|Sub-district||Pomerol & Lalande de Pomerol|
The nose has a brooding black fruited power and the palate has the richness of ripe black plum. It feels fresher towards the back bramble and some red fruited and the finish has less concentrated power. 2017-26 Rating: 89-92 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk (Dec 2013)
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The Clinet was started early on 8th September for the young vines, picked at just 12hl/ha and returning on the 14th to tackle the young vines. It was then picked 10th, 20th, 26th and 27th September for the Merlot, the 9th October for the old Merlot vines and the Cabernets the following day. That means it was picked over 32 days, the teams of pickers returning several times to the same plot in order to pick at the optimal ripeness. The alcohol level is 13.2%, more the 1-degree less than the 2010 and it was cropped at 34hl/ha. Clinet was expanded in 2011, so the blend is now 90% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc and Ronan told me that he is considering increasing the percentage of Cabernet in the future. There is fine precision on the nose with marine influences – hints of Japanese nori and seashells developing in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied and very natural with fine tannins. This is a less hedonistic Clinet for sure, but very well balanced and full of character, perhaps reflecting the terroir with more clarity. With modest length, this is a well-crafted Clinet for medium-term drinking. Rating: 91-93 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(May 2013)
Although hardly comparable to what Clinet achieved in both 2009 and 2010, the 2012 Clinet is another star of the vintage. A powerful, full-bodied, muscular Pomerol, it reveals a dense purple color in addition to lots of opulence, a layered, full-bodied richness (somewhat atypical for the vintage), beautiful density and plenty of mocha, black cherry, truffle and graphite notes. It is a surprisingly full yet accessible Clinet that will be drinkable long before the 2009 and 2010 hit their plateaus of maturity. Drink the 2012 over the next 15 years. 2013 - 2028 Rating: 92 - 94+ Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Apr 2013)
Ronan Laborde invited me to go and taste his wine via Twitter this year, which may well be a first. I’m glad I dropped in, because this confirms the improvements in recent years. The Cabernet gives the wine a little lift and a touch of graphite to complement the oaky, but elegantly detailed Merlot. Drink: 2020-30 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2013)
Château Clinet lies at the heart of Pomerol on a bed of Günz gravel. Now owned by Jean-Louis Laborde who, in 2003, appointed his 23 year old son as Estate Managing Director. Improvements implemented by the previous owners, the Audy family, have been strengthened by the Labordes and they continue to employ the services of Michel Rolland. Only 9ha of vineyard, planted with 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, with vines at 40 years old. Grapes are hand-harvested, and the wines aged in 60% new wood barriques, with the balanced being just one year old.
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