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Durfort Vivens 2017

This 2017 bottle might be superficially innocuous, but the nuance was poignant and keenly felt. 

For one, the production of this 2017 vintage is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship behind Durfort Viviens. It comprises 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, a blend designed to create a stylistically ripe and concentrated wine. The wine is made through manual harvesting, fermentation in batches (partial wood and partial concrete; malo in vat; ageing in 40% new French oak), and very high vine density. With 7000 vines per hectare, it has the highest density in the Commune of Margaux, compared to Chateau Margaux next door.

Durfort Vivens, a Second Growth from the Margaux appellation, holds a significant place in the world of wines. Its historical recognition by Thomas Jefferson, a figure of immense importance in the wine world, as the head of the Second Cru, a position confirmed by the 1855 Classification, adds depth and respect to its story. This classification also noted its close ranking to Chateau Margaux, further enhancing its prestige and value.

Although Durfort Vivens has always had a limited market, it has steadily improved since the 2009 vintage, which is a promising sign. Previous owners from the 1960s to the 1980s, however, could not update this wine with the contemporary style, which is one of the reasons why this wine should be more well-known. The combined estates of Margaux and Durfort Vivens had created a certain ambiguity harmful to the latter, dubbed "Second Wine of Chateau Margaux" and not Second Cru of Margaux, which was probably another reason. Also, Lucien Lurton, also of Brane Cantenac, had parcels of the best land that belonged to Durfort Vivens, which added to its detriment. 

The quality of Durfort Viviens 2017 is interpreted here through the tasting summaries of some famous tasters:

•⁠ ⁠95JS: Durfort Viviens 2017 is a biodynamically grown wine with redcurrants, flowers, and cedar aromas. It leaves a fresh impression with its vibrant acidity, fresh flavours, and sustained finish, making it high-quality.

•⁠ ⁠95V: This wine is rich and explosive with tremendous intensity. It has sweet floral notes, cedar, mint, and spice that add nuance. Although the severe frost took 35% of the production, the Durfort-Vivens is marvellously rich.

•⁠ ⁠95WE: With a firmly tannic but rich structure and acidity, this wine is a pure berry flavour that shines through its ripe black fruit tones. It is best to drink from 2024.

•⁠ ⁠93Decanter: This biodynamic wine has impressive depth to the cassis fruits, beautiful balance, great persistence, and evident fruit.

Be the connaisseur. Buy this wine; appreciate its actual value!


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