Wine of the Month - May 2022
• Laguna Cellar Wine of the Month
Laguna Cellar features A Vertical Selection of Clos du Clocher (2016 - 2019)
There are certain properties that are considered favorites of industry insiders and Clos du Clocher would be one of them. This Pomerol estate is home to some truly extraordinary terroir and some exceptional neighbors. The cult producer, Le Pin, is down the road from this 4.6-hectare estate. One cannot help but wonder why an estate with a combination of factors including a talented winemaking team and the same terroirs as legends like Château Pétrus is still so affordably priced. Still, we’re not complaining. It might be considered prudent for industry insiders to zealously guard the secrets of this property, so it remains such a screaming value. Yet with that in consideration, we don’t mind sharing that privileged bit of information with our valued customers. Clos du Clocher is well worth the buy, and who knows how long it will be before the secret of this estate gets out.
Clos du Clocher is still a young estate and is a little under a century old. The property was founded in 1924 by Jean Baptiste Audy, who purchased one small plot of vines near the church of Pomerol. Jean Baptiste Audy was no stranger to the wine trade; he was a négociant (wine merchant) before he added this property to his extensive holdings. The estate is currently managed by Jean Baptiste Audy’s descendant, Jean Baptiste Bourotte. The family still owns the original négociant company in the city of Libourne, the business center of the Right Bank. Since 2009, production levels have been steadily mounting in terms of critical acclaim, yet price remains very reasonable.
Clos du Clocher is known for its iron rich terroir that is home to plantings of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The vignerons at the estate compare the terroir to Château Pétrus, because the soil composition is similar. Elevation here is a bit higher. The majority of the vines are an average of 25 years old, and some of the oldest vines date back to 1957. Everything is harvested and tended to by hand, and there is a very rigorous selection process for the grand vin at Clos du Clocher. Michel Rolland has been hired as the consultant at Clos du Clocher and in 2010 the estate underwent extensive renovations. At this time, the cellar has been renovated and some of the most cutting-edge technology implemented at the estate. Clos du Clocher practices a process called micro-vinification with a small percentage of their vines, by vinifying them in 100% French Oak. Though a lot of wines out of Pomerol are appreciated because of their accessibility, Clos du Clocher needs a little bit of time in bottle before it can fully develop. This tremendous potential for ageing is what makes it not just a good wine, but a great one. One can expect these wines to reach their optimum expression after 3 to 5 years in bottle, though that does vary depending on the character of the wine.
In order to fully understand the promise of the terroir at Clos du Clocher, one has to take into consideration where the vines are growing on the Pomerol plateau. The map shows in red where the plots of this outstanding property are located, sharing some top-notch terroir with luminous neighbors who need no introduction.
Clos du Clocher 2016 - "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
Clos du Clocher 2017 -"Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Clos du Clocher bursts from the glass with bold blueberry preserves, Christmas cake and baked plums scents plus nuances of raspberry leaves, unsmoked cigar and tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals mouth-filling blackberry and spicy layers, framed by firm, rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, (3/16/2020), Rating: 92+, Drink: 2020 - 2034
Clos du Clocher 2018 -"Composed of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the deep purple-black colored 2018 Clos du Clocher slips sensuously out of the glass with kirsch, black cherry compote and preserved plums scents with hints of Chinese five spice, candied violets and Ceylon tea. Full-bodied, rich and laden with black fruit preserves and exotic spice layers, it has a soft texture and just a spark of mid-palate freshness, finishing long and opulent." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, (4/23/2019, Bordeaux 2018 Issue), Rating: 94-96
Clos du Clocher 2019 -"Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Clos du Clocher needs a little coaxing to reveal subtle scents of black raspberries, kirsch and wild blueberries, before a drop-dead gorgeous perfume of candied violets, cinnamon stick, clove oil, Darjeeling tea and star anise take center stage. The medium to full-bodied palate is very finely knit, with ripe, plush tannins and seamless freshness supporting the elegant flavors, finishing long and fragrant." Lisa Perotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate (06/17/2020) Rating: 93-95
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