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Château Clinet, 2016 Update

I hopped into the front passenger seat alongside Ronan Laborde, and we headed off for a whirlwind tour of the Pomerol vineyards. This was quite an eye-opener for me, because although I am aware that many domaines in this appellation (and many others in Bordeaux) have very parcellated vineyards, experiencing this for myself first-hand, seeing how the somewhat fragmented vineyards of Château Clinet interdigitate with those of Château Feytit-Clinet, Château Trotanoy and a number of other domaines was intriguing. Yes, a lot of the vines are gathered around the château itself, on the middle section of the gradually sloping Pomerol vineyard, but others are more distant, including some prized parcels higher up on the plateau, around the village of Pomerol itself.

Château Clinet

After a few minutes I soon became pretty adept at spotting the Clinet vines, sometimes planted in entire blocks, but sometimes there were just a few rows, ownership of the vines changing several times within some parcels. There are a couple of easy clues; the Clinet vines are very well maintained and look particularly immaculate. That isn’t to say that the other vines look unkempt, far from it. But with their neatly raked soils in one row, and the crisply defined strip of verdant grass running down the centre of the next, the rows alternating with regimented regularity, the vineyards do stand out. What’s more, if there is any doubt about whether the vines belong to Château Clinet or not, the tags should give you a bit of a clue.

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