Well, here is the first release from the 2018 Bordeaux en Primeur campaign that we have elected to endorse. Last year I termed Château La Clotte as an ‘under the radar’ property – that may well be gradually changing as the efforts of the new owners start to show, but I am pleased to say that the price has remained identical to last year, rendering the 2018 something of a bargain. I am pleased to offer 2018 Château La Clotte at £290 per 6 bottle case in bond.
The Vauthiers of Château Ausone, comfortably one of the greatest estates in Bordeaux, are working their magic on this well-sited, four-hectare Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé. Château La Clotte occupies a superb location at the very heart of Saint Emilion’s limestone plateau, a short stroll from the centre of Saint Emilion itself. It had long been considered an underperforming Château, but that all changed when the Vauthiers bought the majority share in 2014. Since then they have gradually adjusted the approach in the vineyard and refined the winemaking. Without doubt, Pauline Vauthier has been the driving force behind the rejuvenation of La Clotte, a property with which she clearly has an affinity.
I often stress that the entire Ausone stable of wines rank highly for their respective quality levels in almost every vintage we taste – this was no different in 2018 and if anything, La Clotte was one of the stand-outs. There is an unerring consistency to the Vauthier wines, which possess stunning fruit expression and fine balance. At the risk of repeating myself, the quality is too high for this Château to remain underappreciated.
Please see below for my note as well as Lisa Perrotti-Brown’s note, taken from The Wine Advocate (robertparker.com).
2018 Château La Clotte, Grand Cru Classé, St. Emilion
£290 per 6 bottle case in bond
Simon Larkin's note
A blend of 85% Merlot, 10 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 La Clotte offers scented, floral notes that overlay a wonderfully juicy berry fruit on the nose, capturing notes of blackberry and loganberry. The palate is expansive, rich, but treads a very fine line – the copious fruit is balanced by a lively freshness this vintage. The typical juicy summer berry compote characters are once more on show, with subtle notes of cream and spice. Showing a fine density, admirable purity and a velvety textural impression, this adds to two impressive vintages for the estate (2017 and 2016) and is sure to win plaudits. The tannins are finely expressed and veiled by an impressive, deep fruit; this will age gracefully over the next two decades. Very impressive and fortunately still keenly priced. (SL). Drink : 2023 to 2042.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate.
The 2018 La Clotte is made up of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Deep purple-black in color, it leaps from the glass with gregarious scents of crushed blueberries, Morello cherries and black raspberries with touches of oolong tea, violets, mocha and cigar box plus a waft of cedar. Full-bodied with a solid frame of fine-grained tannins and oodles of freshness, it is packed with vibrant black and blue fruits layers, finishing long with great purity.
We enjoy a good allocation of this Château, having followed it since the Vauthiers took it over, however, the volume is still very limited given the tiny scale of the property.
If you are interested in purchasing this wine, please let us know at your earliest convenience.