One of Pomerol’s topnotch estates, l’Eglise Clinet is run with impeccable attention to detail, both in the vineyard and cellar, by proprietor Denis Durantou. It is typically a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc from a 40-year-old vineyard on the Pomerol plateau. During the torrid heat and drought of 2003, much of Pomerol was scorched, and producers whose vineyards were planted in gravel/sandy soils were forced to harvest prematurely. L’Eglise-Clinet, which had the earliest harvest in its history, has produced a light, but elegant, charming 2003 displaying plenty of sweet cherry fruit, and hints of raspberries, licorice, and new oak. While it possesses little depth, it is a medium-bodied, charmingly superficial effort to drink over the next 7-10 years.
|Score: 88||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006|
|Score: 86/88||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (158), April 2005|
Tasted on three separate occasions, l’Eglise-Clinet’s 2003 was disappointing at each tasting. It reveals an impressive deep ruby/purple-tinged color, but hard, astringent, tough-textured flavors that display a lack of flesh, charm, and depth. There is a big hole in the middle of this effort, and I am not sure it is going to fill in. Obviously, this sector of Pomerol was badly impacted by the summer’s extreme heat and drought, which ended too late to help many of these estates. This is a very traditional vinification, and I do not want to sound too severe, but this is one of the more disappointing efforts from the talented Denis Durantou over the last two decades. I hope I am wrong on this one.
|Score: 84/86||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (152), April 2004|
The 2003 l’Eglise-Clinet is one of the standout Pomerols from what was a very challenging growing season for the appellation. Perversely, when juxtaposing bottle and magnum on one occasion, I preferred the former. It offers luscious black cherries, red plum and pot-pourri on the nose that disguises the heat of that summer. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine line of acidity, lightly spiced with traits of cumin that I discerned previously, leading to a rather decadent but irresistible finish. Superb.
|Score: 93||Neal Martin, vinous.com, July 2019|
|Score: 92/94||James Suckling, Wine Spectator (April 04), April 2004|
Extremely deep crimson. Licorice and other spices on the nose. Wonderfully exotic without being over the top. Great life here with a nice little undertow of quite severe oak to keep it from flab. Exciting, lively but not too sweet. Just in balance. Tar and licorice. Interesting and really lively!
|Score: 18.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 04), April 2004|
|Score: 15.5||Farr Vintners, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2007|
|Score: 16.5/17||Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (1), April 2004|