With a history going back to 1975, Clinet is one of the oldest vineyards in Pomerol. Situated close to Lafleur and Pétrus, it’s 11 hectares is planted to 88% Merlot, 11.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 0.5% Cabernet Franc. And while Jean Michel Arcaute (who died suddenly 2001) and Michel Roland took Client to new heights in the 1990s harvesting later and using 100% new oak, it's been under the direction of Ronan Laborde (whose family purchased Client in 1998) that through new high-density plantings and reducing the amount of new oak, Clinet has become even more complex and concentrated.
The greatest Clinet since the incredible duo produced by the late Jean-Michel Arcaute in 1989 and 1990, the 2009 (tasted on 4 separate occasions) was off the charts in terms of quality and potential. Yields of 47 hectoliters per hectare were not particularly low, and the fruit used in the final blend (87% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon; 14% natural alcohol) was all harvested between September 21 and October 7. The wine boasts an opaque black/purple color in addition to a gorgeous bouquet of truffles, charcoal, asphalt, blackberries, blueberries, and meaty, smoky notes. This dense, unctuously-textured Pomerol is built like a skyscraper with multiple layers, sweet tannins, and enormous concentration as well as length. The good news is there will be 4,000 cases of this modern day legend in the making. It should drink well for 30-35 years. While it’s hard to eclipse a 100-point wine (1989), the 2009 appears to be the finest Clinet has ever made. 97-100/100 Robert Parker Jr.
Blackberry and mineral aromas, with flowers. Full-bodied, but reserved and supersilky and pretty. This is the bomb. Forget the 1989. 95-98/100 Wine Spectator
Pomerol, on the Right Bank of Bordeaux’s Gironde River, produces some of the world’s most sought-after wines, including those from such storied properties as Chateau Petrus. Yet Pomerol, the smallest of the fine-wine-producing districts of Bordeaux, offers no Grand Cru or Premier Cru wines: It’s the most significant Bordeaux appellation not included in any quality ranking. At the time of the historic 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, Right Bank chateaux were considered remote and difficult to travel to, and so were ignored by the merchants who created the classification. (St. Émilion, a notable neighbour on the Right Bank, created its own classification system in 1954.)
Pomerol has managed to do quite well without this form of validation. Pomerol’s predominantly clay soil is ideally suited for Merlot, the primary grape used in the appellation. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are also included in Pomerol’s blended red wines. The wines of Pomerol are lush and rich, and generally not as tannic as the Cabernet-based wines of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. Although Pomerol’s very best wines are capable of aging for decades, most are made for immediate consumption. These Merlot-based wines are known for their lush texture, elegance and grace, as well as the softer tannins they offer in comparison to the Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made elsewhere in Bordeaux.