CHÂTEAU L'ÉGLISE CLINET
|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Franc|
|Sub-district||Pomerol & Lalande de Pomerol|
Denis Durantou, always interesting to listen to, was keen to say that this year it was the good weather in July which made the wine ('Juillet à fait le moût'). 'Ripe grapes can be acid too. It's no use waiting for them not to be'. July was the hottest for 15 years, so by September the grapes were ripe even if they were acid, the tannins were ripe even though the acidity was high. This year Denis' wines were naturally 13-13.5%. While other were waiting, looking for the sweetness and low acid of some recent vintages, he was happy to make wines with this balance. And it works for him! More serious depth and richness than the Petite Église, more structure too, but there's a good deep black fruit and spice and savour too. A touch of dark chocolate, and then the acidity on the finish lifts it all, mouthwatering, hard not to swallow. A lovely balance. Denis goes on to say 'astringency should be part of the culture of wine, sugar and sweetness is vulgar and not sophisticated'. Rating: 93 L&S (Apr 2014)
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A 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc blend from the Plateau of Pomerol near the church, the wine has an inky/purple color, a sweet kiss of mulberry and black cherry liqueurs, interwoven with licorice, truffle, a hint of melted road tar and background spice and oak. The wine is opulent, medium to full-bodied and unquestionably a tour de force for this vintage. Kudos to Durantou. If you can find it, this is clearly one of the candidates for the wine of the vintage and a real star. Drink from 2018-2027. It-s no surprise that perfectionist/meticulous proprietor Denis Durantou has turned out one of the best wines of the vintage. Harvested September 27-October 6, only 10,000 bottles were produced in this tiny yielding vintage that also required a draconian-like selection process to keep the best fruit under the top label. 2018-2027 Rating: 92-94 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Aug 2014)
(90% merlot and 10% cabernet franc): Dark ruby. Very pure dark berry and floral aromas soar from the glass. Minerally and inky in the mouth, with blueberry and blackberry cocktail flavors lifted by lively acidity and nicely supported by smooth tannins. One of the better wines of 2013, it's devoid of green or astringent notes. It only lacks the depth of fruit of the better vintages but there's good concentration here. Rating: 89-92 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website (May 2014)
Deep and brooding the nose is very black fruit in character. The palate packed with rich ripe fruit fleshy and supple black plum backed by rich black cherry. There is an underlying freshness slightly lighter at the back but the finish has depth richness lots of sweet fruit. 2020-2030. Rating: 93-96 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk (May 2014)
Château L'Église Clinet
In a region of modest architecture, the high-spired church in Pomerol tends to dominate the sky-line. Gathered around it, a trio of estates trumpet their proximity with their name – Domaine de l’Eglise, Clos l’Eglise and Château l’Eglise Clinet. Infact, Clos l’Eglise Clinet and l’Eglise Clinet, separated only by a narrow lane, used to form a single estate until they were divided in inheritance in the latter half of the 19th Century. Initially, confusingly, called Clos de l’Eglise, the estate appended the lieu dit name and became Clos de l’Eglise Clinet, before finally settling on l’Eglise Clinet. The château, such as it is, is quite modest – the château proper being left with the Clos l’Eglise portion when the estate divided. The Château l’Eglise Clinet story really begins when Denis Durantou took over in 1983 and turned a traditional if unexciting property into one of Pomerol’s superstars. New equipment in a small new chai were installed and meticulous attention has been paid to the vineyard. There are 6ha of vines given over to 85% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc with the last 1% being a plot of very old Malbec vines. Denis Durantou also owns Château les Cruzelles in Lalande-de-Pomerol, Saintayme in Saint Emilion and Chateau Montlandrie in the Côtes de Castillon.
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