Château La Clotte could not claim to be a well-known, or avidly followed, Château. That said, it should start registering on your radar. Why? Simply put, the Vauthiers of Château Ausone, one of the greatest estates in Bordeaux, are working their magic on this well-sited Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé. Château La Clotte occupies a superb location in the very heart of Saint Emilion’s limestone plateau and had long been considered an underperforming Château. The Vauthiers bought the majority share in 2014 and have gradually adjusted the approach in the vineyard and refined the winemaking. Pauline Vauthier was justifiably proud of the results when we tasted the 2017 with her in April.
I should stress that the Ausone stable of wines rank highly for their respective quality levels in almost every vintage we taste. There is an unerring consistency to their wines, which are almost always wonderfully pure, and often generously fruited. La Clotte is no exception and is really starting to impress. The 2017 is floral on the nose, vibrant on the palate, with classic mineral traits and a juicy, succulent melange of summer berry fruit. Sleek and refined, this is a strong showing from La Clotte; given the quality demonstrated in the last two vintages, this tiny four-hectare Saint Emilion estate is likely to receive far greater attention and deservedly so. The quality is too high for this Château to remain underappreciated.
2017 Château La Clotte
£290 per 6 bottle case in bond
(92-94) points, Neal Martin, vinous.com
The 2017 La Clotte, which the Vauthiers acquired in 2014, was cropped at 32hl/ha between 28 September and 2 October. It is matured in 100% new oak. Pauline Vauthiers ventured that this was one of her favorite wines in this vintage and I am inclined to agree. This has a lifted, more perfumed bouquet than the Moulin Saint-Georges at this point, quite perfumed with crushed iris aromas infusing the black fruit. Returning after 20 minutes there is just a touch of orange blossom. The palate is sweet and opulent with caressing tannin, almost Burgundy-like in fruit purity with crushed strawberry, cassis and blueberry towards the silky smooth finish. What a delicious Saint-Émilion in the making. Drink 2021-2040.
(90-93) points, Antonio Galloni, vinous,com
The 2017 La Clotte bristles with energy. Under the direction of the Vauthier family, this small Saint-Émilion cru is starting to show the full breadth of its personality. Crushed rocks, lavender, spice and inky dark fruit are all finely knit in this super-expressive, gracious Saint-Émilion. All the elements simply fall into place effortlessly. The 2017 is fresh, vibrant and wonderfully nuanced from start to finish.
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