Highest rated vintages for Clinet
Clinet has been on a hot streak lately and the 2009 appears to be the greatest wine ever made at the estate, surpassing even the late Jean-Michel Arcaute’s monumental 1989. A blend of 85% Merlot and tiny amounts of Cabernet Franc (12%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (3%), this big Pomerol boasts an opaque, moonless night inky/blue/purple color in addition to a gorgeous perfume of blueberry pie, incense, truffles, black raspberries, licorice and wood smoke. Viscous and multi-dimensional with silky, sweet tannin, massive fruit concentration and full-bodied power, there are nearly 4,000 cases of this thick, juicy, perfect Clinet. It should drink well in 3-5 years and keep for 25-30.
One of the great modern-day Bordeaux, the 1989 Clinet still has a saturated purple color and a sweet nose of creme de cassis intermixed with incense, licorice, smoke, and mineral. As the wine sits in the glass, more blueberry and blackberry notes emerge, intermixed with some toasty oak, earth, and spice. This spectacularly concentrated, full-bodied, multi-dimensional wine is the stuff of dreams. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025. Last tasted, 10/02
A sensational effort, and one of the two finest Clinets made before the 2008, this prodigious wine made by the late Jean-Michel Arcaute has always been a sprinter out of the gate. Even at age 19, it continues to strut its stuff. A dense blue/garnet/purple hue exhibits slight lightening at the edge, and the gorgeous nose offers up aromas of sweet blueberries, licorice, smoke, acacia flowers, and camphor. Full-bodied with silky tannins, low acidity, and terrific purity, this 1990 has hit its plateau of full maturity where it should remain for another decade.Release price: ($425.00/case)
A spectacular success in this vintage, this blend of 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc achieved 15% natural alcohol. Sadly, there are only 3,400 cases primarily because of the small Merlot crop (yields were only 29 hectoliters per hectare). The wine’s opaque purple color is followed by an extraordinary bouquet of boysenberries, blueberries, black currants, licorice, truffles and a hint of asphalt. The wine possesses great intensity, a multidimensional mouthfeel, stunning glycerin and richness, and wonderful freshness as well as precision because of the vintage conditions. This massive Pomerol will age effortlessly for 30-35 years. Equaling what Clinet achieved in 1989 and 1990, it is the third successive great vintage for this estate.
Another extraordinary wine made in a backward vin de garde style, the 1995 Clinet represents the essence of Pomerol. The blackberry, cassis liqueur-like fruit of this wine is awesome. The color is saturated black/purple, and the wine extremely full-bodied and powerful with layers of glycerin-imbued fruit, massive richness, plenty of licorice, blackberry, and cassis flavors, full body, and a thick, unctuous texture. This is a dense, impressive offering from administrator Jean-Michel Arcaute. This wine should continue to improve for another 10-25 years. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025.
Clinet has produced a blockbuster wine, even in the lighter, less consistent vintage of 2011. It reveals a dense purple color as well as an abundance of black cherry, black currant and blackberry fruit intermixed with licorice, incense and a touch of camphor. Full-bodied, opulent and fleshy with a substantial finish, this showy, dramatic 2011 should drink well for 15-20 years. Brilliant!
Another resounding success for the vintage, the opaque purple-colored 2008 Clinet (14.4% alcohol) is composed of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Yields of 38 hectoliters per hectare, while higher than in 2010, were still modest. Another powerful, big, large-scaled effort, the 2008 exhibits an inky/purple color as well as sweet creme de cassis, blackberry, plum, Asian spice, licorice and incense notes. Layered and full-bodied with stunning purity and a 40+ second finish, this beauty needs 3-5 years of bottle age and should keep for 25-30 years.
Beautiful aromas of plums, soy, black currants, black raspberries, espresso, and spring flowers jump from the glass of this perfumed, dense plum/ruby/purple-tinged Pomerol. Medium to full-bodied and pure with sweet tannin and impressive extract, it will benefit from 2-3 more years of bottle age, and should last for an additional two decades.
Although hardly comparable to what Clinet achieved in both 2009 and 2010, the 2012 Clinet is another star of the vintage. A powerful, full-bodied, muscular Pomerol, it reveals a dense purple color in addition to lots of opulence, a layered, full-bodied richness (somewhat atypical for the vintage), beautiful density and plenty of mocha, black cherry, truffle and graphite notes. It is a surprisingly full yet accessible Clinet that will be drinkable long before the 2009 and 2010 hit their plateaus of maturity. Drink the 2012 over the next 15 years.
We haven't seen a Clinet this good since the late Jean-Michel Arcaute's stunning duo of 1989 and 1990. This dense ruby/purple-tinged, exotic 2005 boasts soaring aromas of roasted herbs, plums, black currants, and caramelized chocolate. Savory, broad, and expansive with sensational purity, intensity, and length, this beauty possesses so much fruit and glycerin that it nearly hides the substantial tannins. Although performing exceptionally well at present, I suspect it will close down once it is put in a cold cellar. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2030.