May 13th 2016
Yesterday we saw the release of three outstanding value 2015s from the Denis Durantou stable, one of Pomerol’s most famous wine makers: La Chenade Lalande de Pomerol at £62.50 per 6 IB, Ch Les Cruzelles Lalande de Pomerol at £90 per 6 IB and Ch Montlandrie Côtes de Castillon at £82.50 per 6 IB.
These three wines offer outstanding quality and most excitingly, great value for money. Denis’ estate lies at the heart of the Pomerol plateau and whilst we wait for the release of his Grand Vin, Ch L’Eglise Clinet, I wanted to introduce you to two of his Lalande de Pomerol estates, La Chenade and Les Cruzelles as well as his domaine in the Cotes de Castillon, Montlandrie.
La Chenade: (80% M & 20% CF) La Chenade is a Lalande de Pomerol that has been blessed with the skills of one of the finest wine makers in Pomerol, Denis Durantou. The 2015 is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, a wine that is very much built on its red fruit profile. On the palate it is medium-bodied, elegant, with silky tannins and integrated acidity to give a wonderfully fresh and lifted finish. You just want to drink it! I really liked this and for the price it is an utter steal.
Ch Les Cruzelles: (90% M and 10% CF) A darker fruit profile and a step up in concentration. Due to the long cool nights, the grapes matured slowly, resulting in a wine that boasts beautiful aromatics and soft, silky tannins. It is also very long in the mouth. Like the La Chenade, this is an astounding offering for the money. Bravo!
Ch Montlandrie Cotes de Castillon: (75%M & 20%CF & 5%CS) A more structured wine with fine tannins and a heady nose of ripe dark fruits, notes of lavender and incense leap from the glass. The wine is perfectly balanced and just gorgeous.
It is no secret that many wines on the right bank have excelled in 2015. These wines show that you don’t have to target the most expensive to enjoy a truly delicious Merlot dominated wine, from this fabulously classy wine region. This was one of our best tastings in Bordeaux and we have the highest respect for the quality of wine that Denis is producing.
La Chenade Lalande de Pomerol 2015
£62.50 per 6 bottles IB | £68.50 per 3 (150cl) magnums IB | £72.00 per 1 (300cl) double magnums IB | £124.00 per 1 (600cl) imperial IB
A straightforward, fruit-driven style, Denis Durantou has succeeded again. 80% Merlot has a fresh kick of herbal lift from 20% Cabernet Franc in this well-worked wine, ideal for early drinking. Drink 2019 – 2024. Goedhuis, Score: 88-90
The 2015 La Chenade is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc picked between September 15-25 and on October 5 respectively, cropped at 45 hectoliters per hectare and matured in 30% new oak. This Lalande-de-Pomerol moves towards red fruit on the nose, crushed strawberry and raspberry pastilles, candied and somehow…joyful. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very fine in the mouth with a keen line of acidity. This is a very cohesive La Chenade, elegant and composed with a touch of salinity towards the finish. This is a graceful La Chenade that should drink early, but clearly has the substance to offer 12-15 years of drinking pleasure. Neal Martin, Score: 91-93
A very impressive La Chenade with a longer finish than usual and more layers and tension. There are some refreshing herbal / mint notes which break up the density of the fruit and the overall feeling is refreshing which is exciting given the depth of sooty fruit in the mid-palate. Matthew Jukes, Score: 17+
Ch Les Cruzelles Lalande de Pomerol 2015
£90.00 per 6 bottles IB | £96.00 per 3 (150cl) magnums IB | £90.00 per 1 (300cl) double magnums IB | £160.00 per 1 (600cl) imperial IB
Always an eye catching wine from the Denis Durantou stable, the 2015 is no exception. With a very rounded and full mouthfeel, this has bags of ripe berry fruits, helped by a soft easy tannic structure and good length of flavours at the end. Goedhuis, Score: 91-93
The 2015 Les Cruzelles is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc on gravel/clayey soil, picked from September 15-22 and October 6 respectively, then matured in 45% new oak. The new wood is seamlessly integrated into this Lalande-de-Pomerol, more broody and introspective than the La Chenade at the moment, but very well defined. The palate is beautifully proportioned with crisp tannin, a fine line of acidity, somehow gentle and understated on the finish, but very long in the mouth. Yet another ridiculously fine wine to load up on, courtesy of Denis Durantou. Neal Martin, Score: 91-93
A little more red-fruited than its stablemate La Chenade and also longer and drier on the finish, this is an attenuated wine with firm tannins. The volume and subtlety in the delivery of the fruit will be more than enough to keep these tannins at bay until the wine is ready to drink, which will not be for at least five years. Impressive and fascinating. Matthew Jukes, Score: 17++
Ch Montlandrie Côtes de Castillon 2015
£82.50 per 6 bottles IB | £88.50 per 3 (150cl) magnums IB | £85.00 per 1 (300cl) double magnums IB | £150.00 per 1 (600cl) imperial IB
Aromas of pomegranates and fresh currants, this is a fresh and clean style from Denis Durantou’s Côtes de Castillon estate, with an easy approachable sweet mouth feel. Well balanced and promising lots of pleasure. Goedhuis, Score: 91-93
The 2015 Montlandrie is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, picked between September 29 and October 8, and matured in 45% new oak. This is perhaps more precocious on the nose compared to Denis Durantou’s La Chenade and Les Cruzelles 2015s, gradually revealing an attractive floral, dried rose petal/pot pourri scent as it opens in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, quite grippy in the mouth, the acidity nicely judged here and again, very harmonious and sensual on the finish. You could almost whisk this out of barrel and drink this now, but preferably, give it 4-5 years in bottle. Drink: 2019 – 2032. Neal Martin, Score: 91-93
The aroma here is sublime with the oak is already fully integrated into the mass of red fruit. As always this is a tannic beast and it will require eight to ten years to soften but the perfume suggests that it will be beautiful when it gets there. I am normally a little sceptical about Montlandrie, but in 2015 it is a success. Matthew Jukes, Score: 17+