En Primeur 2022 New Release: Château Clinet, Château Gruaud Larose, Cos d’Estournel

Bordeaux Index

14 June 2023

Breaking the mould is the Clinet way.

Today we are delighted to see the release of one of our favourite Pomerols – the stunning 2022 Clinet.

Scored within the upper tiers of Pomerol but at a most alluring price, this incredibly seductive and yet cerebral Clinet is a must-have for those looking to explore the majesty of Pomerol in this vintage.

“The 2022 Château Clinet showed beautifully, with an almost Médoc-like style in its darker cassis, graphite, cedar pencil, and tobacco aromas and flavors.” - Jeb Dunnuck

Owners Ronan and Monique Laborde have never shied from doing things their own way, with a sense of style and personality. Starting out very young at the property, Ronan took some time to develop his craft and as each year passes his respect for, and understanding of, the vineyard and its origins increases – bringing us to today, where a truly epic, voluptuous, impactful, and yet utterly classy Clinet has been delivered. There is fully 20% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend this year, giving structure and precision to the blend which is dominated by phenomenally fresh but intensely ripe Merlot. It was the earliest harvest ever seen at the estate, with picking start on the 6th September – a full two weeks earlier than normal. What we love about this estate is the way it channels the vintage with absolute authenticity; it is a dream for collectors and enthusiasts who can travel back in time to experience every vintage simply by pulling the cork.

One of the most sought-after wines from the appellation, the 2022 is a powerful wine but remains extremely classy and will repay a few years of careful cellaring.

The critics love this wine with some fabulous scores and notes across the board:

“This is a wonderfully decadent wine that will be very long-lived but will require some patience.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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A new chapter for Gruaud

Château Gruaud Larose stands out in our memory of our week in Bordeaux at the end of April. Not only was it our first visit of the itinerary and therefore our first taste of the 2022 vintage, at 9am on a beautifully blue-skied Monday morning, but it was one of the greatest Gruauds we have ever tasted En Primeur…

The fruits of more than two decades of hard labour are now being harvested. Since 1998, the château has replanted more than 50% of the vineyard, with a real focus on the right vine on the right rootstock on the right terroir, and now – after 15 years of working organically – the wine will carry organic certification from the 2022 vintage. A new label (featuring two storks) celebrates this achievement.

Those of you who, like us, have had the good fortune to taste the brilliant 2009, 2000, 1986, or even 1982, will know just how good this estate can be, so we were thrilled to taste the 2022 and be reminded of these epic vintages. And when Neal Martin exclaims that he “cannot remember a Gruaud at this nascent stage that exhibits this level of energy and tension”, you know the estate is on to something!

“Richer and more brooding than its 2020 and 2019 counterparts, it confirms Gruaud's return to the Saint-Julien élite.” - William Kelley

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Cos d’Estournel has been on a remarkable roll for over a decade now

– and the new 2022 vintage extends this winning streak, with two potential 100pt scores from Jeb Dunnuck and Jeff Leve, and as close to 100pts as you can get with a potential 99+pts from Lisa Perrotti-Brown.

From its peak high up on the St-Estèphe escarpment, it is the southernmost property in the appellation, looking down onto Lafite at the north end of Pauillac. Cos d’Estournel’s mystical eastern-inspired Château has always produced wines of exoticism and flair, power and precision. But that precision is becoming more and more focused. Since 2008, the first vintage in their state-of-the-art new winery – based on the laws of gravity, complete with four vats housed in glass lifts, removing the need for pumping the wine – there has been a notable shift in style towards a much more finessed and compact tannin structure. The 2022 vintage reflects this direction. Despite the heat of the vintage, and the inevitable power of the wine, we were impressed by its vivid freshness and fine-grained tannins, purity and length. Stony and smoky and perfumed, the wine showed a subtlety and an exquisite detail which was captivating. Another year, another phenomenal Cos.

“The 2022 Cos d’Estournel is stunning. Rich and statuesque in bearing, the 2022 captures all the best this vintage had to offer.” - Antonio Galloni

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