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Since 1983, Denis Durantou has been at the helm of this historic estate. He has quietly performed something of a revolution, introducing a host of innovations and bringing his wine-making philosophy to one of the greatest terroirs in Bordeaux. The 4.5 hectares used for the grand vin are situated next to the church in Pomerol on gravel and clay soils. A further 1.5 hectares of on sandy soils account for the excellent Petite Eglise.
Denis’ wines receive many accolades, all richly deserved. The grand vin is consistently amongst the best wines of the vintage; they are typically perfumed, nuanced and posses the structure to age gracefully for many decades.
Château L'Église Clinet
In 1882, Mr Mauléon-Rouchut, great great grandfather of Denis Durantou, brought together different plots of Clos L'Église and Domaine de Clinet. which his family had acquied in the 18th century, to make up a vineyard around the church of Saint John of Pomerol. In 1989 Durantou took over L'Église Clinet.
L’Eglise Clinet’s continuing success may well be the result of great Pomerol terroir, painstaking vine-growing and perfectionist wine-making, but grower Denis Durantou insists that the bottling can be the making or the breaking of a great wine.
"Choosing the right time to harvest and the right time to bottle are the two trickiest decisions in the winemaker’s calendar. If you get these two wrong, there is no going back; you can’t stick the grapes back on the vines and you can’t uncork all the bottles." says Durantou.
"At L’Eglise Clinet, the wine is aged in barrel with very little contact with oxygen. There are of course rackings, but we keep a high level of free sulphur throughout the whole of the ageing process to be sure there is no aromatic deviation. We don’t want to take any risks with yeasts and bacteria, and we believe that it is very important to preserve the reduction potential in great wines. But we also have to take care to explain to consumers that on opening a bottle, the wine may not be showing at its best during the first minutes; it needs a little time to breathe and come out."
Soil: clay and gravel
Production area: 5.4 ha
Grape varieties: Merlot 85%, Cabernet Franc 15%
Average age of vines: 40 years
Ageing: 18 months in oak barrels, new depending on the vintage
Château L'Église Clinet
Tel. + 33 (0)5 5725 9659
Fax + 33 (0)5 5725 2196
Bordeaux Vintage Report by Tb / Although 1962 was also a fabulous year, it fell irretrievably into the shadow of 1961. The cold winter, with its biting frosts, ensured that the vines would get a much-needed rest after their hard work in 1961. The growing season started three weeks late. When the vines finally germinated in mid-June, the weather improved. Toward autumn, the weather warmed up measurably, with the resulting dryness eventually having a negative impact on the vines. The few abundant harvests of September came just in time to rescue the grapes from withering on the vine. The harvest, which brought in the largest crop of the 1950s and 1960s, did not begin until 1 October. Few believed that the vintage would be as good as it became. An excellent vintage for dry whites, reds and Sauternes. Where Sauternes are concerned, the 1962 was a considerably better year than the 1961. The best reds were the Cheval Blanc, Pétrus and Mouton-Rothschild. A common characteristic of the finest 1962 wines today is their serene, balanced aspect. Only a few show any real body and complexity, but they work well especially as dinner wines, also due to their excellent availability and affordable price. Even the finest wines should not be decanted for more than an hour.