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.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2040
James Suckling 94-95
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.
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93
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.
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).
Anticipated maturity: 2027-2042
Robert Parker 90-92
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.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2038