|Annual Production (Grand Vin)||3,000 cases|
|Second Wine||Fleur de Clinet|
|Interesting Fact||Ronan Laborde took control at the tender age of 23 - with no previous experience in estate management - and has achieved a stunning average score of 93.3-points (RPJ) for his 8 vintages since.|
The Clinet story is one of an estate highly regarded in the early 19th Century, that fell from grace only to rise phoenix-like at the tail end of the 20th century. When Robert Parker Jr. awarded the 1989 and 1990 vintages a perfect score, the world sat up and took notice. Whilst Clinet certainly has not been affected by the same Far East buzz that has surrounded the Left Bank estates, there is an expectation that with increased diversification in buying trends, it is set to enjoy a stronger international following in the future.
Clinet is one of the most brand conscious estates on the right bank and will often make subtle changes to bottle or case design in order to stay relevant. Back in 2011 they chanced upon some unexpected product placement in the remake of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' where Daniel Craig enjoyed a bottle of the 2005 vintage over dinner.
Since Ronan Laborde took over the estate in the early 90's he has made a number of changes, most notably was the introduction of Ronan by Clinet (Rouge and Blanc). Amongst other developments to the estate and winemaking procedures, the annual turnover has increased from $2m up to $10m under his stewardship.
Whilst past vintages have not found overwhelming favour with critics, Clinet now seems to be on something of a roll. The 2009 is a strong contender for investment and has been heralded as the finest vintage that the estate has yet produced, better even than the 1989. It attained the coveted 100-point score from Robert Parker and, in response, prices almost doubled from £1,200 to around £2,100 per case. After a trio of beautiful performers in 2008, 2009 and 1010, Clinet is firmly on the radar as a consideration amongst the investor and collectors market each vintage.
Once a sister to Petrus, both chateaux having been owned by the Arnaud family, the Clinet Grand Vin used to command one of the healthiest prices on the Right Bank. Following a sale to the Constant family in the 1860s, the estate was repeatedly sold and passed on- with four owners in four decades. The wine undoubtedly suffered at the hands of such incongruous treatment and things did not improve substantially until 1979, when Clinet came into the hands of Jean-Michel Arcaute by marriage and its fortunes turned. Arcaute hired the esteemed consultant oenologist Michel Rolland to assist in restoring the wine produced on his land to its former glory and the improvements were noticeable by some very fine vintages as the 1980s drew to a close. Despite Arcaute’s success, Clinet did not remain his for long. In 1998 John-Louis Laborde took over, and it is his young son who now presides there, after working with Michel Rolland for a few years, Ronan Laborde decided to 'fly solo' so they now produce all their wines themselves without any additional support.
Chateau Clinet Pricing
Highest rated vintages for Chateau Clinet
Clinet has been on a hot streak lately and the 2009 appears to be the greatest wine ever made at the estate, surpassing even the late Jean-Michel Arcaute’s monumental 1989. A blend of 85% Merlot and tiny amounts of Cabernet Franc (12%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (3%), this big Pomerol boasts an opaque, moonless night inky/blue/purple color in addition to a gorgeous perfume of blueberry pie, incense, truffles, black raspberries, licorice and wood smoke. Viscous and multi-dimensional with silky, sweet tannin, massive fruit concentration and full-bodied power, there are nearly 4,000 cases of this thick, juicy, perfect Clinet. It should drink well in 3-5 years and keep for 25-30.
One of the great modern-day Bordeaux, the 1989 Clinet still has a saturated purple color and a sweet nose of creme de cassis intermixed with incense, licorice, smoke, and mineral. As the wine sits in the glass, more blueberry and blackberry notes emerge, intermixed with some toasty oak, earth, and spice. This spectacularly concentrated, full-bodied, multi-dimensional wine is the stuff of dreams. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025. Last tasted, 10/02
A sensational effort, and one of the two finest Clinets made before the 2008, this prodigious wine made by the late Jean-Michel Arcaute has always been a sprinter out of the gate. Even at age 19, it continues to strut its stuff. A dense blue/garnet/purple hue exhibits slight lightening at the edge, and the gorgeous nose offers up aromas of sweet blueberries, licorice, smoke, acacia flowers, and camphor. Full-bodied with silky tannins, low acidity, and terrific purity, this 1990 has hit its plateau of full maturity where it should remain for another decade.Release price: ($425.00/case)
A spectacular success in this vintage, this blend of 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc achieved 15% natural alcohol. Sadly, there are only 3,400 cases primarily because of the small Merlot crop (yields were only 29 hectoliters per hectare). The wine’s opaque purple color is followed by an extraordinary bouquet of boysenberries, blueberries, black currants, licorice, truffles and a hint of asphalt. The wine possesses great intensity, a multidimensional mouthfeel, stunning glycerin and richness, and wonderful freshness as well as precision because of the vintage conditions. This massive Pomerol will age effortlessly for 30-35 years. Equaling what Clinet achieved in 1989 and 1990, it is the third successive great vintage for this estate.
Another extraordinary wine made in a backward vin de garde style, the 1995 Clinet represents the essence of Pomerol. The blackberry, cassis liqueur-like fruit of this wine is awesome. The color is saturated black/purple, and the wine extremely full-bodied and powerful with layers of glycerin-imbued fruit, massive richness, plenty of licorice, blackberry, and cassis flavors, full body, and a thick, unctuous texture. This is a dense, impressive offering from administrator Jean-Michel Arcaute. This wine should continue to improve for another 10-25 years. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025.
Clinet has produced a blockbuster wine, even in the lighter, less consistent vintage of 2011. It reveals a dense purple color as well as an abundance of black cherry, black currant and blackberry fruit intermixed with licorice, incense and a touch of camphor. Full-bodied, opulent and fleshy with a substantial finish, this showy, dramatic 2011 should drink well for 15-20 years. Brilliant!
Another resounding success for the vintage, the opaque purple-colored 2008 Clinet (14.4% alcohol) is composed of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Yields of 38 hectoliters per hectare, while higher than in 2010, were still modest. Another powerful, big, large-scaled effort, the 2008 exhibits an inky/purple color as well as sweet creme de cassis, blackberry, plum, Asian spice, licorice and incense notes. Layered and full-bodied with stunning purity and a 40+ second finish, this beauty needs 3-5 years of bottle age and should keep for 25-30 years.
Beautiful aromas of plums, soy, black currants, black raspberries, espresso, and spring flowers jump from the glass of this perfumed, dense plum/ruby/purple-tinged Pomerol. Medium to full-bodied and pure with sweet tannin and impressive extract, it will benefit from 2-3 more years of bottle age, and should last for an additional two decades.
Although hardly comparable to what Clinet achieved in both 2009 and 2010, the 2012 Clinet is another star of the vintage. A powerful, full-bodied, muscular Pomerol, it reveals a dense purple color in addition to lots of opulence, a layered, full-bodied richness (somewhat atypical for the vintage), beautiful density and plenty of mocha, black cherry, truffle and graphite notes. It is a surprisingly full yet accessible Clinet that will be drinkable long before the 2009 and 2010 hit their plateaus of maturity. Drink the 2012 over the next 15 years.
We haven't seen a Clinet this good since the late Jean-Michel Arcaute's stunning duo of 1989 and 1990. This dense ruby/purple-tinged, exotic 2005 boasts soaring aromas of roasted herbs, plums, black currants, and caramelized chocolate. Savory, broad, and expansive with sensational purity, intensity, and length, this beauty possesses so much fruit and glycerin that it nearly hides the substantial tannins. Although performing exceptionally well at present, I suspect it will close down once it is put in a cold cellar. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2030.