Pomerol sits on Bordeaux’s Right Bank, and in many ways lies in the shadows of the rest of Bordeaux. Yet, some of the finest wines of the world are made here, and for this dinner we will focus on Château L’Eglise-Clinet. Pomerol is small with just approximately 780 hectares under vine and is four kilometres by three. According to Stephen Brook in The Complete Bordeaux, for the most part when you drive through Pomerol you aren’t greeted by statement making Châteaux and architecture. Estates are rather modest in comparison to the rest of Bordeaux. There is no classification system in Pomerol, rather the consumer has come to know certain names as meaning quality. On the whole, Pomerol has a bit of mystique to it. Here Merlot is king with Cabernet Franc vines making up about 15% and Cabernet Sauvignon about 5% with other Bordeaux varietals in smaller proportions.
All but one (1967) of the wines in the line up reflect Denis' life's work, and he's been credited as one of the leading figures of his generation in Bordeaux. Sadly, he passed away last month at the age of 62. He has left a great hole in Bordeaux, and here are links to some wonderful articles about the impact Durantou had on Bordeaux. The Drinks Businness (18 May 2020 by Lucy Shaw) and Vinous (18 May 2020 by Neal Martin).
Château L’Eglise Clinet was established in 1882, so it has a long history in Bordeaux. The person who elevated the wines of this estate was Denis Durantou. He took over in 1983 with that being his first vintage. His ancestors created the estate in 1882, and prior to Durantou making the wine, it was made by Pierre Lasserre of Clos René under a sharecropping agreement. During this wine dinner we will taste one vintage made by Pierre Lasserre and then experience the evolution of L’Eglise Clinet under the leadership of Durantou. In an interview and tasting on 19 August 2011, Durantou said, ‘I think I began to produce great wines in 1985 with a new cellar, with younger vines and more experience.’ Piero Sini Youtube interview. Perhaps after the 1985 vintage, another big moment for the growth in popularity of this estate happened following Robert Parker’s award of a perfect 100-point score for the 2005 vintage. We will taste this vintage along with the 1998, another of the standouts from this estate as well as the 2010. Durantou described this vintage as representing a new balance in the wine. He explained that he was concerned that with global warming they would produce the same wine each year. But, he said that’s not the case as they have experienced vintage changes and distinct wines from 2000 forward. Sini interview.
So, come join us on 9th July at La Rambla to take in your own impressions of the wines of this estate over the years.