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Clarendelle Inspired by Haut-Brion Medoc 2014

Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
  • JS92
  • WW91
13% ABV
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3.2 12 Ratings
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3.2 12 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The color is quite deep and the wine has a concentrated bouquet with hints of blackcurrant and blackberry. This fruity freshness is also found on the palate, along with oaky nuances. The wine has fine tannic structure, as well as plenty of body and good aging potential. It is both balanced and powerful. A great first vintage for Clarendelle Médoc!

Blend: 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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JS 92
James Suckling
A very pretty wine with chocolate, spices, cedar and forest floor. Always subtle and complex. Medium body and very fine tannins. Fresh and savory. Drink now.
WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: I am always on the lookout for classic Médocs. The 2014 Clarendelle is a model citizen in the genre. TASTING NOTES: This wine is rich, mouthcoating, and balanced. Its aromas and flavors of black fruits, cigar box, and rustic earth should pair nicely with a rack of lamb. (Tasted: October 24, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
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Clarendelle Inspired by Haut-Brion

Clarendelle Inspired by Haut-Brion

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Clarendelle Inspired by Haut-Brion, France - Other regions
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In Chateau Haut-Brion, Clarence Dillon found not only the charm of an elegant and fabled estate, but also the opportunity of a lifetime. He discovered a tarnished jewel. This estate had sparkled for centuries prior to these difficult times and yet in 1934, Mr. Gibert, the current owner, had not been successful in his bid to give the estate away to the town of Bordeaux because of the high maintenance costs and meager returns.

The estate needed someone of passion and means to allow it to weather the storm. Clarence Dillon immediately entered into negotiations to acquire the estate and requested that his Paris office continue these on his departure by ship to the United States. On board the ship during the crossing he received a telegram which read "You may acquire Chateau Haut-Brion if we act fast." His two word answer was "Act Fast!" This short and decisive response was the beginning of a long family commitment to this estate and to the wines of Bordeaux.

Clarendelle's name thus pays homage to the ancestor who brought the family to this region. In creating Clarendelle the team from Clarence Dillon Wines and their colleagues at Domaine Clarence Dillon, wish to discover and extract the best from the enormous potential and savoir-faire that this region and terroir provide. They already benefit from centuries of acquired knowledge and will aim to produce wines worthy and representative of their heritage and provenance.

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One of the most—if not the most—famous red wine regions of the world, the Medoc reaches from the city of Bordeaux northwest along the left bank of the Gironde River almost all the way to the Atlantic. Its vineyards climb along a band of flatlands, sandwiched between the coastal river marshes and the pine forests in the west. The entire region can only claim to be three to eight miles wide (at its widest), but it is about 50 miles long.

While the Medoc encompasses the Haut Medoc, and thus most of the classed-growth villages (Margaux, Moulis, Listrac, St-Julien, Pauillac and St. Estephe) it is really only those wines produced in the Bas-Medoc that use the Medoc appellation name. The ones farther down the river, and on marginally higher ground, are eligible to claim the Haut Medoc appellation, or their village or cru status.

While the region can’t boast a particularly dramatic landscape, impressive chateaux disperse themselves among the magically well-drained gravel soils that define the area. This optimal soil draining capacity is completely necessary and ideal in the Medoc's damp, maritime climate. These gravels also serve well to store heat in cooler years.

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Bordeaux Blends

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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.

In the Glass

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. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

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.

SWS475172_2014 Item# 494866