Red, Ready, but will keep

2003 Ch. L'Eglise Clinet, Pomerol

2003 Ch. L'Eglise Clinet, Pomerol

Red | Ready, but will keep | Chateau L'Eglise-Clinet | Code:  926967 | 2003 | France > Bordeaux > Pomerol | Merlot | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

93/100

WA - The Chteau l'Eglise-Clinet 2003 was served ex-chteau from bottle and magnum. Alongside the 2003 Chteau Lafleur, it represents one of the best Pomerol wines of the vintage. Why? Because as Denis himself explained, the vineyard naturally produced low pH that counterbalanced the summer heat. It was actually the bottle that has the best bouquet, lively and vibrant for the vintage, extremely well defined and youthful after 12 years. Macerated dark cherries, red plum and incense all soar from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, slightly savory red berry fruit that is very spicy, white pepper and cumin. There is fine delineation on the finish and great length. It does not quite deliver the brilliant showing of previous bottles, but it deserves a round of applause. This is one of the few recent wines from the estate that I would prefer to drink in its youth. Tasted March 2015.
Neal Martin - 29/07/2016

The Producer

Chateau L'Eglise-Clinet

Chateau L'Eglise-Clinet

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.

The Grape

Merlot

Merlot

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.

Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.

The Region

Pomerol

Pomerol

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.

For a long time Pomerol was regarded as the poor relation of St Emilion, but the efforts of Jean-Pierre Moueix in the mid-20th century brought the wine to the attention of more export markets, where its fleshy, intense and muscular style found a willing audience, in turn leading to surge in prices led by the demand for such limited quantities.

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.

Recommended Châteaux : Ch. Pétrus, Vieux Ch. Certan, Le Pin, Ch. L’Eglise-Clinet, Ch. La Conseillante, Ch. L’Evangile, Ch. Lafleur, Trotanoy, Ch. Nenin, Ch. Beauregard, Ch. Feytit-Clinet, Le Gay.

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