Origins of Clinet
The name CLINET can be read “Cliné” on the Belleyme map of 1785 where it appears among a cluster of wines around the ancienne église. The name could derive from the old French ‘cliner’, used during the 16th century. The word meant to ‘bow’ or ‘lean’ – possibly a reference to the slope, which runs down from the famous Plateau de Pomerol, providing natural drainage.
19th Century to present day
Since the 19th century, successive generations of families have taken over the ownership and management of Château CLINET, all committed to perfecting the quality of its production and stamping their own identity on this bijou estate. Today it is owned by the Laborde family who, since 1998, have set Clinet on a firm footing alongside the best of the Pomerol appellation.
CLINET Past and Present
Some things change and some stay the same. The traditions of Château CLINET have been respectfully preserved by successive owners whilst innovation has also been key to our success.
Château CLINET has been producing some of the world’s most prestigious wines for centuries. The Belleyme Map, published in 1785, shows that the terroir of CLINET was already exclusively under vine. Know-how has been handed down from generation to generation, guaranteeing consistent production at the highest level. The Estate is family-owned and has belonged to the LABORDE family since 1998.
- Château CLINET was classified 1er Cru Pomerol in 1893, 6th Ed Cock et Féret.
- The winery was rewarded Gold Medal at the World Exhibition in Paris (1879), Saint-Louis (1904) and Liege (1905)
- More recently, CLINET scored 100 Robert Parker points for the 1989 and 2009 vintages.
The first traces of viticulture, on the land that today belongs to Château CLINET, date back to 1614 under the ownership of the GOMBAULT family. Bertrand de GOMBAULT who inherited the land from his father, was known as Seigneur de Pontus. He was also the Mayor of Libourne, in 1685. The family owned parts of CLINET right up until 1831.
Although the lay of the land was not exactly as it is today, the estate passed from the GOMBAULT family, who were eventually ruined, to the ARNAUD family in 1825. Catherine Henriette ARNAUD married Elie Désiré CONSTANT, an important wine merchant who, as a widower, shared the property between his 4 children.
After 1879, Château CLINET changed hands several times before becoming the bijou estate of the LUQUOT/AUDY family in 1908. George AUDY, the son of Germaine LUQUOT and Jean-Louis AUDY, looked after CLINET along with his son in-law, Jean-Michel ARCAUTE. In 1991, after George AUDY’s death, CLINET was sold to a French Insurance company GAN, and was still run by Jean-Michel ARCAUTE.
The latter marked a real turning point. He improved the wine by revolutionising the way the vineyard was being managed, replanting with merlot instead of cabernets and introducing hand-harvesting, manual selection and a longer cuvaison. With the support of Michel Rolland, Jean-Michel’s hard work paid off when the name Clinet was put back on the map after receiving rapturous acclaim from critics in 1989 (receiving 100/100 from Robert Parker) & 1990.
One foot in the past. One eye on the future
In 1998, the château was acquired by Jean-Louis Laborde who devoted all of his energy to continuing the revolution inspired by his predecessor. From an early age, Laborde’s son, Ronan, took a keen interest in wine. He remembers being tasked with selecting bottles from his father’s cellar and avidly reading the labels to discover their origin. He read Larousse des Vins and his fascination with the industry began to flourish.
Since 2003, the estate has been managed by Ronan. As a young businessman and marketing graduate, he fosters big ideas for the future of Clinet. But as a wine scholar and a passionate servant of the industry, he offers real perspective on the sensitivity of the market and believes passionately in the need to learn from the lessons of our history.
“Above all, the success of Château CLINET has been based on the passion shared by all those working on the property, whose hearts beat to the rhythm of the vines.” – Ronan Laborde.