Tasting Notes and Scores
-Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide No 7
I had high hopes for this wine prior to bottling, but Clinet often goes through a reduced, awkward stage following bottling. The 1998 reveals a dense, thick-looking purple color, as well as a closed bouquet. With coaxing, notes of damp earth, spicy new oak, truffles, blackberry and plum fruit emerge. Dense, with jagged tannin, considerable power, and a roasted, chocolatey character, this wine has not yet meshed together. I had hoped it would be less disjointed, but I still feel there is a strong likelihood that it will deserve an outstanding score. However, patience will be required. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2020.
The 1998 Clinet, which was bottled by Ronan’s father just after acquiring the property, has a deep garnet core with a tawny rim. Now at 20-years old it has a well-defined bouquet with brambly red fruit, briary and pressed flowers, perhaps without the presence of fruit that I was expecting. The palate is medium-bodied with a sappy black fruit opening, quite assertive on the entry with a sweet core of fruit. It just cuts away a little quickly compared to more recent vintages. Tasted at the château.
Big and powerful, with lots of olive, brown sugar and jam. Soft and full, with round tannins. A voluptuous and wild wine. Juicy and exotic. Why wait on this full-throttle red? 100 percent Merlot.—'88/'98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). James Suckling