The 2018 Clinet is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for approximately 16 months in French oak barriques, 75% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose is locked down tight at first sniff, requiring a good amount of air to begin to reveal profound notions of stewed black plums, mulberries and black cherry compote, plus hints of black truffles, damp soil, tobacco leaf and chargrill with an emerging waft of cedar. The full-bodied palate is a full-on volcano of black fruit and molten rock waiting to erupt, with a solid frame of firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing with amazing length. There is a lot going on here, but it is a wine for the patient. Give it a good 5-7 years in bottle, at least, and drink it over the next 30+ years. LPB
The 2018 Clinet, which was cropped at 38hl/ha, has an exquisite bouquet of lavish black cherry and raspberry fruit, and still those bunches of violets I observed from barrel, flanked by potpourri. The aromatics are well defined and the new oak seamlessly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit. It has firmed up since I tasted in barrel, when I noted that it felt like a "muscular" Clinet in the making. That trait is emphasized in bottle, and those accustomed to the more hedonistic Clinets of yore might find it a tad more reserved and drier. But it is a style that suits it well. White pepper leaves the mouth tingling after it has departed, the fitting conclusion to a superb – dare I say cerebral? – Clinet that has a long and prosperous future.
This is a young red that really grows on the palate with so much dark fruit and firm yet luscious tannins. Full-bodied, it grows and grows on the palate. Extremely long and vivid. Solid as a rock. 15 per cent cabernet sauvignon, the rest merlot. - jamessuckling.com, April 2019
Black core, purple rim. Intense cassis, a touch minty, but also a slightly intrusive aroma that I think must come from the oak. For now at least, the tannins and the oak are pretty overwhelming thought I can detect lovely fruit underneath. Really chewy.Julia Harding, jancisrobinson.com, April 2019
The 2018 Clinet is a powerful, reticent wine that is going to need at least a few years in bottle to become approachable. Today, the tannins are especially forbidding, Inky dark red fruit, iron, cedar, mint, licorice and dried herbs give Clinet its signature profile marked by savory Cabernet Sauvignon aromas and flavors. This is a terrific showing from Clinet and proprietor Ronan Laborde.
Including slightly more Cabernet Sauvignon than usual, the 2018 Château Clinet is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon that was brought up in 75% new French oak. One of the superstars of the vintage, it has incredible elegance and finesse as well as gorgeous richness and depth. Notes of cassis and truffly dark fruits as well as tobacco, damp earth, chocolate, and lead pencil shavings emerge from the glass, and it's full-bodied, with a seamless, multi-dimensional texture, gorgeous tannins, and a great, great finish. It already offers incredible pleasure, but it won't hit maturity for another 5-7 years and should evolve for 30 years or more. This magical wine is in the same league as the 2015 and 2016, and drinking these beauties over the coming decades will be an incredible treat.
Closed and coiled right now, with ripped layers of fruit. A ton of graphite, bitter dark chocolate and finessed berry fruits. Definitely need to give this time and respect its muscular from. A seriously impressive Clinet that has held its form over ageing.
Tasted by Jane Anson (at Bordeaux, 10 Nov 2020)
Part of Bordeaux 2018 in bottle: full overview plus top scoring wines
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