because it’s a dense, thick, sinewy wine that will reward long cellaring. Serious and concentrated, it has notes of damson, black fig and roasted herbs and a foundation of layered tannins. 2029-35
|Score: 95||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
Deep sultry crimson. Heady. Savoury nose. Meaty flavours and fantastic structure with enough flesh in the middle. Not the sweetest and not as fat as usual but there is drama and depth here. Very long. I think this will come round. 14.3%
|Score: 17.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
We are now levitating somewhere above the rest of Denis Durantou's excellent range. Typical of the incredibly deft and precise way of working that is his signature, this wine brings cinammon and clove then hugely deep, rich dark fruits. Utterly elegant, it completes a circuit around your mouth. This is a physical reaction to a wine that you only get in certain vintages and in very few wines. A great European wine. 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc aged in 80% new oak. 43hl/ha yield from 4.2ha.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050
|Score: 98||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|
This is an imposing wine with huge, grainy, blackberry and violet-soaked flavours all backed up with otherworldly
tannins and an immense finish. It is so spicy and so dramatic and the freshness on the finish is equal to the exuberance
of the fruit and tannin. There is balsamic power here coupled with earthiness, but it is all set against a backdrop of lush
fruit. Amazing. 19++
|Score: 19+||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2017|