The 2019 Montlandrie is another potent, brooding wine in Denis Durantou’s range. Here, too, the tannins are incisive, but there is enough fruit to balance things out. Dark fruit, spice, chocolate, leather and licorice add a real sense of gravitas. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes through in the wine’s aromatic and structural profile. Montlandrie is a rare 2019 that is going to need time in bottle to be at its best. Interestingly, harvest was later here than in Lalande de Pomerol. Merlot came in between September 30 and October 4, while the Cabernets were harvested between October 7 through 10. 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 Noemie 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 environment with little oxygen. From top to bottom, the Durantou 2019s are positively stellar. Don’t miss them!
Robert Parker 94
The 2019 Montlandrie is a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It comes bounding out of the glass with bright, cheerful scents of warm redcurrants, Morello cherries, wild blueberries and boysenberries with touches of lavender, red roses, cinnamon stick and cast-iron pan. Wow. I LOVE this energy on the elegantly styled, medium-bodied palate. The red and black fruit layers practically dance, intermingled with grainy (Cabernet-like) tannins and tons of freshness. It has a satisfyingly long, fragrant finish. Truly impressive!