Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Château Clinet Ronan 2016

Château Clinet Ronan Bordeaux (Merlot) 2016

I was intrigued when I saw this label in the local Binny's, Chicagoland's wine and beverage super store. We are big fan's of Château Clinet and have gotten to know Owner/Producer Ronan Laborde from the many UGCB annual release tour tastings in Chicago. Last year, he took over as President of the UGCB.  

Fellow Wine Buddy and Pour Boy Ernie S visited the Chateau during his tour of the Right Bank several years ago.

Château Clinet is one of our favorite Right Bank Bordeaux selections that we hold in our cellar dating back two decades and more.  I was confident he wouldn't affix his name to a lackluster or disappointing effort. Moreover, at a sub-twenty dollar price-point, its a safe bet as a must try. 

I picked up a bottle and brought it home and tasted it with BBQ ribs that happened to be on order for the evening. Wow, run don't walk to your local wineshop to pick up a few bottles to try for some interesting, casual, or even exotic sipping. 

I had never seen this label before and was intrigued, rightfully so by the discovery. The anticipation was heightened by the branding and packaging with the label being visually similar to the winemaker produced Michel Rolland Napa Valley Cabernet that I recently discovered and purchased. The MR Napa Cab, like the flagship Château Clinet, at a $175 pricepoint, are at the opposite end of the price spectrum, resulting in tremendous QPR - (quality price ratio) for this label.

When I researched it further, I was surprised to learn this label been around since being introduced in 2009, and has established itself as a great-value Merlot, especially considering the pedigree of the legendary world famous winemaker Michel Rolland, the 'Master of Merlot', and Château Client team. 

Château Clinet Ronan Bordeaux (Merlot) 2016

The 2016 label says it is 100% Merlot. Other releases have been noted to be Merlot based with some amounts of Cabernet Franc. Wine pundit Jeb Dunnuck, who gave this 91 points in his review, writes that this Merlot-dominated 2016 by Clinet contains 5% Cabernet Franc.

One reviewer wrote, "From the same 100-point Pomerol powerhouse team behind the famed $150+ Château Clinet, the 2016 Ronan by Clinet was already one of the best values in Bordeaux at its regular $30 price."

Upon initial opening this was a bit flabby and obtuse but after an hour it settled and actually took on an interesting profile. This was dark garnet colored, medium full bodied with black currant and plum fruits accented by an intriguing, almost exotic floral layer with herbs, truffle and notes of bittersweet dark chocolate with tongue puckering lingering tangy tannins and aromatics on the finish.  Great value in an everyday sipper!

RM 88 points.