Maintaining freshness in the wine was a priority for Denis Durantou at L’Eglise Clinet. “The pH developed quite quickly,” he said. “We had to test it every day; we had made a conscious decision to pick before it got too high. At a maximum of 3.7 pH, we pick. As soon as we have an evolution—a flavor change—we decide to pick.” Merlot was picked September 18-26 and Cabernet Franc on September 28. The resulting wine has a 3.63 pH and 14.5% alcohol and will be aged in 70% new barriques. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 L'Eglise Clinet is deep purple-black in color and opens with beguiling truffles, forest floor, mossy bark and black tea scents, slowly unfurling to reveal a core of Black Forest cake, plum preserves, licorice and candied violets plus wafts of tar and cast iron pan. Full-bodied, concentrated and jam-packed with muscular fruit, the velvety-textured palate delivers layer upon layer of savory and earthy accents, finishing with a lingering mineral lift.
|Score: 96/98||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
This is incredibly powerful with fantastic depth and length. It goes on for minutes. Full-bodied yet so tight and intense. Blackberries and hints of spice. It has such energy and persistence. It is a wine that makes you really reflect. Bravo. Tiny production.
|Score: 99/100||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 L'Eglise-Clinet is a powerful, tightly wound wine. In fact, it is one of the most reticent Pomerols I tasted, which makes it hard to evaluate today but probably bodes extremely well for the future. Dark and brooding in the glass, the 2018 has too much to offer. A wine of real gravitas and power, the 2018 is likely to need the better part of the next decade to open up, and even that probably won't be enough. Spice, leather, lavender, rose petal and tobacco gradually develop in the glass, but what really comes through is the sheer depth and intensity of the year.
|Score: 95/98||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc; 70% new oak. Barrel sample.
Black core with purple rim. Pure cassis fruit on the nose and a touch of vanilla but quite introverted still though it opens up in the glass. There's more finesse here than in the Petite Église but there's so much sweet charry oak on the palate it is a bit overwhelming. Thick and chewy on the finish. Very rich but could be more elegant. Second sample from the same barrique taken the same day: still dense but with a little more freshness and the tannins are finer, the oak less intrusive. Not sure how it will age and have given perhaps optimistic drink dates. (JH) 14.5%
|Score: 16.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
Very deep, saturated purple in the glass. The nose is already very intense but dense and brooding, with blueberry, cassis, cocoa, allspice and black pepper all unfurling with time and air. The palate is powerful, with great density and richness of structure. Mouthcoating, chewy tannins provide a bold frame for the fruit that is multi-layered and exotic. Ripe bramble fruits and cassis show first, but through the mid-palate the acidity and spice add waves of savoury freshness and complexity. Cedar, dark chocolate and espresso all come through in waves. The power is very impressive, but the restraint and tension are what take the wine to the highest level. The finish is extremely long, with fantastic delineation of fruit and spice. A profound, harmonious Eglise Clinet for the long term.
|Score: 18.5+||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
One of the true “wow” wines in the vintage, the 2018 Château l'Eglise-Clinet is a blockbuster offering stunning notes of black currants, roasted herbs, truffle, earth, and graphite. It's a ripe, voluptuous, and incredibly opulent wine that has full-bodied richness, no hard edges, silky tannins, and gorgeous length. The blend is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, all harvest in September, and raised in 70% new oak. It has remarkable purity, as well as balance, and will benefit from 5-6 years of bottle age and evolve for two decades or more.
|Score: 96/98||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019|
Lush in feel, with boysenberry reduction and crushed plum flavors, carried by a polished, solid structure. A mineral hint filters through on the finish, adding length and cut.
|Score: 95/98||James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019|
This is rich, with layers upon layers of black chocolate, ripe fleshy blackberries and raspberries tempered by acidity and tannins that support, pushing the entire palate slowly onwards and upwards. It has all the generosity of the vintage but tempered with Durantou's amazing ability to sculpt freshness out of the fruit his vineyards deliver. It’s immensely seductive and powerful with more evident flesh than the 2016 – a wine that’s going to run and run.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2040
|Score: 97||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019|
(90 Merlot, 10 Cabernet Franc) | 70% new oak | 14.5% alc | The Merlot was picked between the 18th and 26th September and the Cabernet Franc was picked on the 28th September This is the first vintage in which every wine made in this portfolio comes from Denis Durantou’s own plantings! He calls it his year of the ‘Revolutionary’. Noëmie Durantou Reilhac, Denis’s daughter, and his cellar master Olivier Gautrat are very much involved these days and Denis notes that the old adage that you can only make great wines from vines that were planted by your ancestors is definitely not true today! The nose on L’Eglise Clinet is magnificent. The oak is typically commanding as is the fruit and the tannins are super-fine and also very fit and lively. These tannins are big but energetic and healthy and they will propel this wine forwards for 50 years. This is another tour de force from this famous estate.
|Score: 19+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|