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L'Eglise Clinet 2012

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > Pomerol
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Franc

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château L'Église-Clinet


Tasting Notes

A wine that wins my nomination for the title of "wine of the vintage" is the 2012 L'Eglise Clinet, a fleshy and enveloping Pomerol evocative of dark cherries and berries mingled with licorice, spices, pencil lead, truffle and rose petals. Full-bodied, broad and textural, it's lavish and expansive, with terrific depth at the core, supple tannins and a long, resonant finish. Seamless, charming and impeccably balanced, this transcends the vintage, and while it's deceptively drinkable now, it remains a mere adolescent at age 11.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, December 2023

A gorgeous wine from proprietor Denis Durantou, this blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc is an inky purple color, with gorgeous purity of black raspberries, blackcurrants and blackberry with a hint of truffle and spring flowers. Its is full-bodied, opulent and a tour de force in this vintage. Great presence on the palate, fabulous purity and a long finish make for a magnificent bottle of wine to drink over the next 20-some years. Drink: 2015 - 2035

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (218), April 2015

The 2012 l’Eglise-Clinet was picked 21 September to 4 October for the Merlot and on 6 October for the Cabernet Franc. This is one of my favorite recent vintages. It is so vivacious and well defined on the disarming nose with pretty red cherry and strawberry aromas, crushed stone, smoke and wilted rose petal. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, endowed with a sense of exuberance that the 2013 could only dream of. I admire the precision and tension interwoven through this l’Eglise-Clinet and the manner in which it fans out on the succulent finish. This is a Pomerol that just wants to go out and give pleasure. Tasted at the l’Eglise-Clinet vertical at the château in April 2018.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, July 2019

Tasted at the chateau during the 2022 En Primeur campaign, the 2012 Eglise Clinet continues to be a majestic wine from the estate, and is unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage - it also won the Ten Years On tasting at the Farr Vintners office in 2022. Still a deep, slightly garnet but youthful colour. The nose is intoxicating, a blend of dark cherries and plums together with black truffle, duck skin and black pepper. There are hints of tobacco and sweet spice too, with air. The palate is seamless with the mouthcoating tannins ripe, melting beautifully into the wine. This allows waves of savoury yet intense fruit to push through, melding with more notes of truffle, spice and game. High tones of violets lift the finish, which still has great youthful vigour despite the savoury layers of development. A magnificent wine, one that showcases Denis Durantou's brilliance as a winemaker.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, April 2023

Insane aromas of wet earth, dried fruits, oyster shell and white pepper. Full body and a seamless texture of gorgeous tannins and fruits. Goes on for minutes. So wonderful now but will be better in 2019.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2015

The carefully-crafted precision of the fruits is clear right from the first nose. A serious, subdued L'Eglise Clinet at 10 years old, putting a marker down in terms of carefully-crafted fruits and fine-boned tannins. Enjoyable, tertiary notes of truffles and earth are just beginning to surface. 80% new oak.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, March 2022

90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, on clay and gravel, very small volume this year. Deep dark crimson. Black core. Just-ripe dark fruit and sweet oak spice on the nose. Hint of char and cedar. Chewy and firm and just enough fruit in the middle but only just. Savoury, lots of char but lots more to come. It's less approachable than many a 2012. I like its earthy firmness but the char taste on the oak seems a little heavy. (JH)

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013

Denis Durantou is making stunning wines that, since 1985, have invariably matched or beaten all the top names of Pomerol in blind tastings. Produced from 40 year old vines picked when ripe but never late. No fancy tricks here, just old vines, great terroir and inspired, yet traditional, wine-making. As our blind tastings have proved over and over again, this is one of the top wines of the Pomerol appellation. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, aged in 80% new oak. An extremely dark colour, this is a wine of incredible density with layers of complexity. A myriad of flavours include tarmac, smoky bacon, roasted meat, exotic spices, black pepper, black cherries and white chocolate. This sensationally concentrated and massively ripe Pomerol has impeccable balance and soft, supple tannins holding it all together. Complex, complete and multi-dimensional. Clearly a contender for wine of the vintage. Nobody in our group scored it less than 19/20

Farr Vintners, March 2013

Bramble, cassis and black cherry give lots of complexity on the nose and a lovely mix of flavours on the palate. The mid palate is sumptuous rich with layers of flavour the fleshy black plum backed by fresher black cherry. There is a sweet fruited power at the back yet a stylish freshness on the finish. 2020-38.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2013

"This isn't a great vintage," says Denis Durantou, "because in a great vintage, good wines are made everywhere." He may be right, but the wizard of Pomerol has worked his magic again in 2012. Yields were down 25% on 2011 because of coulure and selection, but Durantou's touch has transformed promising raw material into something very special. This is sweet, plump, plush and concentrated with notes of spice, orange peel and Christmas cake and masses of structure, intensity and restrained power, offset by refreshing acidity. Drink: 2020-50

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2013
Read more tasting notes...

Along with Petrus, the 2012 l'Eglise Clinet is the potential wine of the vintage. An amazing tour de force in winemaking, the wine's inky/purple color is accompanied by copious notes of spring flowers, creme de cassis, kirsch liqueur, truffles, caramels and graphite. Full-bodied with enormous concentration, the purity, exquisite balance and sheer gravitas and palate presence of this massive yet phenomenally compelling Pomerol are something to behold. Kudos to l'Eglise Clinet. This wine will be approachable in 4-5 years, and last for three decades or more.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, April 2013

The Grand Vin was picked between 21 September and 4th October for the Merlot, with the Cabernet Franc picked on 6th October. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc (aged in 80% new oak) it has Burgundy-like minerality and purity on the nose that is taciturn at first, but blossoms nicely in the glass whilst maintaining a sense of restraint and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with very pure fruit and a silky texture. The acidity is extremely well judged, the Cabernet Franc lending this wine just a touch of edginess. There is sublime focus on the mineral-laden finish. One day, Denis Durantou will make a wine that does not merit a stream of superlatives. But that day seems a long way away. Tasted April 2013.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013

This really builds at the end of the palate, which clearly shows it's top notch. It's full-bodied, and grows on the palate ever so steadily. Lovely berry, chocolate, and hazelnut character. Goes on for a minutes. This has wonderful tannin tension for the vintage. Better than 2011

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2013
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.