Robert Parker 88
The 1996 Clinet, a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, was bottled a few days after Ronan Laborde’s father took over the château in March 1999, spending 21 months in new oak barrels and five months in stainless steel. There was some funkiness at first, but it seems to gain a degree of clarity: scents of smudged red fruit, undergrowth, fennel and thyme, fully mature yet somehow speaking more of the winery than the terroir. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a pleasant salinity on the entry, quite structured and not the usual voluptuous Clinet, as you would expect from this vintage. It is linear and perhaps a little broody, a slightly candied finish but rustic compared to other vintages, something that Robert Parker actually suggested might happen in one of his earlier notes. Comparing the two, I actually prefer the 1986 Clinet to the 1996. Tasted September 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2022
Mid rusty crimson. Meaty, savoury, very lightly oxidised nose. Sweet, fresh, well-defined palate opener. Lots of density and a bit of dustiness. Very good balance and roundness though it is drying out.
Anticipated maturity: 2003-2015