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. Drinking Window 2028 - 2040
A very compact and linear Lafite with a fantastic mouthfeel of intense but ever so refined tannins that draw a straight line through the middle of the wine. It’s full-bodied yet compact with complex character of plums, blackcurrants, cigar tobacco, cedar and hints of hazelnuts and coffee. Salty. Orange zest at the end. Delicacy with power. Richness with softness. Glamorous. Lasts for minutes at the finish.
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc; 70% new oak. Barrel sample. Black core with purple rim. Pure cassis fruit on the nose and a touch of vanilla but quite introverted still though it opens up in the glass. There's more finesse here than in the Petite Église but there's so much sweet charry oak on the palate it is a bit overwhelming. Thick and chewy on the finish. Very rich but could be more elegant. Second sample from the same barrique taken the same day: still dense but with a little more freshness and the tannins are finer, the oak less intrusive. Not sure how it will age and have given perhaps optimistic drink dates. (JH) 14.5% Drink 2024-2033
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.