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L'Eglise Clinet 2020

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > Pomerol
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Franc

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


Tasting Notes

The 2020 L'Eglise-Clinet, made from 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, is deep garnet-purple in color. It opens with wonderfully fragrant notes of violets, dark chocolate, aniseed, and forest floor, leading to a core of preserved plums and black cherry preserves, plus a touch of cast-iron pan. The medium to full-bodied palate explodes with tons of juicy black fruit layers, supported by velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with a whole array of baking spice, black berry, and minerally accents.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, March 2023

The 2020 L'Eglise-Clinet takes time to open up in the glass, so I afford it 15-20 minutes to aerate. It's definitely worth a bit of patience. It delivers exquisite, ineffably pure aromas of black fruit, pressed violet, hints of marmalade and truffle. Amazing focus and precision. The palate is medium-bodied with finely-chiseled tannins, crisp and taut, just a very slight creaminess in terms of texture towards the second half with a long, peppery tail on the aftertaste. This is a quite fabulous Pomerol that will give 20+ years of drinking pleasure. Noemie Durantou feels this has more depth than the 2019 and she may well be right… Drink 2029-2055.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2023

A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 L'Eglise Clinet wafts from the glass with aromas of dark berries, mulberries, cherries and cassis mingled with notions of espresso roast, loamy soil, violets and truffle framed by creamy new oak. Full-bodied, layered and concentrated, it's a rich, youthfully firm, muscularly constructed young Pomerol that will richly reward bottle age. 2030 - 2065

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, April 2023

Tasted blind at the Southwold Group tasting. Saturated purple colour. A powerful, impressive nose that has an almost left bank sense to it, dark with blackcurrant and cedar, brambly and expansive with a toasty, meaty lick of wood spice. The palate is hugely impressive, richly structured with surprisingly fine-grained and ripe tannins. Very seductive in fruit and expansive with air, there is such potential here. Savoury despite the powerful fruit core. A profound wine that needs at least a decade. Getting better and better in the glass, this is outstanding, powerful yet measured. Contender for wine of the vintage.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners (Southwold), February 2024

A linear and transparent red with violets and dark fruits with sliced tangerines. Full- to medium-bodied with firm and racy tannins. Brightness and energy. Hints of chocolate and malted milk. Lovely purity to it. Drink after 2026 and onwards.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2023

So much depth, character and density. Hugely rich in its dark damson, bilberry and chocolate character, sliced off pieces of dark slate, pummice stone and crushed rock. Hard not to smile at the pleasure contained in this bottle. It is both very much rooted in Pomerol and yet not at all Pomerol, both brooding and fabulous. Secure your bottle. 50% new oak, harvest September 9 to 16.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, February 2023

The 2020 is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc that will be aged in 80% new oak. The Merlot was harvested between 11th and 14th September, and Cabernet Franc on 16th September. Deep purple colour. The nose is dense and brooding at first. With air, this reveals layer upon layer of blue and black fruit, cedar, vanilla and game. The palate is full bodied and impressive, the ripe Merlot fruit bringing a fleshy, full complement of cherries, plums and blackberries. There is superb cut from a cedary, graphite note and bright acidity to cut through the flesh. The tannins, though mouthcoating, are ripe and very fine, adding to the moreish nature of the fruit. The finish is intense and vibrant, with persistent structure confirming a superb potential to age.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2021

90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Dense and profound, the fruit savoury and pure. Profuse on attack, the fruit bursting on the palate with layered, fine-grain tannins in support. Purity and precision, the detail spot-on, the tannins of the finest weave. Great potential. (JL) 14.4%
Drink 2028 – 2045

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2021

(90% M, 10% CF; 14.4% ABV; 80% new)
Dense, fine, and scented to smell, freshly black-fruit ripe, subtle and persistent; rich, fairly full, fresh to lively, very finely tannic, a lovely restrained yet ample balance; deep, subtly oakily sweet, a dark ripe fruit, creamy and fresh at once, very long across the palate, very long to finish; aromatic and complex, effortlessly graceful, refined and complete. There is more structure here than in the Petite Eglise, less immediate charm, but there is a superb fruit core and wonderful scope. A beautiful expression of the terroir and of the year. 2032–50+.

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine, May 2021
Read more tasting notes...

The 2020 l’Eglise-Clinet is very deep in color. It has an intense nose featuring blackberry, wild strawberry, touches of Japanese nori and light basalt aromas, gaining in intensity and clarity over the 60 minutes I spent analyzing the sample. The palate has exquisite balance and a silver bead of acidity that slices through the pure black fruit with effortless ease. This is a very harmonious and focused L’Eglise-Clinet, and as always, it is not an immediately crowd-pleasing Pomerol. You have to sit with it and examine its facets, including those that require unlocking with aeration. There is wonderful salinity on the finish, and awe-inspiring persistence. A magnificent testament to a great winemaker. 2029 - 2055

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2021

Wonderfully bright, floral aromas with so much violet character. Such purity and focus. Ethereal on the nose already. Full-bodied, but very polished and deep with finesse and beauty. Incredible structure that fills the mouth.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2021

The 2020 L'Eglise Clinet is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The Merlot was picked between the 11th and the 14th of September, and the Cabernet Franc was picked on the 16th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.4% and is aging in French oak barrels, 80% new. Displaying and opaque purple-black color, it needs a bit of swirling to reveal a fascinating array of earthy notes—black truffles, charcoal, mossy tree bark and fallen leaves—over a profound core of preserved plums, blackberry preserves and violets, with a waft of tapenade. The medium to full-bodied palate has exquisitely ripe tannins and bold freshness supporting the seductively ripe, black fruit layers, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, May 2021

Noémie Durantou has taken over from her late father Denis with this vintage, and has produced a L'Eglise Clinet that is dark ruby in colour, and needs time in the glass as it is built and muscular. You need a little patience for the cassis, bilberry and raspberry fruits to arrange, enjoy instead the silky, velvety texture that stops the tannins being too restrictive and allows the palate to slowly expand. Not as expressive as in some vintages, but still exudes quiet confidence. A yield of 42hl/ha. Harvest from September 8.

Drinking Window 2029 - 2050

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2021
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.