Chateau Clinet 2020 Pomerol, Bordeaux
“94 points. The 2020 Clinet offers up aromas of minty cherries, blackberries and cassis mingled with hints of licorice, loamy soil and rose petals. Full-bodied, broad and rich, with a layered mid-palate underpinned by powdery tannins that assert themselves on the youthfully firm finish, it's impressively balanced for a wine at 15% alcohol, but it remains a rather burly, powerful Clinet.
Ronan Laborde is producing the best wines of his career at this Pomerol reference point. Planted with some 80% Merlot, but before phylloxera, Cabernet Sauvignon was widely planted in this sector. Now, Laborde is replacing Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon (he retains a parcel of old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon dating back to 1950). In the winery, Laborde now employs small stainless steel tanks that permit parcel-by-parcel vinification, and a vertical press has been the order of the day since as long ago as 2001. What's really evolved in recent years is the barrel program. Oak is long-seasoned (4-5 years), and some large formats have joined the classic 225-liter barriques. But above all, lighter, less impactful toasts are now chosen, meaning Clinet's 80% new oak is much more discreet in its aromatic and textural contribution than was the case a decade ago. The 2020 is a big, powerful wine, but it holds it together.”--William Kelley, RobertParker.com