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Chateau Saintayme 2015

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • D94
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • JD90
0% ABV
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3.7 33 Ratings
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3.7 33 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

100% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
D 94
Decanter
A Denis Durantou wine that is 100% Merlot, located in St-Étienne-de-Lisse. Because Durantou is so attuned to terroir, you get a masterclass here on the effect of limestone. At first this is austere to the point that you are scraping your tongue along a slate wall. I know I am a fan of that style, but wow, this is intense! It showcases stunningly tight tannins, with a freshness that flows right through the bilberry and blackberry fruits. Needs time and then some.
JS 93
James Suckling
A juicy and delicious red with red tile, plums and cherries. Full body, round tannins and a long and juicy finish. Absurdly good for the price. Love it. Drink now or hold. Better in 2020.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
The core of plum, cassis and blackberry paste flavors is still a bit compact, but there is juicy energy through the licorice- and toast-fueled finish and a lovely sense of polish overall. Long. Best from 2019 through 2027. 3,000 cases made.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Saintayme is pure Merlot picked between 29 September and 9 October, cropped at 45 hl/ha and raised in 30% new oak. It has a gorgeous bouquet with blackberry and cranberry fruit, a touch of vanilla emanating from the new oak that is nicely integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with good depth, a "solid" Saintayme, a pleasant chewiness with a feisty dark berry, licorice-tinged finish. This comes recommended - a fine Saint Emilion from the hands of Denis Durantou.
Barrel Sample: 90-92
JD 90
Jeb Dunnuck
Checking in as 100% Merlot, the 2015 Saintayme from Denis Durantou is another terrific value from this vintage. Loaded with notions of red currants, black cherries, dried earth and hints of toasty oak, it has beautiful fruit, a plump, mouth-filling texture, ripe tannin a great finish. It has the ripe, sexy fruit of the vintage and will keep for 7-8 years, if not longer.
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Chateau Saintayme

Chateau Saintayme

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Chateau Saintayme, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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Chateau Saintayme is produced by Denis Durantou from a small vineyard of 35 year old Merlot vines at Saint Etienne de Lisse at the eastern end of St Emilion. 

St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

Bordeaux Blends

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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.

In the Glass

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. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

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.

BAL433743_2015 Item# 433743