La Petite Eglise (2nd label Eglise Clinet) 2017


Denis Durantou's "second wine" is a serious Pomerol in its own right, but at a fraction of the price of Eglise Clinet. Usually the best value wine in Pomerol. The 100% Merlot fruit is harvested on sandier soils and elevaged in 50% new oak barrels in the cellars of Eglise Clinet.

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Tasting Notes

The 2017 La Petite Eglise was picked from 12 to 22 September and matured in 50% new oak. It has a floral bouquet with touches of incense and lavender infusing the black fruit, nicely defined and surprisingly open for the vintage. The palate is very smooth on the entry with blood orange and a tang of marmalade infusing the black fruit. It threatens to become exotic, but then it becomes more linear towards the finish with touches of graphite on the aftertaste. Drink 2023-2030.

Score: 90Neal Martin,, February 2020

The 2017 La Petite Eglise was picked from 12 to 22 September at 41hl/ha and is matured in 50% new oak. Just one small parcel near the Barbanne tributary was touched by frost but nothing on the plateau. It has a straightforward bouquet with more red fruit than black, hints of freshly tilled soil and pencil shavings. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a touch more compact than previous vintages but beautifully focused and silky smooth towards the sustained finish. Excellent. 2021 - 2034

Score: 90/92Neal Martin,, May 2018

Produced from a blend of 36% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Cabernet Franc, the 2017 Petit-Figeac is medium to deep garnet-purple colored. It sails out of the glass with open-knit scents of freshly crushed red and black plums, black cherries and boysenberries with touches of camphor, dark chocolate and cardamom. Medium-bodied, the palate has lovely freshness and plenty of juicy black and red fruits, framed by chewy tannins, finishing on a fragrant earth note.

Not being situated on the plateau, Chateau Figeac was badly affected by frost in 2017, with overall yields coming in at 22 hectoliters per hectare—less than half of the average. They lost a lot of Cabernet Franc, and the Merlot was also badly affected. But, the silver lining was that it was a successful year for Cabernet Sauvignon, the variety upon which, under Frédéric Faye’s management, the property has increased focus in recent years. “There is not a lot of clay here, so the terroir is not so good for Cabernet Franc,” Faye commented. “Cabernet Sauvignon excels here." From the outset after the frosts, managing director Frédéric Faye made rigorous efforts to isolate the frost-affected vines and monitor/tend to them individually. Incredibly, this equated to around 20,000 vines that needed to be managed separately. “At the beginning, the lag time for the second-generation fruit was 3.5 weeks, and by harvest, it was only 18 days,” he commented. And, of course, these were harvested separately—in many passes, as it turned out. “One plot was harvested four times!” Faye mentioned. Figeac bought five new vatting tanks to coordinate the vinification of all the separate pickings. To manage the tannins of the second-generation fruit, less extraction was used along with lower fermentation temperatures, and the vatting time was three weeks as opposed to one month for the first-generation. In the end, Faye considered the final blend with a proportion of around 10% second-generation fruit for the Merlot component to be superior to the blend with first-generation fruit alone. The effect here is barely detectable, adding just enough spice, tannin interest and intensity to give the discernible first-generation fruit a little boost.

Score: 89Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, March 2020

Composed of 52% Merlot and 48% Cabernet Franc, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Le Petit Cheval comes strutting out of the glass with gregarious notions of red currant jelly, black raspberries, blackberries and dark chocolate with hints of lavender, allspice, fertile loam and potpourri. Medium-bodied and firmly textured with chewy tannins and seamless freshness, it has plenty of spice and earth layers and a long, mineral-tinged finish. 4,500 bottles are to be produced.

Score: 90/92Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

White pepper and dried flowers with blackberries, orange peel and a smoky undertone. Medium to full body. Chili, spice and blue fruit on the palate. Hint of lemon rind. Very long finish. Needs at least three or four years to come around. Drink after 2023.

Score: 94James Suckling, (June 2019), January 2020

An elegant second wine of L’Eglise Clinet with dark berries, spices and stones. Medium body and silky and polished tannins.

Score: 90/91James Suckling,, April 2018

The 2017 La Petite Eglise is poweful and rich in the glass. Dark purplish berry fruit, charcoal, licorice, clove and lavender are some of the many nuances that infuse the 2017 with its distinctly somber personality. Unctuous and racy in feel, with superb density, the 2017 is a decidedly extroverted Pomerol. Tasting it from bottle, I have the same impression I did en primeur: it is easily better than many top bottlings. Drink 2022-2032

Score: 93Antonio Galloni, (March 2020), March 2020

The 2017 La Petite Eglise is wonderfully aromatic and dense. Charcoal embers, game, smoke, licorice and raspberry jam all develop in the glass, but it is the wine's structural feel that stands out most. The 2017 is silky, nuanced and exceptionally beautiful. La Petite Eglise is of course the second wine of L'Eglise Clinet, but if it were taken out of that context, it would compete quite favorably with many Grand Vins.

Score: 90/93Antonio Galloni,, May 2018

Dark purplish crimson with black core. Elderberry fruit. Fragrant. A little wild in aroma, wild fruits. Incredibly silky, juicy and supple. Lovely and already nearly approachable. Mouth-wateirng and moreish.
Drink 2022-2030

Score: 16.5Julia Harding MW,, April 2018

There are 7600 bottles of Petite Eglise in 2017 which is being aged in 50% new oak in the cellar of L'Eglise Clinet. Picked from the 12th to 22nd of September. Quite a deep colour, with a little menthol, blackcurrant and toasty oak on the nose. The palate is chock full of plums and cherries, with subtle spiciness and chalky tannins. Impressive length and expansive fruit on the finish, this is an excellent Petite Eglise, taming the acidity of the vintage.

Score: 16Farr Vintners, April 2018

Bright fruits the nose has a mix of red and black fruits the start of the palate fleshy generous with ripe fruit. Fresher at the back slightly herbal with aromatic spice on the finish. 2023-33

Score: 87/89Derek Smedley MW,, April 2018

The nose has a mix of red and black fruits fragrant with violets and lavender the start of the palate sweet ripe black fruits and chocolate. Quite tight in the middle firm but fine tannins spicy richness at the back with seamless length. 2024-36

Score: 88/90Derek Smedley MW,, April 2018

A lighter expression of Durantou's work, partly because this is a sandier soil planted to 100% Merlot, and partly due to the vintage. It has a real freshness and florality and will make for great drinking over the next few years. It's worth knowing that Durantou is about to pull up these vines (they were planted in the 1980s), so this will be the last vintage before production goes right down for the next five years or so. Thankfully there was a good yield of 41hl/ha. 50% new oak, picked 12-22 September.
Drinking Window 2023 - 2033

Score: 89Jane Anson,, April 2018

This is a very calm and controlled Petite Eglise with some fresh tones and also a less dense and dark outlook than in recent vintages. There is a depth but control here which is impressive and it will need a good five years to balance out the tannins. Perhaps a little atypical for this wine, this is a pure style with cadence and definition and it counterbalances many of the much richer styles made in years gone by.

Score: 17+Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018

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.