Maintaining freshness in the wine was a priority for Denis Durantou at L’Eglise Clinet. “The pH developed quite quickly,” he said. “We had to test it every day; we had made a conscious decision to pick before it got too high. At a maximum of 3.7 pH, we pick. As soon as we have an evolution—a flavor change—we decide to pick.” Merlot was picked September 18-26 and Cabernet Franc on September 28. The resulting wine has a 3.63 pH and 14.5% alcohol and will be aged in 70% new barriques. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 L'Eglise Clinet is deep purple-black in color and opens with beguiling truffles, forest floor, mossy bark and black tea scents, slowly unfurling to reveal a core of Black Forest cake, plum preserves, licorice and candied violets plus wafts of tar and cast iron pan. Full-bodied, concentrated and jam-packed with muscular fruit, the velvety-textured palate delivers layer upon layer of savory and earthy accents, finishing with a lingering mineral lift.
This is rich, with layers upon layers of black chocolate, ripe fleshy blackberries and raspberries tempered by acidity and tannins that support, pushing the entire palate slowly onwards and upwards. It has all the generosity of the vintage but tempered with Durantou's amazing ability to sculpt freshness out of the fruit his vineyards deliver. It’s immensely seductive and powerful with more evident flesh than the 2016 – a wine that’s going to run and run.
This is incredibly powerful with fantastic depth and length. It goes on for minutes. Full-bodied yet so tight and intense. Blackberries and hints of spice. It has such energy and persistence. It is a wine that makes you really reflect. Bravo. Tiny production.
The 2018 L'Eglise-Clinet is a powerful, tightly wound wine. In fact, it is one of the most reticent Pomerols I tasted, which makes it hard to evaluate today but probably bodes extremely well for the future. Dark and brooding in the glass, the 2018 has too much to offer. A wine of real gravitas and power, the 2018 is likely to need the better part of the next decade to open up, and even that probably won't be enough. Spice, leather, lavender, rose petal and tobacco gradually develop in the glass, but what really comes through is the sheer depth and intensity of the year.
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