“First and foremost, Bordeaux has an undeniable great vintage on their hands with 2018. While I think it slots in just behind 2016, it is unquestionable in the same league and holds its own with any past great vintage, including 1989, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2016.” - Wine Critic Jeb Dunnuck
Chateau Clos de l'Oratoire of Saint Emilion turned out a stunning wine in 2018. Yes, the wine is built for the long haul, but with a generous decant you can satisfy that urge to pop the cork on this gem now.
Chateau Clos de l'Oratoire came to be in 1972 when the best vineyards were separated from a larger estate of Chateau Peyreau. Graf von Neipperg, the father of the current owner Stephan von Neipperg, recognized their potential early on.
Chateau Clos de l'Oratoire consists of 13 hectares planted to 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. They practice sustainable and biodynamic viticulture, which holds true for all Stephan von Neipper’s estates.They never use pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides.
Stephan von Neipperg’s other estates include Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere and La Mondotte of the right bank, as well as Chateau Peyreau in St. Emilion, and Chateau dAiguilhe in Cotes de Castillon. This is quite the lineup of chateaus, all are highly regarded in their respective appellations.
Chateau Clos de l'Oratoire Saint Emilion 2018
Shelf Price $57.99
Sale Price $47.97
94-97 pts Wine Spectator
Features seamlessly layered dark currant, fig and boysenberry fruit, infused liberally with a tobacco note and backed by a long, smoldering finish. Latent energy keeps this going. An impressive young wine. 4/19
95+ pts Jeb Dunnuck
The team of Stephan von Neipperg knocked it out of the park in 2018, producing a brilliant lineup of wines. The 2018 Clos De L'Oratoire checks in as 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc that was brought up in 45% new French oak. As with most of the new releases here, it has a crunchy, vibrant style in its blue fruits, scorched earth, violets, cedarwood, and dried flower-like aromas and flavors. Beautifully balanced, pure, elegant, and seamless, this incredibly classy Saint-Emilion is going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age (if not longer) and evolve for 30 years in cold cellars. It's certainly in the running for the finest vintage I've tasted. 03/21
92-95 pts Vinous
The 2018 Clos de l'Oratoire is another stunning wine in Stephan von Neipperg's range. The greater presence of Cabernet Franc, along with a move towards earlier picking, no SO2 at crush and less oak influence are some of the factors that have completely transformed Clos de l'Oratoire from the powerhouse it often was to a wine of total and exquisite finesse. Inky dark fruit, lavender, sage, and mint give the 2018 striking aromatic depth, but it is the wine's total sense of harmony that impresses most. The 2018 is fabulous. That's all there is to it. Tasted two times. (AG) 4/19