Chateau Clinet   Clinet

1996 Clinet

By Chateau Clinet

1996 Clinet from Chateau Clinet, Pomerol, Bordeaux

A vintage as esteemed as the 1996 Clinet from Chateau Clinet commands reverent contemplation for its place within the dynamic tapestry of Bordeaux’s Pomerol wines. It sits amongst a lineage that is marked by the profound influence of both season and soil, a tribute to the harmony of nature and nurture.


Distinguishing a Notable Vintage: Investment-Worthy Qualities

The 1996 vintage captivates with a character uniquely chiselled by the year's climatic elegance. Chateau Clinet delivered an expression that balances acute precision with indulgent richness; a Pomerol display unearthing a kaleidoscope of terroir-driven nuances. Its investment potential shines through its ability to gracefully shoulder the passage of time, emerging with an ever-growing complexity—structured, refined, and teeming with promise.


The Essence of '96: A Sensorial Journey

An intricate interplay between the vintage's quintessential ripeness and an underpinning acidity has allowed the 1996 Clinet to soar with graceful poise. The Pomerol terroir, renowned for its iron-dense clay and gravel, bestows upon each bottle a plush tapestry of dark fruits muddled with hints of tobacco and earthy truffle—a signature whisper of the region’s hallmark Merlot predominance.

This particular year delivered a moderated ripeness which aligned seamlessly with firm tannins to age with exceptional integrity. The 1996 Clinet thus reveals its dimensions sip by sip: bold yet bewitchingly humble, quietly articulating Pomerol's timeless narrative.

In sum, exploring the 1996 vintage is to explore a facet of Chateau Clinet that typifies investment wisdom—a paramount choice for those seeking to blend passion with prudence in the fine wine arena. Its remarkable alignment of climatic serendipity with Pomerol’s distinctive embrace makes for an illustrious addition to any connoisseur’s collection. With each passing year, the 1996 Clinet burnishes its stature within the archives of Bordeaux’s viticultural excellence, reaffirming its position as one of life’s fine pleasures worth imbibing and investing in.

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POP score


Scores and tasting notes


This is a backward, muscular, highly-extracted wine with a boatload of tannin, thus the question mark. The saturated plum/purple color is followed by an aggressively oaky nose with scents of roasted coffee, blackberries, and prunes. It is somewhat of a freak for a 1996 Pomerol given its richness, intensity, and overripe style. Medium-bodied and powerful, but extremely closed, and in need of 5-7 years of cellaring, it will be interesting to follow this wine's evolution to determine if the tannin fully integrates itself into the wine's concentrated style. If not, it will have a slight rusticity to its tannin and structure. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020. I sense this wine will be much more controversial than I had anticipated.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #122 April 1999


Served from an ex-chateau double magnum, the 1996 Clinet has a mature nose even in this larger format with blackberry and raspberry fruit, perhaps a little more animally than I recall other examples (just a little brettanomyces perchance?) The palate is full-bodied with firm tannins, thickly layered black fruit, mint and sage. I actually prefer the bottle served at the vertical two years ago as this seemed a little frayed and bucolic on the finish. Still, this is a pleasurable wine, albeit no match compared to recent successes. Tasted May 2013.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jul 2013


The 1996 Clinet, a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, was bottled a few days after Ronan Laborde's father took over the château in March 1999, spending 21 months in new oak barrels and five months in stainless steel. There was some funkiness at first, but it seems to gain a degree of clarity: scents of smudged red fruit, undergrowth, fennel and thyme, fully mature yet somehow speaking more of the winery than the terroir. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a pleasant salinity on the entry, quite structured and not the usual voluptuous Clinet, as you would expect from this vintage. It is linear and perhaps a little broody, a slightly candied finish but rustic compared to other vintages, something that Robert Parker actually suggested might happen in one of his earlier notes. Comparing the two, I actually prefer the 1986 Clinet to the 1996. Tasted September 2016.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 October 2016

Vintage performance