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Saintayme/Saintem 2020

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion
Grape VarietyMerlot

This Saint Emilion from the Durantou family is labelled "Saintayme" or sometimes "Saintem". This always modestly priced cuvée comes from a 9 hectare parcel of 35 year old Merlot vines in Saint Etienne de Lisse.

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Tasting Notes

Cooler soils can be a little austere in this structured vintage of 2020, and you'll find angular tannins on the opening beats, speaking of the limestone, along with salinity, energy and clear purity of blueberry and raspberry fruit. Lovely, a lyrical take on St Emilion limestone from the Durantou family, Olivier Gautrat director. The first year with Noemie Durantou as winemaker, having taken over from her late father Denis. Cellar master Olivier Gautrat.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, February 2023

The 2020 Saintayme is more backward on the nose than expected and demands coaxing from the glass. Eventually it offers tightly wound blackberry, wild hedgerow and black truffle scents, an inviting marine/seaweed scent emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannins that frame the sweet black cherry, bilberry and licorice notes. Quite linear toward the finish, it does not fan out like the 2018, although it feels long and persistent. Give this Saint-Émilion 3–4 years in bottle if you can. 2025 - 2036

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2021

A gorgeous red with so much black fruit and salty, mineral character. It’s medium-to full-bodied with creamy, polished tannins and a long finish. The precision and fine texture is impressive. One of the best I have had for a while.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2021

The 2020 Saintayme, 100% Merlot, is deep garnet-purple in color. It comes bounding out of the glass with playful scents of crushed black and red cherries, wild blueberries, and baking spice, plus hints of chocolate box and fragrant soil. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers muscular black fruits with a firm, grainy texture and plenty of freshness, finishing savory.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, March 2023

Picked between 28th and 30th September, production will be a little over 5,000 cases in 2020. Coming in at 14.5% abv, it will be aged in 30% new oak. Deep ruby colour. The nose is rich and ripe with cherry and plums, layered with just a hint of spice. The palate is fleshy and rounded, bursting with red fruit. There is real mid-palate weight, tempered by lightly crunchy but ripe tannin. There is a savoury spice that lingers in the background to add complexity through to a long finish.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2021

100% Merlot. Brand from the Durantou (L’Eglise-Clinet) stable. Cask sample.
Zesty and fresh on the nose with berry-fruit aromas. Round and sweet but juicy as well, the tannins light and grainy. Bit of alcohol on the finish but consistent in quality and style. (JL) 14.5%
Drink 2024 – 2030

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2021

(100% M; 14.5% ABV; 30% new)
Soft, sweet, and fragrant to smell; full, supple, very gently tannic; flowing, lesser St-Emilion, with a lovely juicy core, just a touch of tannin, and with excellent fruit length. 2023–33+.

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine, May 2021
Read more tasting notes...

The 2020 Saintayme is 100% Merlot, harvested between the 28th and the 30th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.5% and is aging in French oak barrels, 30% new. Deep purple-black colored, it needs a little coaxing to unlock scents of tar, forest floor and aniseed, over a core of baked black plums, blackberry pie and chocolate-covered cherries, plus a touch of dried mint. The full-bodied palate is densely packed with muscular black fruits and loads of earthy accents, framed by firm, rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a lingering minty note. 63,000 bottles are expected to be made. 2024 - 2038

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, May 2021

Deep crimson colour, plenty of deep bilberry fruits, firm tannins and good tension; a lot to like about this wine. Closes in on the finish, pretty serious in feel overall, muscular, but has the deft kick upwards that you find in many limestone-led wines in the vintage. The first year with Constance and Noemie Durantou at the helm, having taken over from their late father Denis (Noemie in particular had also worked alongside him for several years as winemaker, along with cellar master Olivier Gautrat).

Drinking Window 2027 - 2042

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2021
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.