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Chateau Clerc Milon 2014

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750ML / 13.5% ABV
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The wine has a deeper reddish purple color. Concentration on the nose is revealed with great refinement and complexity. Black cherry and vanilla aromas give way to deeper, smoky, peaty notes along with blond tobacco and dried flowers. Refinement is everywhere on the palate as the lush and creamy attack expands over well-integrated tannins to mingle with generous and varied flavors reminiscent of morello cherry and almonds, with a slightly marine cast. The finish, flavorful and fresh with great tension, displays dark chocolate, saline and mineral notes.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
This property continues its upward trend. It is a solid wine, packed with great ripe fruit. Old vines give extra concentration and depth of flavor. The wine has great potential, with both its tannins and rich fruit playing strongly. Drink from 2023.
JS 94
James Suckling
Extremely floral and fresh with currants, light chocolate and orange peel. Red clay, too. Full-bodied, firm, silky and long with a flavorful finish. Salty undertone. Stones. Really serious. Better in 2021.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Cantenac Brown has a backward nose at first, a mixture of red and black fruit, cedar and tobacco, an attractive pastille-like scent emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a little more extraction than its peers. It feels fleshy and pure, notes of raspberry coulis, confit fruit, orange rind and tobacco towards the well-structured, delicately spiced finish. It makes you want to come back for another sip—always a good sign! A bottle tasted six months later in February 2017 demonstrated a little more cohesion and finesse, suggesting that this Margaux will meliorate with bottle age. One to watch out for.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This is defined by a large, rounded core of enticing cassis, cherry preserves and plum compote, while light anise and briar notes hang in the background. Offers an ample spine for balance, but this feels like it may be approachable sooner because of that ball of fruit. Best from 2018 through 2028.
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
For decades, Château Clerc Milon has been one of my favorite Pauillacs. I have enjoyed its balance between the Old and New Worlds—never over-the-top in being too international and always showing its Pauillac roots. This vintage shows bright red and black fruit, a touch of sweet oak, and a little bit of dust. (Tasted: January 27, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
D 92
Decanter
More briary, robust and structured than its stable mate d'Armailhac. Impressive vineyard depth -?? a serious Pauillac on top form.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2014 Clerc Milon lags behind its 2015 counterpart but is a solid, concentrated, charming 2014 that’s certainly an outstanding wine, and then some. Red and black currants, lots of earthy minerality, tobacco, and cigar notes all give way to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, ripe, textured 2014 that has good acidity, fine tannin, and loads of charm. It’s approachable today but will be better with 3-4 years of bottle age and shine for two decades or more.
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Chateau Clerc Milon

Chateau Clerc Milon

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Chateau Clerc Milon, France
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Chateau Clerc Milon, classified as a Fifth Growth in 1855, consists of 79 acres of vines, planted with the typical varieties of the region: 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère. Adjoining two Pauillac First Growths, Lafite and Mouton, the estate had become somewhat neglected when it was bought by Baron Phillipe de Rothschild.

Convinced of the wine’s potential, Baron Philippe considered that Château Clerc Milon deserved a “rightful place” alongside the family’s two other wines, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau d'Armailhac. He acquired the estate in 1970 and embarked on a meticulous renovation of the vineyard, drawing on the remarkable skills of the technical staff at Mouton, while reconstituting the estate by gradually buying up the parcels dispersed over the years from their countless owners.

Vines were replanted by staff from Chateau Mouton Rothschild, parcels were consolidated and many technical improvements were made, including the building of a new vat room. To renew the wine’s image and identity, he successively illustrated the Château Clerc Milon label with two decorative works by 17th and 18th century German goldsmiths taken from the Museum of Wine in Art at Chateau Mouton Rothschild:  a Jungfraubecher, a silver-gilt marriage cup, until the 1982 vintage, then a pair of dancers made of precious stones. These efforts are now bearing fruit and Chateau Clerc Milon has become one of the most sought-after Médoc wines, displaying a richness and depth comparable with the region's finest.

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The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BALF142633_2014 Item# 142633

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