Friday, February 13, 2009

My Sweet Clemence-wine

Devoté of Michel Rolland, Dauriac's Clemence has garnered a reputation as one of the better 'new' properties in Pomerol. I love to hate what Rolland does, and usually I find good reason to do so. Not so for the 2003 and 2006.

Pomerol 2003, Château La Clemence
Dark, ripe plums, slightly sweet, hint of licorice, with fresh vanilla bean. For such a hot vintage, where so many wines were excessively tannic, Michel Rolland's strategy of micro-ox seems to have worked- the tannins are firm, but round and mouth coating. Wonderfully complex, though very much on the fruit rather than the earthier notes, you really don't want it to stop. Sure, lots of oak, but there is enough substance to handle it.

Pomerol 2004, Château La Clemence
Goopy, sticky, sweet fruit. Lacking acidity. Not lacking oak. Very forced. Many people did a great job in 2004, not here.

Pomerol 2005, Château La Clemence
Very chocolaty, which at first sip reminded me of Nestle's Quick. But with a few swirls of the glass, it opens up, with expresso, licorice and some sweet fruit, and stifling oak. Not the most comfortable wine to have in your mouth except for the cool menthol finish. Interesting, though not particularly fun to drink, at least for the moment.

Pomerol 2006, Château La Clemence

Good, though very young, modern Bordeaux. A refreshing acidity, just a hint of chocolate, and very intense red fruit. The sweetness here is infers a perfect ripeness rather than excessive hangtime. While it is still oak-laden, it seems to have a better balance than the 2005. I have more hope for this in the long run than the 2005, despite the reputation of the 2005 vintage.

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