After Yquem, Château Climens is regarded as the region's second best wine.
Where Chateau d'Yquem is known for concentration and lusciousness, Climens strive for elegance, purity and freshness.
For those looking to discover the best of Sauternes, this wine is a must.
95-97/100 Neal Martin, Robert Parker. Tasting through individual lots, I was struck by their purity and tautness, developing engaging floral aromas with aeration, with occasional notes of yellow plum and ginger. On the palate, once again there is a common theme of purity and crisp acidity, although they alternated between a lighter and a more mellifluous style.
19/20 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Decanter. Fine, complex and elegant. Final blend under the deft guidance of Berenice Lurton will no doubt create another great vintage for Climens. Drink 2021-2047.
18/20 Julia Harding MW, Jancis Robinson. Lot 6, picked on 15 September had quite a mineral streak with spice and terrific freshness. Lot 9 from 18 September was richer and denser with more barley sugar and orange flavours but still had great acidity. Lot 11, picked 20 September had fine tension and length – real elegance and subtle orange notes. Lot 12, from 21 September was dense and very very long. Lot 13, picked 26-28 September and therefore comprising some of the most concentrated berries but also some 'golden berries', resulting in a rich but very lively elixir. If these examples are anything to go by, this will be a very pure and elegant vintage with excellent freshness. My average score was 18. Drink dates are harder to predict but (having tasted some much older vintages here), I'd estimate 2021-2040+.
Sauternes is home to arguably the most prestigious and long-lived sweet wines in the world. Located 65 km south of the city of Bordeaux at the southern tip of the Graves, the appellation has 2100 ha of vineyards planted on flat, alluvial gravels overlying thick layers of limestone. Although viewed as one appellation, Sauternes actually consists of five communes; Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignanc, and Sauternes with Barsac also a designated appellation in its own right. What makes Sauternes unique is its special mesoclimate caused by the confluence of the Ciron and the Garonne rivers.
The region experiences evening mists in autumn which set in until late morning and are subsequently burnt off by warm sunny afternoons. It is precisely these conditions that provide the ideal environment for the growth of botrytis cinerea – a fungus that attacks the grapes, causing them to dehydrate leaving sweet shrivelled fruit, ideal for sweet wine production. Sauternes wines are made predominantly from Sémillon with Sauvignon Blanc with small amounts of Muscadelle. Golden in colour with enticing aromas and flavours of honey, acacia, stone-fruit, candied citrus and marmalade, classic Sauternes is rich, unctuous and beautifully balanced by fresh acidity. Capable of long-ageing, the wines turn deep amber with age, taking on more tertiary caramel flavours over time.