Clinet was subsequently owned by the Audy family, which was more focused on its negociant (merchant) business than on improving Clinet’s underwhelming wine.
From the mid-1970s the Audy family planted more Merlot in the vineyards and used less Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc so that the wine was softer and less astringent.
The real catalyst for change and improvement was Jean-Michel Arcaute – son-in-law of the Audys – assuming control of Clinet in 1986.
He brought in Michel Rolland as winemaking consultant. Rolland encouraged late-harvesting of the grapes for maximum ripeness and lots of new oak barrels to make a rich, concentrated, opulent red wine.
Fast forward to 1992 and a vintage that frankly was a washout. But Clinet outperformed its Pomerol neighbours and made one of the best wines of this difficult vintage.