The 100-Point Winemaker’s Club Keeps Rollin’

Baby L’Eglise Clinet for a Fraction of the Price

When searching for value in great Bordeaux, as I’ve always said, you’ve got to know the back story. That’s how I buy my Bordeaux – the selections you see in my shop – and it’s how I came to select today’s offering, Chateau les Cruzelles. First, the ownership. Cruzelles is owned by one of the most famous chateaux owners and winemakers of our generation, Denis Durantou. Denis is the owner of the world-renowned Chateau L’Eglise Clinet in Pomerol – a wine which routinely scores in the very high 90s and which is also a member of the 100-point club. Denis purchased Cruzelles in 2000. 

Second, the terroir. Denis’ decision to purchase was based on the similarities in terroir makeup between his Pomerol estate, L’Eglise Clinet and Cruzelles, which is located a mere 1km away, across the appellation border in Lalande de Pomerol. In fact, Cruzelles is so close to L’Eglise Clinet that – if Denis points you in the right direction – you can see Cruzelles from the vineyards of L’Eglise. 

Third, this purchase allowed Denis the practice of selection massal – the practice of taking cuttings from very old vines to replant new, nearby vineyards. Cruzelles is actually planted with vines taken from L’Eglise Clinet! To call Cruzelles the “baby L’Eglise” is no exaggeration, it’s absolutely true. Right down to the practices in the vineyard, the harvesting, the barrel fermentation – 50%, new, French Oak – and the aging before bottling. The main difference? Price!

Whereas L’Eglise Clinet currently sells for as high as $600 (the 2010), “baby L’Eglise”, Les Cruzelles, will only set you back $37.99 (for the outstanding 2016, sold in my shop). 

Now that you know the back story, my advice is to stock up! Great wines like this don’t last long…

Vinous: the 2016 Les Cruzelles is every bit as captivating from bottle as it was from barrel. Dense, pliant and inviting, the 2016 has so much to offer. Black cherry, plum, menthol, licorice, new leather and lavender all run through this super-expressive, pliant Lalande de Pomerol from Denis Durantou. The 2016 offers a striking combination of fruit intensity and structure. I loved it.

Antonio Galloni 

Specially priced for only $37.99