The 2021 L'Eglise-Clinet was picked September 27–29, a rapid harvest within three days; winemaker Noëmie Durantou told me she wanted to beat the forecasted rain that would have diluted the fruit. Raised in 75% new oak, this has a less concentrated, mineral-driven bouquet that bides its time, offering nuanced pine cone scents with aeration. The palate is clearly built around elegance, with its finely chiseled tannins and wonderful crushed stone notes. Perhaps a more streamlined l'Eglise-Clinet, showing wonderful precision. This Pomerol never tries to outdo its limitations or ape previous vintages, lending it an intangible sense of honesty. Beautiful.
Neal Martin, vinous.com, (May 2022)
Rich and precise on the nose, and here you see why austerity in tannic structure can be a rather beautiful attribute - carved, careful, precise, coming through as energy and potential rather than forbidding. Not as dense as the 2018 or 2019, think instead of the intellectual 2017 but with more depth to the tannins. Blueberry, bilberry, loganberry, violet flowers, slate, earth, mandarin zest and incense. Harvest September 27 to 29, no chaptilisation, 75% new oak.
Drink 2028 - 2044
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2022)
A deep, serious wine, the 2021 L'Eglise Clinet unwinds in the glass with notions of wild berries and plums mingled with dark chocolate, sweet loamy soil, warm spices, violets and black truffle. Full-bodied, concentrated and muscular, it's rich and layered, with a concentrated core of fruit, lively acids and plenty of ripe, powdery tannin that nods to its origins in a sector of Pomerol capable of producing some of the appellation's most structured, long-lived wines. It's a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Apr 2022)
Busy and complex with dark fruit, camphor and spice notes. Juicy fruit and a real concentration of velvety tannin. Honed and long with plenty of freshness. Well constructed from beginning to end.
Drink 2030 - 2045
James Lawther, jancisrobinson.com (May 2022)
Medium-bodied with very fine-textured tannins. Delicious sweet and salty and mineral character. Blackberries, violets, cloves and dark olives. Peaches, too. All focused, fresh and in balance. Long, seamless finish. 85% merlot and 15% cabernet franc.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (May 2022)
About this WINE
Château L'Eglise-Clinet is now amongst the elite of Pomerol producers. Its vineyards were originally part of Château Clinet and Château Clos l`Eglise respectively, and the property came into being in the 1950s.
L'Eglise-Clinet has been owned and run by Denis Durantou since 1982. Its 5.5 hectares of vineyards are located on the Pomerol plateau, where the soils are rich in gravel, clay, sand and iron. The vines have a high average age of around 45 years, with a proportion of them dating back to pre-1956, having escaped the brutal frosts of that year.
L'Eglise-Clinet's wine is typically a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The grapes are vinified in a combination of concrete vats and stainless steel vats. The wine is then aged in small oak barriques (50-70% new) for 18 months.
Pomerol is the smallest of Bordeaux's major appellations, with about 150 producers and approximately 740 hectares of vineyards. It is home to many bijou domaines, many of which produce little more than 1,000 cases per annum.
Both the topography and architecture of the region is unremarkable, but the style of the wines is most individual. The finest vineyards are planted on a seam of rich clay which extends across the gently-elevated plateau of Pomerol, which runs from the north-eastern boundary of St Emilion. On the sides of the plateau, the soil becomes sandier and the wines lighter.
There is one satellite region to the immediate north, Lalande-de-Pomerol whose wines are stylistically very similar, if sometimes lacking the finesse of its neighbour. There has never been a classification of Pomerol wines.
The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.
In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.