Château Clinet is located at the highest point of the Pomerol plateau on the famous Günz gravel terrace, origin of the appellation’s most prestigious crus.
Château Clinet’s reputation as a fine wine producer was already established by the 19th century. The property belonged to the Constant family before passing into the hands of the Arnaud family – who were at the time owners of Château Petrus, and from 1900 to 1991, the Audy family, a large Bordeaux negociant. The arrival of managing director Jean-Michel Arcaute in the early 1980s marked a real turning point in the wines of Clinet. He introduced revolutionary changes to the status quo: green harvest, leaf thinning, delaying harvest until physiological ripeness had been reached and reducing the percentage of the Cabernets in favor of the more suitable Merlot, among other important modifications. Jean-Michel Arcaute remained on as managing director after the Château was purchased by the GAN insurance company in 1991. Robert Parker twice named Arcaute Winemaker of the Year, and bestowed the rare and coveted 100 point score to Clinet’s exceptional 1989 vintage.
In 1998, Château Clinet was bought by Jean-Louis Laborde. He devoted all his energy and vision to pursuing the evolution inspired by the preceding owners. His son Ronan took over as general manager in 2004 and the first vintage he oversaw was the 2005. Ronan initiated the building of a new winery and chai (with state of the art grape reception and selection equipment), replanting of the vineyard in parts, and in 2011 he acquired two small adjacent Pomerol properties (3ha total) to bring Clinet up to its present size of 11.5 hectares. Ronan evolved the vineyard practice to become environmentally friendly, plowing the soil and planting grass between the rows. In the cellar, he called for more gentle extraction and less new, agressive oak. Ronan Laborde and his winemaker Roman are the youngest team in the Union des Grands Crus (both are in their thirties). Ronan also owns and manages Château Pajzos in Hungary.
The barrels loose 6 to 8% of their volume every year, so that means about 3000 bottles or 10 barrels a year go to the angels. Lucky angels!