Top values from two Right Bank legends

Top values from two Right Bank legends
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to drink wines produced by wine-making royalty. Today, both Denis Durantou of Chateau L’Eglise Clinet and Alain Vauthier of Chateau Ausone have released their entry level wines. If L’Eglise Clinet and Ausone are their Grand Cru terroirs, the likes of La Chenade, Saintayme, Les Cruzelles, Montlandrie, Fonbel and Moulin St Georges are their village or Premier Cru vineyards. These wines benefit from all of Denis’ and Alain’s technical knowhow, wine-making flair and expertise, built up over the decades.

Unlike many wines at this price point, these are beautifully pitched expressions of their terroirs. There’s certainly a resemblance to the Grand Vins, albeit in a more immediate, less profound style. We have enjoyed buying and drinking these wines for many years and they have a distinguished track record, nearly always exceeding our expectations. The Durantou wines in particular have become bywords of great value Clarets, with the likes of Les Cruzelles and La Chenade outperforming many eminent Pomerol estates.

We also have miniscule quantities of Denis’ La Petite Eglise. Continuing the Burgundy analogy, this is like a declassified Grand Cru. It hails from the original L’Eglise Clinet vineyard, but Denis uses the sandier terroirs for this excellent second wine. Again, this offers astonishing value for money – a really charming, detailed Pomerol with an outstanding reputation. Alas, restructuring in the vineyard means that yields are down 50%.