Clos du Clocher 2016
Clos du Clocher is a hidden gem in Pomerol. It was first acquired in 1924 by Jean Baptiste Audy, a negociant in nearby Libourne. In the decades that followed, the Audy family added more plots of land to their holdings. The estate is currently managed by Jean Baptiste Audy’s descendant, Jean Baptiste Bourotte.
Pomerol is a tight-knit and compact village on the Right Bank. The namesake appellation is the smallest in Bordeaux. Unlike other appellations, there has been little chance for extension or expansion in Pomerol. That is partly to explain why Pomerol produces some of Bordeaux’s most expensive wine (Pétrus, Le Pin, to name two). It has a minuscule 800 hectares and 135 growers. The village does not have a traditional center, nor any magnificent chateaux. The only landmark is the church on the plateau. Hence many estates in Pomerol are named with references to eglise (the church) and clocher (the bell tower). Paradoxically, Pomerol produces some of Bordeaux's most expensive wine.
The highest quality plots are on the Pomerol plateau, a largely flat area 35-37 metres high in altitude. The owner of Petrus, Moueix family, defines any land above 30 metres as “high plateau”, which is the most sought-after plots in Pomerol. That is where Clos du Clocher’s largest plot is found. It is located by the church, which is the center of the prime plateau of Pomerol. Neighboring estates include Hosanna, Vieux Chateau Certan. Clos du Clocher’s other sizeable land holding is located next to Château Trotanoy.
Blue clay, the prized soil known for its iron rich quality, is found on Clos du Clocher’s land. It defines its terroir that is home to early ripening Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The majority of their vines are on average 25 years old, with some oldest vines 60 years old, dating back to 1957. Everything is harvested by hand, and there is a very rigorous selection process.
Many Pomerol wines are made from early ripening merlot and approachable when young, Clos du Clocher almost always has 25% of Cabernet Franc in its wine, which requires more ageing in bottle before it can fully develop. The resulting wine can age for 20 years or longer.
Considering its overall quality and potential, we believe Clos du Clocher is a rare find among Pomerol that is still undervalued. For collectors who want to let the wine age, we recommend these vintages: 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020.
"The 2016 Clos du Clocher is medium to deep garnet-purple colored and very earthy on the nose with cigar box, forest floor, truffles and charcoal aromas with black cherries and baked red and black plums. Elegantly styled, the palate is medium-bodied with perfumed fruit, a fine-grained frame and a long refreshing finish." Lisa Perotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate: Interim End Of November 2018 (11/30/2018) Rating: 94 Drink: 2021-2039
"The 2016 Clos du Clocher is gorgeous. Blackberry jam, chocolate, new leather and licorice add to the wine's racy, plush feel. Even with all of its textural richness, the 2016 retains terrific energy. The new oak needs time to fully integrate, but that is not enough to keep the 2016 from being hugely appealing in the early going. The 2016 has been impressive on the three occasions I have tasted it so far." - Antonio Galloni, Vinous (January 2019) Rating: 93, Drink: 2022-2036
"The 2016 Clos du Clocher has a rich, opulent bouquet with layers of macerated small black cherries, crème de cassis and violet aromas. There is brightness and vivacity here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, finely judged acidity, a slightly lactic texture and flecks of dark chocolate toward the finish, which fans out nicely. This will need time, but it is very promising. A composed and refined Pomerol from Jean-Baptiste Bourotte." - Neal Martin, Vinous (December 2018) Rating: 93+, Drink: 2024-2044
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