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L'Eglise Clinet 2021

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.

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Tasting Notes

The 2021 L'Eglise Clinet is one of the more muscular, powerful wines of the vintage, unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries, incense, licorice, spices and toasty new oak. Medium to full-bodied, with a broad attack that segues into a mid-palate framed by ripe, powdery, richly extracted tannins, it's a dense, youthfully introverted Pomerol that's defined more by its terroir and winemaking than it is by the vintage. Drink 2027-2051.

William Kelley, RobertParker.com, February 2024

The 2021 L'Eglise-Clinet is a wine that I gave five to ten minutes to open in the glass. It is worth being patient, as it responds with gorgeous black cherries, blueberry and violet scents, hints of crushed stone and a subtle marine element emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with blackberry, boysenberry, oyster shell and blood orange. Very harmonious and almost Lafleur-like in style (no surprise given their proximity, though less Cabernet Franc in the blend here) with a persistent finish, this is a contender for Right Bank of the vintage, perhaps even the best Bordeaux from both Banks. 2029-2060

Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2024

The 2021 is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, harvested between 27th and 29th September. 14% abv, raised in 75% new French oak. This is a superb Eglise Clinet that is one of the very best in 2021. Deep, saturated purple colour in the glass. Oily black cherry, fresh blackcurrant and espresso mingle with a hint of dark chocolate on the nose. The palate enjoys a richness that few wines manage; plump and round in the middle and coated with ripe, rich and grippy tannins. The extra hit of Cabernet Franc adds a layer of graphite but the fruit is prominent and builds through to the finish. Long, structured and deep, this is a vin de garde that will need time to unfurl in the bottle, but will greatly reward those with patience.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, April 2022

Medium-bodied with very fine-textured tannins. Delicious sweet and salty and mineral character. Blackberries, violets, cloves and dark olives. Peaches, too. All focused, fresh and in balance. Long, seamless finish. 85% merlot and 15% cabernet franc.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2022

Carved, precise and energetic, I described this as intellectual during En Primeur, and I stand by that assessment now. Waves of cloves and liqourice root, fine tannins, blueberry, redcurrant, tobacco, red rose petals, blackberry, mandarin zest, slate minerality. This can be approached earlier than many L'Eglise Clinet, maybe 7 or 8 years after harvest, but it will still be revealing new facets after 15 or 20 years. Harvest September 27 to 29, no chaptilisation, 75% new oak.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, March 2024

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Busy and complex with dark fruit, camphor and spice notes. Juicy fruit and a real concentration of velvety tannin. Honed and long with plenty of freshness. Well constructed from beginning to end. (JL) 14%
Drink 2030 – 2045

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2022
Read more tasting notes...

A deep, serious wine, the 2021 L'Eglise Clinet unwinds in the glass with notions of wild berries and plums mingled with dark chocolate, sweet loamy soil, warm spices, violets and black truffle. Full-bodied, concentrated and muscular, it's rich and layered, with a concentrated core of fruit, lively acids and plenty of ripe, powdery tannin that nods to its origins in a sector of Pomerol capable of producing some of the appellation's most structured, long-lived wines. It's a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (260), April 2022

The 2021 L'Eglise-Clinet was picked September 27–29, a rapid harvest within three days; winemaker Noëmie Durantou told me she wanted to beat the forecasted rain that would have diluted the fruit. Raised in 75% new oak, this has a less concentrated, mineral-driven bouquet that bides its time, offering nuanced pine cone scents with aeration. The palate is clearly built around elegance, with its finely chiseled tannins and wonderful crushed stone notes. Perhaps a more streamlined l'Eglise-Clinet, showing wonderful precision. This Pomerol never tries to outdo its limitations or ape previous vintages, lending it an intangible sense of honesty. Beautiful. (14.0% alcohol)

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2022

Rich and precise on the nose, and here you see why austerity in tannic structure can be a rather beautiful attribute - carved, careful, precise, coming through as energy and potential rather than forbidding. Not as dense as the 2018 or 2019, think instead of the intellectual 2017 but with more depth to the tannins. Blueberry, bilberry, loganberry, violet flowers, slate, earth, mandarin zest and incense. Harvest September 27 to 29, no chaptilisation, 75% new oak.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, April 2022
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.