2020 Château Clerc Milon, Pauillac, Bordeaux

2020 Château Clerc Milon, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 20201008212
 
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2020 Château Clerc Milon, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Description

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Cabernet Sauvignon 53%, Merlot 37%, Cabernet Franc 8%, Petit Verdot 2%

This well-situated vineyard has a view of the Gironde. It’s right beside Mouton Rothschild, but on slightly cooler soils; it’s usually later to ripen. Not so in 2020, with the harvest completed between 9th and 28th September. Clerc Milon has been on an upward trajectory under the stewardship of Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy (now promoted to Mouton itself), and this is a fine example. The bouquet is balanced, with ripeness, compote of bilberry and a lick of raspberry. The palate is fine and creamy, well coated and with just a hint of green-tea tannin and sculptured austerity. It’s very classy.

Drink 2028-2045

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson94/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous90-92/100
Neal Martin, Vinous91-93/100
Wine Advocate92-94/100
Jeb Dunnuck93-95/100
Jane Anson94/100
Powerful, a little austere with tight black fruits that will benefit from adding flesh over ageing, as the tannins are a little angular right now. The freshly crushed mint leaf finish is beautiful, and this is is ripped with powerful nuanced fruit, tobacco and earthy flavours, followed by waves of violet flowers. Good quality, not as exuberant as some years of Clerc Milon. First year of Caroline Artaud to oversee the entire vintage, as Jean-Philippe Danjoy has headed over to Mouton. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 50% new oak. There is also 0.6% of Carmanère in the blend.

Drink from 2028 to 2044

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous90-92/100
The 2020 Clerc Milon is soft, fruity and supple. Inky red fruit, plum, lavender, rose petal and spice all meld together in the glass. The 2020 is not terribly complex, but it is open-knit, radiant, and incredibly appealing, even in the early going. I suspect it will offer quite a bit of pleasure right out of the gate. The proportion of Merlot is a bit higher in this year's blend, which no doubt contributes to the wine's appeal. Tasted two times.

Drink from 2025 to 2040

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous91-93/100
The 2020 Clerc Milon has a crisp, well-defined bouquet that you might suspect derives from a cooler growing season. Mainly black fruit here, along with cedar and light sea spray/estuarine scents, unfolding nicely in the glass but always keeping something back. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. An elegant rather than powerful Clerc Milon, with a slightly ferrous, well-structured but never grippy finish and a saline aftertaste. Give this 4–5 years in bottle. Classic Pauillac through and through.

Drink from 2027 to 2045

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate92-94/100
The 2020 Clerc Milon - a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot with just a splash of Carmenere - has a deep garnet-purple color, opening with notes of tar, unsmoked cigars, bouquet garni and graphite, giving way to a core of ripe black and red currants, boysenberries and tree bark, plus a touch of black olives. The medium-bodied palate delivers fantastic tension and impressively ripe, fine-grained tannins to support the crunchy, energetic black fruit flavors, finishing with a lively herbal lift.

Drink from 2025 to 2040

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck93-95/100
The top wine 2020 Château Clerc Milon checks in as 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot and Carmenère, and it's another beauty, offering both richness and elegance. Ripe currants, cassis, damp earth, graphite, and crushed stone-like minerality define the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a more focused, pure texture, plenty of expansive richness on the mid-palate, and ripe, building tannins. This beautifully layered, pure wine shows the style of the vintage nicely.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Château Clerc Milon

Château Clerc Milon

Fifth-growth Château Clerc Milon is one of a trinity of Pauillac classified growths owned by the Baron Philippe de Rothschild family. Baron Philippe began renovation and restoration here in 1970 – work that was later championed by his daughter Baroness Philippine until her death in 2014.

Baroness Philippine’s children, Philippe and Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, now continue their mother’s legacy. In recent times, the estate has flourished under the careful stewardship of Director Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy. In 2020, his role expanded to include Ch. Mouton Rothschild and Ch. d’Armailhac and the talented winemaker Caroline Artaud joined the team at Ch. Clerc Milon in the capacity of Director.

Ch. Clerc Milon’s vineyard holdings – just over 40 hectares – neighbour two first growths, Ch. Lafite and Ch. Mouton Rothschild. Half of the vines are Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remainder being Merlot (37%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Petit Verdot (2%) and Carmenère (1%). The vines have an average age of 53 years. Harvesting here is done by hand.

A huge amount of work has been done to improve the winemaking facilities. In 2007, the gravity-fed vat room was inaugurated; three years later, in 2011, work was finished on the winery, cellars and tasting room.

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Pauillac

Pauillac

Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.

For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.

Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.

Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.

Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.

Recommended Châteaux
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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