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  • Country ranking ?

    523
  • Producer ranking ?

    7
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

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The Story

Château CLINET is one of the most prestigious estates of the Pomerol wine region, set amongst the finest parcels of this well-known plateau. Located 40km to the east of Bordeaux, on the right bank of the Garonne River, its gravelly clay soil makes Pomerol the terroir of the finest Merlots in the world. The natural resources required to produce the exceptional quality of our grapes, simply cannot be reproduced anywhere else on earth.

Successive generations of owners have been producing world-renowned wines here for centuries and, since 1998, it has been the duty and privilege of the Laborde family to perpetuate the highest possible standards, observing the traditions of a strict cultural approach.


In the 1980s Jean-Michel Arcaute married Clinet's proprietor George Audy's daughter and by 1986 Jean Michel was running the property. He engaged the services of cult oenologist Michel Rolland, who introduced much later harvesting, ensuring super-ripe fruit, as well as extending the amount of time the wines spent in 100% new oak barriques. 

Clinet produces a wine which is concentrated and rich but is supremely well balanced with a finish that lasts and lasts. It is hard to resist when young, yet the wines from the best vintages will continue to improve for over 10 years. Jean-Michel Arcaute was tragically killed in a boating accident in 2001.

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Vintage 2018

Report and recommendations for the 2018 Bordeaux vintage

by Andrew Caillard MW

2018 is an exceptional year. Bordeaux whites and Sauternes are very good, but from an Australian perspective, the excitement is all in the red wines. All sub-regions produced examples of very good wines, but some performed better than others. Generally, the largest estates have made exemplary wines illustrating that the human factor and wealth can have a major impact on the terroir! Over the past few weeks I have tasted around 350-400 wines, sometimes in large format forums like UCG tastings or at various châteaux. These days it is difficult to taste wines blind, but color density, aromatic freshness, tannin density and overall balance are obvious indicators. In some cases, I tasted wines a few times, which allowed me to cross references.

 

The weather until a few days ago was clear with bright sunshine, warm days and a cool breeze. Temperatures have dropped now with more cloud cover and intermittent rain. Driving from Sauternes to St Emilion we passed through some light hail but not enough to cause too many problems. In two weeks, we saw dormant vines and trees come to life. The growing season starts a little early and, of course, people worry about the chance of frost. After the devastating frost episodes of 2017 and the challenges created by hail and mildew in 2018, there is a feeling that climate change could well have an unpredictable impact on future Bordeaux vintages.

 

We have tasted a good amount of primeur wines now. As usual the vintage will be exaggerated. The growing season was almost calamitous, but long hours of hot sunshine over the summer cleaned everything up and allowed the grapes to ripen very, very well. The colors, flavors, density and acidities are truly impressive and as a result the vintage is generally quite exceptional. It's difficult to truly understand overall crop losses, as growers are naturally quite cagey. But they vary from almost nothing to less than a third. At Ch Climens in Sauternes Barsac, I estimate that the harvest is around 20% of the average. When we know that this area lost its entire harvest in 2017 due to frost, the shock must be keenly felt. Mother Nature has been particularly cruel lately. The growing season story will inevitably create a negative impression, but few people will remember the details in years to come. They will only remember the wine. For some people with long memories, they believe the vintage is like 1947 or 1961. If so, it's not just an exceptional vintage, it's something beyond the norm. An immortal year. The concentration, weight and vitality of the wines are impressive. Despite the incredible density of tannins, saturated colors and flavors, the wines are actually quite easy to taste, indicating remarkable balance and life.

 

In my opinion, the strongest sub-regions are Pauillac and St Julien – both of which have produced wines of great consistency and classicism. They are powerfully expressive with pronounced ripe tannins and pure fruit flavors. The combination of better microclimatic conditions, wealth and physical resources contributed to the result. Ch Pontet Canet is an exception because of its approach to biodynamic viticulture. It suffered terribly from downy mildew and only produced a third of the harvest. The wine is distinctly different from wines like Ch Latour or Ch Pichon Lalande, but its overall buoyancy and fruit richness are convincing. It also represents something worthwhile and important.

 

I still think Pauilac is the benchmark for Bordeaux. Typically, the wines are extremely expressive with aromas of pure cedar and fine grainy tannins. This year, the wines are particularly dense and inky with abundant graphite tannins. They are not at all tense or soft and so when the tannins settle in, the wines will be exceptional.

There are many exceptional wines from Pauillac, including Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch Pichon Longueville Baron, Ch Lynch Bages, Ch Batailley, Ch d’Armailhac and Ch Grand Puy Lacoste. The premier crus Ch Latour, Ch Mouton Rothschild and Ch Lafite Rothschild are very impressive. Their second wines Les Forts de Latour, Petit Mouton and Carruades are also of very high quality.

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Tasting note

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Written Notes

Deep purple colour with violet hue. Excellent nose with rich fruit and fine toasting, ripe blackberries, elderberries and hints of mulberries and blackcurrants. Dark chocolate and gingerbread spices in the background. On the palate rich and powerful yet elegant, excellent structure, depth and length, very classic. 

  • 96p

Clinet - 85% Merlot + 15% Cabernet Franc. This wine was utterly impressive from the barrel and now is even better from the bottle! Excellent nose of intense black cherries and scent of truffles, strong and powerful on the palate with creamy berries, finely grained tannin, excellent complexity, and long aftertaste. The character of the soil here shines through. 97p (96-97p).

  • 97p

Ruby. Blueberries, anise, scented, fresh fruity, detailed, floral, layered, minerals nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fresh, fruity, red berries, anise and spices, blueberries, detailed, seriously long after taste in this, superb! 96-98

  • 98p

Medium deep colour. Musky plum, liquorice, touch silty on the palate but good deep musky plum cassis fruits, fine chalky al dente textures and pronounced alcohol kick.

  • 93p
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Information

Origin

Pomerol, Bordeaux

Other wines from this producer

Fleur de Clinet

Pomerol by Clinet

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