The arrival of managing director Jean-Michel Arcaute in the early 1980s marked a real truning point in the wines of Clinet. Following the advice of his consultant, Michel Rolland, Jean-Michel introduced revolutionary changes to the status quo: green harvest, leaf thinning, delaying harvest until full physiological ripeness had been reached and reducing the percentage of Cabernets in favor of the more suitable Merlot, among other important modifications.
In the winery, the percentage of new French oak barrels was increased to reflect the greater concentration of the wine, as was the length of the elevage--from 13 months in 1970 to almost 24 months today, according to the characteristics of the vintage.
Respected American wine critic Robert Parker Jr. twice named Arcaute Winemaker of the Year, and bestowed the rare and coveted 100 point scre to Clinet's exceptional 1989 vintage.
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The first top-flight wine made under the late Jean-Michel Arcaute, the 1988 continues to evolve splendidly. Notes of espresso coffee, sweet blackberry and cherry fruit intermixed with plum and currant jump from the glass of this medium to full-bodied, very concentrated 1988. This is another wine from this vintage that has evolved beautifully and is somewhat of a sleeper pick, as the vintage remains, at least for a wine such as Clinet, underrated. Anticipated maturity: Now-2012. Last taste, 10/02.”