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?
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. (AG)
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 (JA)
Fermented in amphora – that wasn’t the original intention but they had just had the amphorae delivered for ageing the second wine and needed smaller vats for this one. Part aged in oak and part in amphora. Barrel sample. Deep purple red. Riper fruit style than the Ferrière. Damson and black plum. Then surprisingly savoury on the palate, all a little unmeshed at the moment with the ripeness of fruit and the acidity as counterpoints but everything is there for long-term harmony. Chewy, charry tannins are dense but smoothed. The whole is generous and surprisingly supple even with this charge of tannins, then that ripe fruit comes back on the generous finish. (JH)
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