Chateau Clerc Milon 2016
Blend: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenere
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Densely fruited with fine tannin support and a good deal of ready ripeness to its credit, this year’s Clerc Milon ups the ante in richness relative to past offerings and fully demonstrates the success of Pauillac in 2016. It is both concentrated and still fairly tight to finish and, in our estimation, is a claret that should be laid away in the cellar for a good five to ten years before it can be fully appreciated.
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.