|Sub-district||Saint Emilion & Satellites|
100% Merlot. Another cracker from Denis Durantou. This opens the tasting and is so impressive. Juicy and up-front, but by no means simple. Gentle, quick maceration results in no over-extraction, just a really good level of perfectly ripened fruit. Nice spice. Good chew, but really attractive. L&S (Apr 2015)
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A varietal Merlot sourced from clay and gravel soils, this is one of the best value Saint Emilions, made by Denis Durantou. It's got plenty of stuffing and concentration for an inexpensive wine, with aromatic, toasty oak, some orange zest and bright acidity. Drinking range: 2020 - 2028 Rating: 91 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(May 2015)
The 2014 Saintayme shows the soft, supple side of the year. Dark red cherries, plums, smoke, tobacco, menthol and licorice meld together in an open, gracious St.-Emilion endowed with good texture and depth. This is a solid showing from Denis Durantou, who is best known for the wines he crafts at L'Eglise Clinet. Rating: 88-91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(May 2015)
The Saintayme 2014, picked September 29-October 9, is a Saint Emilion of pure Merlot aged in 30% new oak. There is a fragrant bouquet of dark berry fruit with hints of cold stone coming through; elegant and focused. The palate is medium-bodied and structured on the grainy-textured entry. Tarry in the mouth, broody compared to recent vintages, with a slightly austere finish. I like the long aftertaste here that tingles in the mouth. This is a fine contribution to the vintage courtesy of Denis Durantou. Drinking range: 2016 - 2022 Rating: 88-90 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Apr 2015)
Among the brightest stars of the exalted Pomerol appellation is Denis Durantou at Château l’Eglise-Clinet. Little more than a kilometre to the north, near enough to see one from t’other, across the Barbanne stream in Lalande-de-Pomerol is Château les Cruzelles, also owned by Denis. The 10ha of vines boast the highest proportion of Cabernet Franc in the area – 40% - with the rest being the more usual Merlot.
Aside from Château les Cruzelles proper Denis also produces here La Chenade, a Lalande-de-Pomerol cuvee he made with Cruzelles’ grapes even before he bought the estate in 2000. Denis also owns a small vineyard of 35 year old Merlot vines at Saint Etienne de Lisse at the eastern end of St Emilion that goes under the name of Saintayme.
And, a little further south-east, across the boundary in the Côtes de Castillon is Château Montlandrie that Denis bought in 2009. Much renovation has taken place at the 12ha vineyard that includes, almost uniquely for the Right Bank, new plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon that now make up 15% of the vineyard alongside the usual 65% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.
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