Château Les Cruzelles 2018
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• Domaine: Château Les Cruzelles
• Appellation: Lalande-de-Pomerol
• Assemblage/Grape Varietals: Merlot 80%, Cabernet Franc 20%
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
Some of the most exorbitantly priced wines in the world rule the Right Bank region of Pomerol. Their price tags are not for the faint of heart, and few of us will be able to experience them in our lifetime. Yet nearby, Lalande-de-Pomerol offers much promise to the everyday wine lover. Les Cruzelles is a wine of tremendous quality approaching levels of some top tier estates, but at a fraction of the cost of its neighbors in Pomerol. This is largely due to the brilliant and legendary vigneron, Denis Durantou. His humility, combined with technical skill gave the wine world a series of treasures like L’Eglise Clinet (Pomerol), Saintayme (Saint-Emilion), and now Château Les Cruzelles (Lalande-de-Pomerol). Château Les Cruzelles is a formidable Pomerol, brooding and filled with concentration. The wine has a reputation as being one of the best value wines in the region, yet its remarkably high level of quality demands it be taken seriously.
Château Les Cruzelles is a property with a long history dating back to the 19th Century. Château Les Cruzelles is located in the commune of Néac, a part of Pomerol that host some other top tier estates that have yet to be discovered, like Château Siaurac. Terroir enthusiasts will know that Néac is home to some truly exceptional estates, yet lacks the prestige of the Pomerol AOC classification, so one can find many affordable hidden gems in this particular part of the Right Bank. Château Les Cruzelles is home to some rich, clay and gravel soil that hosts the vines of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Interestingly enough, Château Les Cruzelles has some of the highest percentages of Cabernet Franc in the entire Right Bank, coming in at a whopping 40 percent of their vineyard. This gravely soil lends a unique complexity to the grand vin at this estate, producing a Merlot that many consider very intense and serious. Les Cruzelles has less clay than the prestigious Durantou property, L’Eglise Clinet. Yet with all that in mind, the terroir is what the visionary Denis Durantou had hoped for to experiment with different planting programs in the vineyard.
Château Les Cruzelles is a 10.5-hectare property, with views of Château L’Eglise Clinet. The wine is fermented in tank, then aged in 50% new French oak barrels before bottling. This is a higher concentration of new Oak than some of the other Durantou properties. Denis is well known for his special treatment of the Right Bank’s star varietal, Merlot. He understands the grape and how it responds to various terroirs. All his estates feature complex, richly nuanced expressions of this varietal. Though Denis Durantou tragically passed away in May of 2020, his legacy lives on through his wines. The 2020 vintage is the first vintage without the guidance of this brilliant yet humble master winemaker. Though his passing was a tremendous loss for the industry, the knowledge he shared with his team remains something they hold dear, and the vignerons at Les Cruzelles continue to produce excellent wine as a testament to this talented, authentic man who left a lasting impact on Bordeaux and the wine world.
"This is produced by Denis Durantou of Château L’Eglise Clinet. The 2018 Les Cruzelles is blended of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc with 40% new oak and 14.5% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it features slightly reduced notions of asphalt and tires over a core of warm red and black plums, blackberry pie and boysenberries with hints of fruitcake, incense and potpourri. Full-bodied, rich and packed with perfumed black fruit, it has a velvety texture and seamless freshness, finishing long." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/23/2019, Bordeaux 2018 Issue), Rating: 91-93
"A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc from the Lalande de Pomerol appellation, the 2018 Château Les Cruzelles offers a complex, almost Pomerol-like nose of ripe red and blue fruits, leafy tobacco, damp earth, and chocolate. With subtle background oak, medium to full body, and a concentrated, focused style on the palate, it's another head-turning wine from Denis Durantou that's well worth your time and money. it's going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for over a decade."- Jeb Dunnuck, Jebdunnuck.com, Rating: 93, Maturity: 2023-2033
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|Brand||Château Les Cruzelles|