Learn everything about Chateau La Clotte St. Emilion with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards, and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau La Clotte History, Overview
Chateau La Clotte is one of the oldest Bordeaux vineyards in the Right Bank. The estate has been a working vineyard since the late 14th century. Before the French Revolution, the vineyard was used as a home for the Cordelier order of Monks.
What we now know of today as Chateau La Clotte did not earn fame as a vineyard until it was purchased by the Grailly family in 1886. As was the custom of the day they changed the name of the vineyard to reflect their ownership. The Grailly family are related to the Becot family, who own Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot.
In 1913, the Chailleau family bought the last remaining parcels of what was then known as Chateau La Clotte de Grailly. After the sale, the name of the estate was eventually changed to Chateau La Clotte.
Nelly Moulierac was in charge of managing Chateau La Clotte with the help of her two cousins, Dominique Tord and Odile Plantade. However, that changed in 2014 when Alain Vauthier of Chateau Ausone purchased La Clotte from the Grailly family.
Chateau La Clotte remains a true, Saint Emilion insider’s secret wine. Due to its high quality, fair price, and mineral-driven, opulent style, this is a wine many of the local Saint Emilion winery owners purchase for their own cellars. The jump in quality is now well established.
Things started turning around for Chateau La Clotte after their contract with Ets. Moueix, who was responsible for managing and farming the property expired in 1999. From that point forward, Nelly Moulierac quickly improved the quality and the presence of Chateau La Clotte in the marketplace.
Chateau La Clotte Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The small, 4-hectare vineyard of Chateau La Clotte is planted to 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Located just behind the St. Emilion village, due east, not far from Chateau Ausone, the vineyard is on the limestone plateau of Saint Emilion. They occupy one of the higher elevations in the appellation, reaching up to 75 meters at its peak.
They also have a small parcel of vines placed just behind the small house. The terroir is clay with limestone soils.
The vines are old. On average, they are over 55 years of age. The vines are planted to a density of 6,500 plants per hectare. The hillside vineyard can be easily divided into 12 separate parcels.
To produce the wine of Chateau La Clotte, after cold pre-fermentation maceration, the grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats.
There are enough vats to allow for a parcel by parcel vinification of Chateau La Clotte. In 2012, Chateau La Clotte purchased a new thermoregulation system for the vats, which allows the estate for the first time the ability to truly vinify on a more precise basis.
During the alcoholic fermentation, the wine of Chateau La Clotte receives 4 pump-overs per day, punching down and delestage, which is the process of racking and returning. Malolactic fermentation takes place in 50% new, French oak barrels.
Chateau La Clotte is then aged in 50% new, French oak barrels for close to 15 months, depending on the quality and character of the vintage.
The best vintages of Chateau La Clotte are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005 and 2000.
On average, Chateau La Clotte produces 1,500 cases of wine per year.
When to Drink Chateau La Clotte, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau La Clotte is much better with at least 5 – 7 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for 1-2 hours. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume.
Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau La Clotte offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 8-20 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Chateau La Clotte with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Chateau La Clotte is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.
Chateau La Clotte is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes. Chateau La Clotte is also good when matched with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta.
The best vintages of Chateau La Clotte are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2001 and 2000. However, 2015 is a big step in quality from the previous vintages of La Clotte, which is clearly due to the influence and direction coming from Alain Vauthier. And fortunately for fans of the wine, 2016 is even better!
Château La Clotte Wine Tasting Notes
18 Vintages 74,044 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2018||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Aromatically, the wine grabs you with notes of flowers, thyme, licorice, kirsch, espresso and cherries. Medium/full-bodied, silky, fresh and pure, you find depth of flavor, minerality, lush palate textures, vibrancy, length and loads of crushed rocks in the finish. 94 Points
863 Views Tasted Mar 9, 2021
Medium/full-bodied, silky, fresh and pure, the wine has richness, depth, minerality, lush palate texture, length and a luxurious finish. This is a step up in quality for Chateau La Clotte. There is a real depth of flavor and opulence here in this vintage. 93-95 Pts
2,741 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2017||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Black raspberry, plum and vanilla scents open the perfume. Soft, silky and filled with juicy, ripe plums, licorice and dark cherries, there is freshness and flesh here. The wine was produced from 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. 92 Points
1,962 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2016||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Deep red cherry and plums pop once the wine hits the glass. The wine is silky, polished, sweet and fresh. There is more purity of fruit than usual, which really lets the sweetness in the red fruits stand out. Medium-bodied, with a soft, inviting character, the freshness and sweet red berries in the finish really pop this year. 93 Points
2,287 Views Tasted Sep 21, 2019
Succulent fruits, stone, fresh red plum and licorice start the show. Medium/full bodied with ample fruits, spice, herbs and earth, the tannins are smooth and the fruit offers character and charm. The wine was made from a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. The harvest took place October 12 to October 17. I had thought the 2015 was going to remain their best wine ever, but with the 2016, this is a new level of quality here. 93 Points
3,211 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2015||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
If you're looking for a wine with real, character, minerality, depth of flavor and the ability to age at a fair price, look no further. This insider wine is loaded with earthy, stony, fresh, ripe fruits, silky tannins and layers of ripe, dark, dark red fruits in the finish. There is a real depth of flavor here. Drink it young or age it. 93 Points
2,522 Views Tasted Sep 17, 2018
This could be one of the steals of the vintage. There is more density and sweetness in the fruits than I have ever seen at this estate. The texture is fat and plush, the wine has purity and finesse coupled with weight, intensity and character. There is a real depth of flavor here. 93 Points
3,338 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2016
|2014||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
The first vintage from the new owners – the Vauthier family – this wine sports a mineral-driven, black raspberry and cherry personality with a sweet, soft, slightly dusty finish. 89-91 Pts
1,813 Views Tasted Apr 27, 2015
|2013||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Fresh, open, soft, and vinified for early drinking, this has an easy-to-like, plush character with dark cherries and cocoa. 88-90 Pts
1,642 Views Tasted Apr 28, 2014
|2012||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
A nice perfume of licorice, cocoa, flowers and cherries opens to a medium-bodied, fresh wine with a focus on peppy, dark, red berries. 88-90 Pts
1,913 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2013
|2011||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
From limestone, sand and clay terroir, this round-textured wine has notes of mineral and black raspberry with some dryness in the finish. 88-90 Pts
2,494 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2012
|2010||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Earthy, mineral scents with truffles and plums, soft tannins and a polished, stone and fresh berry finish, create this stylish, easy to like, well priced St. Emilion. 91 Points
1,883 Views Tasted May 8, 2013
La Clotte from limestone, sand and clay terroir, this is the first vintage that the owner included Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend which consists of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and the remainder, Cabernet Sauvignon. Licorice, minerality, chocolate mint and plum aromas with soft textures, medium/full bodied and a fresh black cherry finish. Due to its high quality, great style and low price, this wine is often purchased by many of St. Emilion’s most famous wine makers. 91-93 Pts
2,071 Views Tasted Apr 22, 2011
|2009||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
With minerality, blackberry, black cherry and licorice, this ripe, round, open style of St. Emilion offers a lot of pleasure and remains one of the top values for St. Emilion 92 Points
3,397 Views Tasted May 1, 2012
2009 La Clotte, from limestone, sand, and clay terroir, offers dark fruit, minerality, and freshness along with opulent textures. This wine remains one of the insider’s secrets of St. Emilion. Because of its high quality, great style, and low price, this insiders wine is often purchased by many of St. Emilion’s most famous wine makers. 91-93 Pts
3,493 Views Tasted Jun 28, 2010
|2008||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
08 Château La Clotte. This château, which takes its name from ancient caves and the troglodytes who used to inhabit them, is only a stone’s throw from Ausone. It shares the same as Ausone’s elevation, and has similar, limestone packed soils. The vineyards are planted with 80% merlot, 17% cabernet franc, and 3% cabernet franc. The wine is deep ruby with mineral and black fruit aromatics. Aged 18 months in 50% new oak, the wine offers suave sensations of black fruit, licorice, coffee, and minerals in the long finish. Slightly more than 1,000 cases of this insiders’ wine were produced in 2008. 91-93 Pts
3,607 Views Tasted Jul 1, 2009
|2006||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Medium ruby in color. With a tight nose that needed swirling to display aromas of jammy black fruits, minerals and fennel. The wine offers a plush entry and ends with a berry and mineral infused finish. 90 Points
3,917 Views Tasted Jun 14, 2008
|2005||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
At its peak of maturity, the wine is medium-bodied, soft, elegant and filled with tobacco leaf, crushed rock, red fruits, smoke and herbs. There is no reason to age this longer. It should remain at this high level until at least 2025-2030 before it begins to slowly decline. 92 Points
2,512 Views Tasted Apr 8, 2020
Mineral drive, soft, fresh and sweet, there is ample complexities and ripe fruits to keep you busy. This is drinking well today. 92 Points
3,744 Views Tasted Jun 28, 2016
Popped and poured, it cook 20-30 minutes to soften and for the floral, earthy, black raspberry and licorice character to come out. Another few years could help add more softness, but this is drinking at a nice place today. 92 Points
3,095 Views Tasted Feb 17, 2015
This bottle is the perfect place for pleasure. Lots of dark cherries, blackberry, chocolate and licorice. Soft, silky and supple, the wine was popped and poured and got better and better in the glass. 93 Points
2,876 Views Tasted May 17, 2014
If licorice, blackberries, fresh cut herbs and earth, round textures and an open, round, soft, ripe black cherry finish is your thing, you came to the right place. This showing nice now and should drink well for at least another decade. 92 Points
2,967 Views Tasted Jan 4, 2014
Licorice, blackberry, blueberry, minerality, coffee, smoked herbs make up the perfume. Supple, rich and opulent in texture, the wine finishes with spicy chocolate covered, black cherries. Still young, 3-5 years in the bottle will add a lot to the wine. 93 Points
3,140 Views Tasted Aug 20, 2011
If you are seeking a flashy, fleshy, rich textured Bordeaux wine that flows from the glass like lava from a volcano, you came to the right place. While offering great concentration and a decadent mouthfeel, the wine is not ponderous or heavy. Everything is in perfect balance. The oak, mineral, coffee and blackberry infused aromatics make the wine a pleasure to sniff, swirl and sip. The best thing is, this wine sells for a song in America. This is well worth buying by the case. 93 Points
3,274 Views Tasted Jun 24, 2007
|2003||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Fully mature, ripe, but not overripe, the wine is round, soft, silky, sweet, and fruity with sweet, dark, red pit fruits, licorice, salt, and earth on the nose and in the finish. No decanting is needed, just pop, pour and enjoy. 90 Points
713 Views Tasted Aug 30, 2021
|2001||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Mature and definitely ready to go, this charmer kicks in with its sweet, ripe, red plums, black cherries, crushed rock, truffle and tobacco leaf profile. Soft, refined, medium-bodied and with a nice dose of earthy red fruits and mushrooms in the finish, no decanting is needed, Just pop, pour and enjoy. 90 Points
1,293 Views Tasted Sep 13, 2020
|2000||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Fully mature, this medium bodied, earthy, mineral driven, silky wine serves up fresh, sweet, ripe black and red cherries, truffle and stone notes. 90 Points
3,699 Views Tasted Aug 8, 2013
|1999||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
This mediumn bodied, pleasant but simple wine is fully mature and should be drunk up. 88 Points
2,001 Views Tasted Jun 14, 2008
|1966||Château La Clotte (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Much better on the nose, with its earthy, tobacco, truffle, cherry and cigar aromas, than on the fading, starting to enter the tart stage of life palate. 82 Points
1,576 Views Tasted Feb 4, 2015