Chateau Saintayme Saint Emilion 2019
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!