|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. Noemie and Constance Durantou continue and uphold their father's legacy. 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.
Olivier compares this to the great 2005 and 2010 vintages made here - or a more ripe version of the Chateau's great 2016. It is 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Picked from September 3rd to 9th. 14.5% alcohol, maturation in 85% new oak. Yield 34 hl/ha.
The 2022 L'Eglise-Clinet was picked from 3 to 9 September for the Merlot and the Cabernet Franc on 5 and 9 September, matured in 85% new oak. It has an exquisitely-defined bouquet with succinct floral, pressed iris and clay notes percolating through the black fruit. With breathtaking focus, these scents seem to cast a spell over you. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chalky tannins that frame the mineral-laden, peppery black fruit. There's not a hair out of place, exuding the essence of this Pomerol estate with an exceptionally long, intense and paradoxically tender finish. It's a wine that may leave you spellbound...just like this barrel sample. 2032-2075
Offering up deep aromas of mulberries and cassis mingled with incense, licorice, rose petals, spices and hints of new oak, the 2022 L'Eglise Clinet is full-bodied, deep and layered, with an elegantly muscular core of ripe but vibrant fruit that's framed by sweet, powdery tannins. Concentrated and multidimensional, it concludes with a long, resonant finish. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, harvested between September 3 and 9, this compelling Pomerol checks in at a largely concealed 14.6% alcohol.
A contender for wine of the vintage, this Eglise Clinet is true to type. Dense and ripe black fruit is lightly spiced on the nose, offering nutmeg, clove and hot charcoal tones. The palate is full bodied and rich in structure with mouthcoating ripe tannins matched by dark but vibrant notes of cherry and cassis. Brooding and powerful, this is a Vin de Garde that is seriously impressive. Almost like a left bank wine, the tannic persistence is impressive in its balance to the intense fruit. Seductive wood smoke is a background tone, offering some added sweetness and spice. Cedary and long, this is an athletic wine - muscular with purpose and dynamic on the finish. Superb.
A L’Eglise Clinet with tension and class, with dark berries and chalk, salt and spice. There’s hazelnut and ripe seeds with coffee bean undertones. Full and wonderfully long and fresh.
A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, with a pH of 3.6, L’Eglise Clinet 2022 was picked between the 3rd and 9th September and is aging in 85% new oak. It has a deep garnet-purple color and after a swirl or two, vivacious notes of crushed black plums, boysenberry preserves, and lilacs soar from the glass, followed by hints of menthol, wood smoke, crushed rocks, and sandalwood. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is electric, delivering energetic black fruit and mineral layers, with a firm, fine-grained texture and lovely tension, finishing long and earthy. Very seductive!
Turns the intensity and exoticism of the vintage on its head, unpacking it carefully, and layering up depth and character. Grilled cedar, fleshy damson and casis fruits, this is all about carefully-considered and delivered juice and flavour. Intense, with balance and carefully-extracted juice, and the precision that you want at L'Eglise Clinet, even in such an ovewheming vintage. 85% new oak, harvest September 3 to 9. Noemie Durantou and Olivier Gautrat.
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Wonderful expression of fruit, the aroma an explosion of floral-violet notes. Huge density on the palate, the tannins silky and very long. Lingers on the finish. Fresh, harmonious and definitely for the long haul. (JL) 14.6%
Drink 2032– 2050
While the second wine (La Petit-Église q.v.) stole my heart with its precocity, elegance and sheer class, this Grand Vin is a very different proposition altogether. It has every single one of the attributes I seek out in a legendary wine. It is very possible that this might be one of the wines of the vintage (I am writing this note on the morning of day three of seven days of tasting)! Where do I start? It is hard to process this wine emotionally as it summons up memories of many of the greatest expressions of this noble estate and other monumental red Bordeaux of my life. While it employs a model Pomerol recipe, a darkness and intensity, presumably from the tiny berries in this vintage, have increased the power of the skin-derived components here. This is a life-altering wine with a stunning nose and a devastatingly delicious palate. The amplitude of flavour and length are both incredible, but they are controlled, marshalled, regimented and epically refreshing. Dynamic, vital, vibrant and enchanting, this is my idea of a perfect wine. I felt so moved when I left this tasting, knowing that I had been privileged to taste one of the very first samples of what will one day, I imagine, be regarded as a monumental wine. I am pretty sure that the Durantou Reilhac family sense the greatness in this wine, too, but they are far too modest to presume, and this decency underpins the integrity of this hallowed estate.