In May 2020 we received the sad news that the 2019 would be the last vintage made by the brilliant, late Denis Durantou of L'Eglise Clinet. This modestly priced cuvée comes from a 9 hectare parcel of 35 year old Merlot vines in Saint Etienne de Lisse.
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The 2019 Saintayme, Denis Durantou's Saint-Émilion pure Merlot vineyard, was picked between 1 and 4 October and matures in 30% new oak. It is the most outgoing of the late winemaker's sextet of wines, kirsch and crushed strawberry scents bursting from the glass with a touch of cola. The palate is fleshy and ripe with impressive weight. Good density develops towards the back end with a saline tang on the aftertaste. Give it two or three years in bottle. 2024 - 2036
Produced by Denis Darantou and family of Château L’Eglise-Clinet, made from 100% Merlot, the 2019 Saintayme has a deep garnet-purple color. It explodes from the glass with bombastic notes of stewed plums, baked black cherries and fruitcake with hints of mocha, unsmoked cigars and fragrant soil plus a waft of Chinese five spice. Medium to full-bodied, rich and decadent in the mouth, it has a solid foundation of chewy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing spicy.
A red with lovely, juicy character and plenty of ripe fruit and chocolate undertones. It’s rich and layered. Flavorful. More concentration than the 2018.
The 2019 Saintayme offers up a veritable explosion of sweet red cherry, kirsch and floral notes. Deep and lush, with tremendous freshness, Saintayme is terrific in 2019. In fact, this is one of the better recent vintages I can remember tasting. The purity of fruit and overall energy are both remarkable, while the harder edges and slightly savory qualities that can be present are barely perceptible. The 2019 is 100% Merlot picked between October 1 and 4.
Denis Durantou's 2019s are absolutely brilliant across the board. My tasting was obviously bittersweet, as Durantou lost his battle with illness just a few weeks prior. Denis Durantou was one of the most intriguing characters in Bordeaux. I can't say I knew him well, but I always enjoyed tasting with him, as he was a person that spoke more with his eyes than with words. Things were implied rather than overtly stated. So, I tasted the 2019s with daughters Constance and Noémie over Zoom, in typical 2020 fashion. The Durantou sisters describe 2019 as a year with an early flowering and homogenous ripening that led to small, concentrated berries and higher pHs than normal. Temperatures were kept cool in the cellar, where both alcoholic and malolactic fermentations took place over cuvaison of 21 days (for all wines), in a reductive enviroment with little oxygen. From top to bottom, the Durantou 2019s are positively stellar. Don't miss them!
The 2019 vintage is 100% Merlot, aged in 30% new French oak. It is 14.5% abv, and 65,000 bottles will be produced. Deep ruby in colour, this shows sweet, fleshy red fruits on the nose with a hint of blueberry and spice. The palate is soft, seamless and plummy, with ripe fruit tempered by crisp acids. This wine is already fully integrated and should offer excellent drinkability from the get go, with a long, pure finish of red fruit.
Black chocolate, baked earth, liquorice root and silky smooth tannins greet you on the first attack of this wine. I've never found this the easiest to love of the Durantou range but it is strikingly successful in 2019. Silky and yet slatey in texture, this both eases you through the palate and pulls you up short, slowing things down. Sparks of fresh minerality accompany the pulsing blueberry and raspberry fruits, and the juicy finish makes this one to look out for. Drinking Window 2027 - 2042
100% Merlot; 30% new oak. St-Émilion brand from the Denis Durantou stable. Same vineyard has supplied the grapes since 2003. Barrel sample.
Accent on the fruit with pure, dark- and red-berry aromas and flavour. Chalky tannins behind. Firm, dry finish. A little dusty but the fruit stays. (JL) 14.5%
Drink 2024 – 2030