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Chateau Durfort-Vivens (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

  • JS97
  • V96
  • D94
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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JS 97
James Suckling
This is a crazy wine. Everything was done by hand, without electricity, because it was made in seven-hectoliter amphora. The grapes were hand-sorted. It’s full-bodied with tannins that are integrated so well into the wine, which gives it tension and freshness. Blackberries. Lavender. 10 hectoliters. Best Dufort ever?
Barrel Sample: 96-97
V 96
Vinous
The 2018 Durfort-Vivens is off the charts. Rich, dense and exotically ripe, the 2018 is a full-throttle Margaux that stands out for its textural intensity, volume and concentration. Crème de cassis, lavender, spice, mint and sweet spice are all kicked up a few notches in this spectacularly rich, alluring wine from Gonzague Lurton. Yields were a punishing 10 hectoliters per hectare as opposed to 45 that is the norm. Lurton opted to vinify the little wine he had exclusively in amphora. The wine will age in 70% new oak and 30% terra cotta. Its hard to say exactly where the 2018 is going to go, but the en primeur sample is incredibly impressive. The blend is 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc.
Barrel Sample: 93-96
D 94
Decanter

Another biodynamic estate that suffered low yields in 2018, clocking in at just 12hl/ha. But it has done a brilliant job with the remaining juice: all the winemaking was done in amphorae because the vats were too big for the small production, with 70% of the wine moved into new oak barrels after malolactic fermentation for ageing, the other 30% staying in the amphorae. It's hugely inky in colour, totally beautiful, with gourmet dark chocolate and damson notes that fill out the mid-palate. There's less Cabernet in the blend than usual but they have kept the elegance, with perhaps a touch more softness in overall texture than is usual in Durfort at this stage. The extremely fine tannins make this feel effortless and it doesn't suffer from the over-concentration that is always a risk at these yields. Drinking Window 2027 - 2042. Barrel Sample: 94

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Chateau Durfort-Vivens

Chateau Durfort-Vivens

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Silky, seductive and polished are the words that characterize the best wines from Margaux, the most inland appellation of the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux.

Margaux’s gravel soils are the thinnest of the Médoc, making them most penetrable by vine roots—some reaching down over 23 feet for water. The best sites are said to be on gentle outcrops, or croupes, where more gravel facilitates good drainage.

The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area. In 1855 the finest chateaux were deemed on the basis of reputation and trading price—at that time. In 1855, Chateau Margaux achieved first growth status, yet it has been Chateau Palmer (officially third growth from the 1855 classification) that has consistently outperformed others throughout the 20th century.

Chateau Margaux in top vintages is capable of producing red Cabernet Sauvignon based wines described as pure, intense, spell-binding, refined and profound with flavors and aromas of black currant, violets, roses, orange peel, black tea and incense.

Other top producers worthy of noting include Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Lascombes, Brane-Cantenac, and d’Issan, among others.

The best wines of Margaux combine a deep ruby color with a polished structure, concentration and an unrivaled elegance.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BEYF525085_2018 Item# 525085

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