Robert Parker 93
The 2019 La Petite Eglise has turned out brilliantly in bottle, wafting from the glass with aromas of raspberries, sweet spices, rose petals, black truffle, orange rind and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and concentrated, it’s supple and enveloping, with lively acids, powdery tannins and a long, penetrating finish. These days, this isn’t really a “second wine” per se, as it combines some younger vine fruit with two dedicated parcels, one located next to Pomerol’s church, the other by the chateau of La Fleur-Petrus.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2045
The 2019 La Petite Eglise is a wine of pure and total sophistication. Silky tannins, sweet, lifted aromatics and pliant fruit give the 2019 its elegant, sleek personality. All the elements simply fall into place. Noble and alluring, the 2019 is absolutely delicious. This is the second year La Petite Eglise has some Cabernet Franc, and that really comes through in the wine’s aromatic lift and structural feel, especially over time. The Merlot was harvested from September 18 to 25, while the Franc came in on the 26th. 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 Noémie 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!