|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > Pomerol|
Denis Durantou made stunning, age-worthy wines here, from 1983 until his untimely death in 2020. Since the breakthrough 1985 vintage, L'Eglise Clinet has invariably matched or beaten all the top names of Pomerol in blind tastings at Southwold and elsewhere. Denis' right-hand man, Olivier Gautrat, had worked with him every day for over two decades and continues the Durantou wine-making philosophy. Produced from 40 year old vines over 4.2 hectares, picked when ripe but never late. No fancy tricks, 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 and a genuine rival of neighbours Pétrus and Lafleur.
View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château L'Église-Clinet
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. (14.0% alcohol)
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.
The 2021 is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, harvested between 27th and 29th September. 14% abv, raised in 75% new French oak. This is a superb Eglise Clinet that is one of the very best in 2021. Deep, saturated purple colour in the glass. Oily black cherry, fresh blackcurrant and espresso mingle with a hint of dark chocolate on the nose. The palate enjoys a richness that few wines manage; plump and round in the middle and coated with ripe, rich and grippy tannins. The extra hit of Cabernet Franc adds a layer of graphite but the fruit is prominent and builds through to the finish. Long, structured and deep, this is a vin de garde that will need time to unfurl in the bottle, but will greatly reward those with patience.
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.
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.
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
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. (JL) 14%
Drink 2030 – 2045