There exists a wine which is largely kept a secret, a three hectare St. Emilion treasure that all claret lovers ought to know about. It is one of the oldest Bordeaux vineyards and has been making wine since the late 14th century. Its exceptional price and high quality, led by wonderful minerality, elegance and fruit purity make it stand out. So much so that it is a wine that the other St. Emilion winery owners perennially snaffle for their cellars, which with a production as minuscule as 900 cases, does not leave much for the rest of us. Perhaps the most defining feature is that the vineyard adjoins that of Chateau Ausone.

The chateau is La Clotte, owned by the Grailly family since 1886, who are related to the Becot family, owners of Chateau Beau-Sejour-Becot and subsequently managed by Estate Moueix until 1999. However, in 2014 everything changed when La Clotte was purchased by Alain Vauthier, owner of Chateau Ausone. They undertook the harvest and winemaking, which makes the 2014 very special, as Neal Martin says, “raised in the same cooperages as Ausone with a very low toasting.” The acquisition has propelled La Clotte on an exciting trajectory. Since which time the average price has increased 100%, though we can expect much more of the same, in fact for it to double in price over the next five years, reaching £100 a bottle.

Based on the performance since 2014, the incredible scores, low production, terroir and owners, the time to buy La Clotte is now. As such we have sourced a parcel, a special multi-buy for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 vintages. Neal Martin scored the 2014 92 points while at The Wine Advocate, saying: “The bouquet is very precise and focused with vivacious, very focused, mineral-laden red fruit, whilst retaining a sense of elegance and translating the terroir…This is a very impressive debut…Though unknown on the market, I suspect that this will not be the case for too much longer.” This is matched by Antonio Galloni who awards it 92+, “The 2014 La Clotte is a striking wine that hints at the potential the Vauthier family will likely be able to coax from this site.” He goes on to rightly posit “I would not be surprised if in a few years’ time, La Clotte sits only behind Ausone in the Vauthier range.” We offer it today for £225 per case of six, or £450 per 12.
Fast forward to the 2015 vintage after one year of the Vauthier family at the helm and the wines were awarded 95+ points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate, who says the wines possesses a “very spicy nose of cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and allspice over core of red and black currants, mulberries and black soil plus a waft of violets.” We can offer the 2015 today at £570 per case of 12, at under £50 a bottle, this is a remarkable price for a wine of this calibre.
The 2016 took another step towards Ausone’s majesty, awarded 96 points from Neal Martin who says “This must surely be the hidden gem of Saint-Émilion in 2016. It’s just a shame that only 10,000 bottles were produced. Try to buy one.” We can offer the 2016 today for £720 per case of 12. Comparing the 2015 and 2016 to its peers identifies the immediate value:

La Clotte95+£5803795£72048
Troplong Mondot96£9606095£1,20080
Clos Fourtet94+£9306495+£92560
La Valandraud96+£1,2007396+£1,29078
Chapelle Ausone94£1,70012194+£1,650114

The blend today is 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and it is now aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 85% new. The vines are 55 years old, a little older than the Ausone vines themselves. Indeed, it is sited just behind the St. Emilion village itself, due east, of Chateau Ausone, perfectly placed on the limestone plateau of St. Emilion. The vineyard occupies one of the higher elevations in the appellation, reaching up to 75 metres at its peak.
We expect La Clotte to rise and rise over the next decade. It now sells out instantly on allocation and there are a growing number or collectors who buy as much as they can on release, exhausting supply, assured that it will quickly rise above the average price of Chapelle d’Ausone which is currently over three times the price of La Clotte. The wine is on its way to becoming one of the most sought after in St. Emilion. As such we recommend collectors take advantage of our multibuy offer, a 12 bottle case of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 for £1,680, which equates to £47 per bottle. Drink it or sell it once it doubles in price!