When you see the word “Clos” on a wine label, expectations are raised. For example, the Fevre Chablis “Les Clos” is one of the finest Chablis there is. The Krug “Clos du Mesnil” is one of the greatest Champagnes on the planet. The Clos Pepe vineyard in Santa Barbara is one of the most distinguished pieces of ground to make Pinot Noir. Clos Solene is one of the most highly regarded Rhone-inspired wineries in Paso Robles. When a winery decides to put “Clos” on a bottle, they feel it’s pretty special. See, a “Clos” is basically a patch of vineyard among vineyards that is so special it’s protected by a wall (the French word clos translates to “enclosure”). Time and history may have broken down the wall in the vineyard’s present state, but the symbolism is still there.
The 2010 CLOS DE L’ORATOIRE Saint-Emilion is something special among all Bordeaux in its price range. Its intensity of flavor (boysenberry, black currant, fig and baking spices), opulent texture, roundness and full body, and enticing length are all worthy of envy. Whether it’s the Wall of China or a wall along the Texas border, the wall is there because one side is saying to the other side, “You can’t have what we have.” This Clos has everything you want in a moderately priced Bordeaux. –J.M.
Great Wine: Luigi Einaudi Dogliani