Chateau Clinet, the leading Pomerol Estate has released this morning for £776 per case of 12 or £388 per case of six. This is a 12% increase on the 2017 release price of £690 per case of 12 and a 10.2% discount to 2016. The 2018 vintage is one of their finest ever, producing a wine of stunning complexity and power. In 2018 the water retentive, clay rich soils of Pomerol did their job and while Merlot in particular was subjected to intense sunshine, it created stunning wines. Harvested fully ripe, it gives Pomerol a harmony of floral notes, power and immense richness. This is certainly the case at Clinet, which has been awarded 96-99 from Jeb Dunnuck who says, ‘It’s going to be hard to resist on release and knock your socks off over the following two decades or more’. It has been awarded 94-96+ from Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate.
These scores give it a Price Over Points ratio (POP) of 51 which suggests it offers excellent value on release. Indeed, these scores give Clinet 2018 the potential to reach the heights of the 2015 and 2016, which were both awarded 97 from bottle and trade at £950 and £890 respectively. The 2010 which has been awarded 96+ trades at £1,040 per case of six and the 96 scoring 2005 trades at £1,100. As the table below suggests, there is plenty of upside. Overall, Clinet offers remarkably good value for a leading Pomerol Estate at £64 per bottle, considerably less than its closest peers. If you love Pomerol, Clinet must be a perennial stock filler and the 2018 is a knockout wine.
Chateau Clinet is a Pomerol estate that has been on the ascent over the last two decades. It boasts a 9 hectare vineyard sited on the finest plateaux. It has a very special parcel of vines known as ‘La Grand Vigne’, which constitutes its best terroir and some of the oldest Merlot vines in Pomerol, planted in 1934. The vineyards closest neighbours are L’Eglise Clinet and Trotanoy, with their more gravel-dominant terroir which is close to Lafleur and Petrus. In fact, Chateau Clinet is one of the oldest vineyards in Pomerol, with old maps exhumed by the estate demonstrating that vines were planted in 1785. From this point it was then owned by the Constant family, who passed it to the Arnaud family, also the owners of Petrus. In the 1980s Jean-Michael Arcaute married the daughter of Clinet’s owner George Audy, which sparked a new era. By 1986 they had Michael Rolland engaged as an oenologist, which in turn brought about later harvesting, focus on fruit ripeness, hand harvesting and extra new oak use, up to 100%. It was not long before Clinet began drawing strong comparisons with Petrus, Lafleur and Le Pin.
In 1998 the Estate was purchased by Jean-Louis Laborde. In 2004 following the tragic death of Jean-Michel Arcaute, the winemaking was passed to Jean-Louis’ son, Ronan Laborde, who replanted much of the estate, increasing yields and the density of planting. He has reduced the new oak use to 60% and Clinet has reached unprecedented levels, with some of the highest scores in Pomerol and a perfect 100 points in 2009. It is known for its power and seductive notes, the 2018 embodies this with its powerful succulent fruits, which open up in a kaleidoscope of flavours.