Saintayme 2020

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Tasting Notes and Scores

90-92

Wine Advocate

Drink Date
2024 - 2038

Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti-Brown

The 2020 Saintayme is 100% Merlot, harvested between the 28th and the 30th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.5% and is aging in French oak barrels, 30% new. Deep purple-black colored, it needs a little coaxing to unlock scents of tar, forest floor and aniseed, over a core of baked black plums, blackberry pie and chocolate-covered cherries, plus a touch of dried mint. The full-bodied palate is densely packed with muscular black fruits and loads of earthy accents, framed by firm, rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a lingering minty note. 63,000 bottles are expected to be made.

89-90

Michael Schuster

(100% M; 14.5% ABV; 30% new)
Soft, sweet, and fragrant to smell; full, supple, very gently tannic; flowing, lesser St-Emilion, with a lovely juicy core, just a touch of tannin, and with excellent fruit length. 2023–33+.

94-95

James Suckling

A gorgeous red with so much black fruit and salty, mineral character. It’s medium-to full-bodied with creamy, polished tannins and a long finish. The precision and fine texture is impressive. One of the best I have had for a while.

16

Jancis Robinson

100% Merlot. Brand from the Durantou (L’Eglise-Clinet) stable. Cask sample.
Zesty and fresh on the nose with berry-fruit aromas. Round and sweet but juicy as well, the tannins light and grainy. Bit of alcohol on the finish but consistent in quality and style. (JL)

91-93

Antonio Galloni

The 2020 Saintayme is bright, punchy and wonderfully vibrant. Sweet perfumed floral notes, red berry fruit, cedar and cinnamon lend terrific aromatic brightness. In 2020, Saintayme is a bit nervy and less fleshy than it can be. This is the first vintage made without microbullage, a technique that was previously used in some of the tanks here. I expect that will serve it well in the years to come, as the 2020 has an extra level of purity that is striking. As always, Saintayme is a selection from a 15-hectare property in Saint-Émilion's Saint Etienne de Lys district, made with a Burgundian approach in which the wine is vinified by the owner and then raised by the Durantou family.

vinous.com

90-92

Jeff Leve

Medium-bodied, focusing on its freshness, approachability and ripe, sweet fruits, the wine offers wet earth, flowers, red berries, oak and a soft, sweet, silky, fresh, palate presence. Made from 100% Merlot, there is a lot of charm and early drinking character here. 90-92

91-93

Jeb Dunnuck

Another gem from Denis Durantou, the 2020 Saintayme should be snatched up by savvy readers, as it’s a year-in, year-out value, and in a vintage where Merlot excelled, it’s a real standout. Black cherries, mulberries, camphor, chocolate, and subtle oak notes all emerge from the glass, and it’s medium to full-bodied, balanced, and has a great mix of richness and freshness. Drink bottles over the coming 10-12 years.

92

Decanter

Tasted by Jane Anson(at Primeur week tastings in Bordeaux, 01 May 2021)

Deep crimson colour, plenty of deep bilberry fruits, firm tannins and good tension; a lot to like about this wine. Closes in on the finish, pretty serious in feel overall, muscular, but has the deft kick upwards that you find in many limestone-led wines in the vintage. The first year with Constance and Noemie Durantou at the helm, having taken over from their late father Denis (Noemie in particular had also worked alongside him for several years as winemaker, along with cellar master Olivier Gautrat).

Drinking Window 2027 - 2042