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2016 2ème Cru Classé Margaux

Grapes Merlot, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Margaux
Classification 2ème Cru Classé

94% Cabernet Sauvignon 6% Merlot. An estate most definitely moving in the right direction as a result of Gonzague Lurton's move to biodynamics. He says the wines have more tension as a result and the 2016 certainly proves this, influenced also by the distinctiveness of the very high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon, which must be second only to Margaux itself in the appellation. Dark glossy colour with some lovely bright, nicely moulded Cabernet fruit, lovely weight even if it's not the biggest, but really excelling in purity and freshness, and developing dark spicy flavours to the finish. Drinking range: 2024 - 2038 Rating: 91-93 L&S (Apr 2017)

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The 2016 Durfort Vivens, which I tasted at a négoçiant tasting, is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Merlot, the vineyard now biodynamically farmed and Demeter approved. I have criticized this Margaux on previous occasions due to lack of ripeness, but certainly the nose does not display any of that. This 2016 comes armed with attractive blackberry, bilberry and sous-bois aromas that gradually unfurl in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with an insistent grip on the entry. The tannins feel quite bold for Durfort-Vivens, with plenty of sappy black fruit. I appreciate the acidic drive of this Margaux and the finish is energetic, full of tension and leaves a lovely, almost brine-like aftertaste. This is one of the best wines from Gonzalgue Lurton that I have tasted in recent years. Drinking range: 2021 - 2042 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, 2017)

Dark purple. Very wild cocktail of aromas. Real lift and freshness. Racy and very distinctive. There is certainly full ripeness but a more delicate touch than most. Good length. Transparency and undertow. A way ahead? Drinking range: 2026 - 2043 Rating: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - 2017)

This is really superb with beautiful density and ripe tannin texture. Full body and a round and polished texture. Rich and impressive but all in class. Made from biodynamic grapes. Almost all cabernet sauvignon. Rating: 95-96 James Suckling, 2017)

Now biodynamically certified by Demeter as of the 2016 vintage, this has a full 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. This was a great year for Cabernet, certainly as you move further up the Médoc, and it is flexing its muscles here. I just love this, it has a true sense of forward motion but it is also intense, complex and layered. Extremely clear liquorice and tight black spice, with waves of soft floral, almost violet, notes. Sometimes a forgotten estate in Margaux, as far as any 1855 property can be forgotten, but we are going to see the plaudits increase over the next few years, and this is sounding the starting gun. Drinking range: 2027 - 2050 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2017)

Cabernet Sauvignon plays the leading role in the 2016 Durfort-Vivens. Inky, deep and fleshy, the 2016 exudes considerable aromatic and flavor intensity. Grilled herbs, leather, tobacco, smoke and licorice infuse a core of super-ripe dark Cabernet fruit. The tannins are present, but they are nicely balanced by the luxuriousness of the fruit. This is an especially ripe, almost exotic, style for Margaux, but it works. In 2016 Durfort-Vivens is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Merlot, which is the highest amount of Cabernet Sauvignon ever in the wine. Rating: 90-93 Antonio Galloni, 2017)

Château Durfort Vivens

Margaux Deuxième cru 1855 The Durfort de Duras family came to Bordeaux in the 14th Century and laid the foundations of today's estate. They also, for a while, owned the near-by Château Lamothe (which went on to become Château Margaux). In 1824 the family sold to a Monsieur de Vivens who appended his name to his new property. Under his watch, Durfort-Vivens was awarded Second Growth status in 1855, a status it has often struggled to live up to. In 1937 the company that owned Château Margaux bought Durfort-Vivens and it was, once again, in common ownership with the villages grandest estate. Indeed, until 1961 when Durfort-Vivens was sold to Lucien Lurton, the wine from Château Durfort Vivens was made at Château Margaux. The period of Lurton ownership has seen slow steady progress for Durfort-Vivens particularly since Lucien's son Gonzague took over and had a new chai built in the 1990's. The vineyards are planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. The Grand Vin spends 18 months in wood, of which between 23% and 45% are new each year. Durfort-Vivens is a steady performer, offering good value, although most modern ratings would struggle to rate the estate as a Second Growth.

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