Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in November 2018 (see link below).
Chateau Clerc Milon, 5eme CC, Pauillac, 2015 - Nov 2018 Decanter review
"Extremely floral with blackberry and blueberry character plus hints of violets. Full-bodied yet always in check and reserve with fine tannins and bright acidity that goes on for minutes. Limestone undertones. The finish is particularly long this vintage. Super Clerc. Try in 2021. 95 points" James Suckling, www.jamesauckling.com, February 2018.
"Tasted blind. Dark crimson. Muted, but well-behaved nose. Rather sumptuous texture and fine tannins. A fine-boned wine offering real enjoyment quite early. Drink 2023-2040. 17 points". Jancis Robinson, www.JancisRobinson.com, February 2019.
A legendary terroir, prestigious neighbours, a providential encounter: the history and the success of Château Clerc Milon are summed up in these three words. The terroir is that of Pauillac, where some of the world’s finest wines are made. The neighbours are Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Lafite Rothschild, illustrious First Growths whose nearby vines can be seen from the terrace of the Château. The encounter was with Baron Philippe Rothschild, who in 1970 acquired the then badly neglected estate and decided to restore Château Clerc Milon to its status as a Cru Classe.
A wine with considerable ageing potential made in the traditional Médoc way, Château Clerc Milon is the result of a particularly successful marriage between gravel and clay-limestone terroirs and Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. Powerful, tannic, full-bodied and rich in fruit, it also has all the typical elegance of the finest Pauillac wines.
In terms of the weather, although 2015 was slightly warmer than average, it was above all very dry (706 mm of rain, compared with an annual average of 862 mm), especially between February and July, from budbreak to veraison. As a result the berries remained small, which explains why the yield was rather low. Rainfall in August and September was higher than average, which helped to prevent the ripening process from coming to a halt in a vineyard already stressed by the lack of water. As a result, the grapes matured at rather different rates from one plot to another, according to the variety, the age of the vines and the terroir. In order to ensure that each grape variety and each plot was picked at optimum maturity, the harvest period was the longest in living memory. It lasted 23 days between the Chateau's three estates, from the first Merlot clusters on 14 September to the last Cabernet Sauvignon grapes on 6 October.
Maturation was in oak casks (30% new) for 18 months.
According to the Château, the 2015 vintage in Pauillac is very similar in its heft and opulence to the 2005 vintage. They say: "the tannins are generally very well-rounded, dense and seamlessly smooth. After blending, the wines still have the same aromatic intensity and complex, full-bodied structures which barrel-maturing should further enhance".
Cabernet Sauvignon 51%, Merlot 34%, Cabernet Franc 13%, Petit Verdot 1% and Carmenere 1%.
The wine is a crystal-clear garnet red with violet highlights. The fresh and elegant nose exudes ripe morello cherry aromas, followed by subtle notes of liquorice and toast to complete a rich and complex yet light and airy bouquet. Initially refined and silky, the palate gathers power on finely chiselled tannins wrapped in crisp flavours of red fruit, dark chocolate and dried flowers. The rich and harmonious palate leads into a stylish and succulent finish with a slightly minty freshness.
ABV = 13.5%.