Ranked a fifth growth in the 1855 classification, Clerc Milon was run down when Baron Philippe Rothschild, who owned Château Mouton-Rothschild next door, purchased the property in 1970. Today, this classically styled Pauillac is considered one the best fifth growths and has increased in size from 30-41 ha planted to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37%Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere. A new state of the art gravity-fed winery was built in 2007 and in 2017, Clerc Milon was the first producer in Bordeaux to trial robotics.
"The wine has the highest levels of Cabernet Sauvignon since the 1980s, and even on the nose you can feel its impact in terms of the depth of tight black fruit. Extremely good quality with fine tannins that build, build, build over the palate, and grip on, forcing you to slow down and pay attention. Beautiful spice with menthol, slate, pencil lead, blackberry and blackcurrant. An exciting wine with real energy and forward motion, helped to withstand the summer heat by its position by the river, and the fact that the average age of the vines at Clerc Milon is almost 50 years. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Jean Emmanuel Danjoy's last outing doing the full vintage at Clerc Milon before he heads over to Mouton as technical director.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2044"
95 Points, Decanter
"The blend this year is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 9th of October. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Clerc Milon starts out a little closed and broody, offering notes of tar, chargrill, tapenade and Marmite toast over an emerging core of stewed plums, black cherries and kirsch with a touch of garrigue. The medium-bodied palate delivers loads of freshness with crunchy black fruits and a lively line, backed up by grainy tannins, finishing long and savory.
“The vineyard of Clerc Milon was a mess for centuries,” Philippe Dhalluin explained to me. “It had never been restructured. Now it is 54 hectares of many, many small plots. Slowly, we have been replanting, planting the right rootstocks and varieties on the right plots. In five to 10 years, Clerc Milon will begin to show these improvements.” A very well situated property (cozied right up to the Gironde, across the road from Mouton Rothschild and next door to Lafite’s parcels on that side of the D2 road), this is most certainly a property to watch over the forthcoming years."
92-94+ Points, Wine Advocate
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.