The Ronan By Clinet Bordeaux Merlot 2016 is 100% Merlot sourced from estates near Chateau Clinet, located in the premier section of Pomerol in the Bordeaux region of France. Chateau Clinet Bordeaux wines sell in the $150 to $350 range, and I found this wine for $8.99.
While the grapes used did not come from Pomerol, they were sourced from Côtes de Castillon, Côtes de Bourg, and Lussac St-Emilion, all well-known for Merlot. Chateau Clinet has been around since the late 1700s, and while they have had ups and downs and different owners over the years, they have produced claimed wines in recent history.
Noted wine critic Robert Parker, jr. gave a vintage of their wines a perfect score, and recent vintages have scored 94+ points. The Ronan in the brand name does not refer to a Samari whose Master has died and must now wander the earth, but to Ronan LaBorde, Chateau Clinet’s managing director.
The Ronan By Clinet Bordeaux Merlot 2016 is produced at Chateau Clinet’s state-of-the-art Bordeaux facility by the same team of winemakers that produce the expensive, high-scoring Bordeaux wines. So this inexpensive Merlot has a pedigree that few $10 wines can match.
So, why is this Bordeaux Merlot so inexpensive? It was aged in French oak barrels for one year, was named Wine of the Year by a Dutch wine magazine, and received 91 points from a top wine reviewer. Pomerol and Chateau Clinet are the leading sources for exquisite Merlot wines.
2016 is an early vintage date for any value-priced wine. The Ronan By Clinet Bordeaux Merlot 2016 seems to have been released in the first part of 2019 and is still for sale in December 2021. This wine has an excellent website, but it has not been updated in five years. So there are incredible details concerning this Merlot and some odd unexplained details.
Most value-priced Red wines are from a vintage a year or two back from the date of its release. They use production techniques that allow the wine to come together and reach its balance relatively quickly. Wine, such as Ronan By Clinet Bordeaux Merlot 2016, has a more complicated production with greater extraction from the grapes that take more time to balance.
With wine, time is money, and a value wine that took time to produce and is still inexpensive is a rarity. This makes the Ronan By Clinet Bordeaux Merlot 2016 stand out from typical value Bordeaux wines. But, as a wine drinker, do I care about all that?
No, I am getting an inexpensive wine from an elite producer with an impeccable production process, and topping it off, it is a Merlot from one of the best Merlot producers in the world. Why didn’t this Merlot sell out immediately? The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The Ronan By Clinet Bordeaux Merlot 2016 Tasting Notes
The Ronan By Clinet Bordeaux Merlot 2016 has a silky, smooth mouthfeel with rich flavors and textures. The color is a dark cherry red with black highlights. The nose is ripe red berries, soft but edgy spice, black pepper, coffee, light herbs, and bitter chocolate.
This Merlot tastes like blackberry, exotic spice, tart cranberry, tea, herbs, and a little vanilla. The mid-palate adds orange zest, dried strawberry, blueberry, a salty sensation, and expresso. The tannins are part of the flavor mix; they are slightly bitter and give the wine character. The acidity is balanced, allows the flavors to unfold, and provides this Merlot with an extended finish.
- The Ronan By Clinet Bordeaux Merlot 2016 drinks like a much more expensive wine.
- For some reason Merlot from Bordeaux is better than Merlot from any other place.
- If you need to bring a wine to a holiday get together and want to bring a wine to impress but you do not want to spend a small fortune, the Ronan By Clinet Bordeaux Merlot 2016 is a great choice.