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Chateau Clerc Milon Pauillac Bordeaux Wine

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Chateau Clerc Milon, Pauillac, Bordeaux wine, 1855 Fifth Growth, producer profile, with wine tasting notes, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

During the early 1800’s, numerous small Bordeaux wine vineyards were located in the appellation of Pauillac. One of the better small estates was owned by M. Mandavy. That chateau later became Chateau Duhart Milon. Next to their vineyards sat a Bordeaux wine vineyard belonging to Mr. Jean-Baptiste Clerc. The Clerc family owned the property at the time of the 1855 Classification. Clerc sold part of his estate to Mr. Lamena before he passed away in 1863. The remaining portion of his holdings were passed on to his widow.

That part which had been purchased by the Lamena family was sold to Jacques Mondon, who mounted a legal challenge for the right to use the estate name of Clerc Milon. Despite owning the smaller part of the original estate, he won the case. The Bordeaux wine property became known as Clerc Milon-Mondon for a short time.

In 1868, the estate passed to the Clerc and Germain widows. The vineyard holdings were broken up from 1877 during the widows’ successions and finally reduced to half its original size. Jacques Mondon, a notary in Pauillac, bought the estate and sold the wine as Clerc Milon Mondon.

In the 1960s, the chateau passed into the hands of Jacques Vialard, another Pauillac notary, and then on his death to his sisters Marie and Marguerite Vialard. Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the owner of Chateau Mouton Rothschild acquired Clerc Milon in 1970. The Baron described it as; “A pretty estate in a high-quality terroir, currently in poor condition.” He was right.

A series of different owners and sales had completely forgotten about Chateau Clerc Milon to the point where the original vineyard was divided into several hundred parcels, with almost as many title deeds. Poorly maintained, Clerc Milon had only 10.5 hectares of vines in production and was little known outside of Pauillac at the time is was purchased by Baron Rothschild.

Knowing something about image, after all the Baron in part, recreated Mouton Rothschild in his own flamboyant image, he decided Clerc Milon also needed its own identity to stand out in the Medoc. He chose a representation of a Jungfraubecher, a German marriage cup dating from 1609 which belongs to the Museum of Wine in Art at Château Mouton Rothschild.

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In 1983, the illustration for the Château Clerc Milon label was changed to a pair of dancing clowns made of precious stones. The original art was created by a 16th century German goldsmith, also displayed in the Museum at Mouton.

In 2007, Clerc Milon renovated the Left Bank estate and constructed new wine making facilities. This is important to note as Chateau Clerc Milon does not have an actual chateau. Instead, they have only technical wine making facilites. Part of this major improvements started with the new vat house. Entirely gravity-fed, it completely eliminates the need for pump overs. The new facilities at Clerc Milon are based on a green philosophy. Energy is produced due to the 300 square meters of photovoltaic cells on the roof top. Chateau Clerc Milon lays claim to being the first vat house with HQE (High Environmental Quality) certification in the Bordeaux wine making region. The estate added a new barrel cellar which was built inside a small hill plaving half the cellars underground. This keeps the cellar cold while taking advantage of the enviroment. Work continues on replanting the vineyards. All of these improvements in the facilities have clearly helped create a better wine at Clerc Milon.

The 45 hectare vineyard of Clerc Milon in Pauillac is planted to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere. Chateau Clerc Milon maintains one of the largest plantings of Carmenere in Bordeaux. The vineyard has a terroir that is a complex array of gravel, limestone, sand and clay based soils. The vineyard is spread over 247 different parcels. Clerc Milon adjoins two of the finest growths in the Medoc, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Lafite Rothschild. On average, the vines are 53 years of age. However, there are even older vines. In fact they have some Carmenere vines that were planted all the way back in 1947. The vine density is the same as what is planted at Mouton Rothschild with 10,000 vines per hectare.

The wine of Chateau Clerc Milon is vinified in 40 stainless steel temperature vats which allow for very precise vinification of the vineyards 45 hectares of vines. Malolactic fermentation takes place in tank. The wine of Chateau Clerc Milon is aged in an average of 30% new, French oak barrels for between 14 and 18 months. The amount of oak and time in barrel depends on the character of the vintage.

To commemorate the properties newly reconstructed chai, starting with the 2010 vintage, the wine featured a new label designed by Richard Peduzzi. Peduzzi is best known as the interior set designer for the Louvre and d’Orsay museums in Paris.

The estate is managed by Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy. Under the direction of Jean Emmanuel Danjoy, Chateau Clerc Milon is making the best wines in the history of the estate. Much of that success is due to work in the vineyards, selection and in picking riper fruit accoring to Danjoy. “At Clerc Milon we look for complete phenolic ripeness when harvesting. Ideally, that means melting skins with no tannic astringency, good color extraction and brown seeds. Luckily, that level of ripeness can be achieved in our climate with potential alcohol below 13.5% and with good acidity. Those qualities are important to us, especially since Cabernet Sauvignon is the backbone of Clerc Milon.”

Clerc Milon produces a charming style of Pauillac. In the best vintages, this classically styled Bordeaux wine offers ample concentration of currants, blackberry and spice. This property has recently undergone major renovations in the cellars and in the vineyards. Management has changed as well. 2009 and 2010 are the finest young vintages of Clerc Milon I’ve ever tasted. It expresses ample Pauillac character with good concentration of flavors paired with supple textures. Hopefully, this trend to producing better wine at this property will continue as I expect good things to come from this estate over the next several years.

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Wine Tasting Notes

Displaying 16 vintages | 136865 Views Sorted by vintage

  1. 2013 Château Clerc Milon

    1. With espresso, plum and smoke on the nose, the medium/full-bodied wine is forward and open, ending with a simple blackberry note. From a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere, the yields were 23 hectares per hectare. The wine is aging in 50% new French oak. 88-89 Pts

      88 points - Tasted
      488 Views
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  2. 2012 Château Clerc Milon

    1. This vintage represents the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon used in the blend over the past several decades at 60% . The rest of the blend includes 29% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere. The wine reached 13.6% alcohol. Graphite, jammy black cherries, licorice and coffee bean scents open to a soft, fresh black raspberry-filled wine that should drink well with just a few years of bottle age. 90-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
      1972 Views
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  3. 2011 Château Clerc Milon

    1. Fresh, lively, vibrant red fruits and spice, medium bodied, with an open, red plum and black cherry finish.

      89 points - Tasted
      1550 Views
    2. Polished, soft, fresh, forward and elegant, the lively, cassis and dark cherries are complicated by earthy, tobacco and spicy qualities. Open and easy to like, this is a very successful wine in this difficult year.

      89 points - Tasted
      1389 Views
    3. Blending 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and even amounts of Petit Verdot and Carmemere. Lead pencil, earth and cassis, this polished Pauillac ends with a long, fresh, bright cassis and mineral sensation. 90-91 Pts

      90 points - Tasted
      1959 Views
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  4. 2010 Château Clerc Milon

    1. Dark in color, the vibrant fruit and soft, polished ripe tannins are followed by a good denseness of raw material and richness of fruit on the palate. This is an attention seeking, well priced Pauillac. In another 7 years, give or take, this is going to be a treat.

      92 points - Tasted
      3788 Views
    2. Earthy, coffee bean, vanilla, spicy black raspberry, cedar chest, and fresh cassis notes create the bouquet. Concentrated with cassis, fresh, spicy black cherries, ripe, but powerful tannins, balance and freshness, this is still a baby. Give it at least 5 years of age, if you can keep your hands off it.

      93 points - Tasted
      3374 Views
    3. Deeply colored, the wine opens with cassis, earth, forest floor and plum aromas. Round and elegant in nature, this Pauillac ends with polished black and red fruits. 91-93 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
      4709 Views
    4. Clerc Milon 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot ,11% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere make up the blend for the darkest color I recall seeing in Clerc Milon. Complex aromas of fresh herbs, cassis, forest scents, cedar wood and mocha open to smooth tannins, fleshy textures, brightness and a clean, cassis filled finish. 91-93 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
      4119 Views
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  5. 2009 Château Clerc Milon

    1. With a ruby hue, the Asian spice, smoke, spice and cigar box aromas are easily found. Silky, soft and polished, there is a sense of refinement in the fruit along with a slight chocolate sensation. The fresh, ripe character of the fruit in the finish make this a vintage for early drinking, or one that consumers can age. 2009 was the first vintage for the new director, Jean Emmanuel Danjoy.

      92 points - Tasted
      3502 Views
    2. Coffee, licorice, truffle, blackberry and tobacco scents lead to a lush, sweet, round and ripe wine that delivers sweet black cherries and spice and soft, plush textures.

      93 points - Tasted
      6282 Views
    3. Cedar, cassis, tobacco, blackberry, earth and spice aromas were all over the place. This blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère creates a wine that combines freshness, clean fruit, cassis and round tannins. There is ample concentration of raw materials to allow the wine and evolve, yet it will drink well young.

      92 points - Tasted
      7296 Views
    4. 2009 Clerc Milon, with its cassis, oak, caramel, and dark berry scented perfume, is inviting. This full bodied wine ends with boysenberries, cassis, and spice. This lighter style of Pauillac has not always been my favorite because of lack of concentration. 2009 is a big step forward. This is a very nice wine. 91/93 Pts

      93 points - Tasted
      7509 Views
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  6. 2008 Château Clerc Milon

    1. Medium bodied, structured and on the firm side of the style range for Clerc Milon, the wine is young, lacking the depth and excitement found in the next series of vintages.

      89 points - Tasted
      3034 Views
    2. Scents of chocolate, licorice, cassis, cherry, mint, coffee and stone open to a medium/full bodied, soft textured wine, ending with a tart, black cherry filled finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot .

      90 points - Tasted
      5860 Views
    3. Clerc Milon was already closing down. With coaxing, earth, tobacco, cedar and cassis aromas could be found. This lighter style of Pauillac wine ends with a chocolate covered, cherry finish. The vintage of Clerc Milon to buy remains the 2009.

      90 points - Tasted
      6022 Views
    4. 08 Château Clerc Milon was deep ruby. Black fruit with a hint of oak on the nose. The finish showed great purity with its red and black fruit profile. An elegantly styled wine. 89-91 Pts

      90 points - Tasted
      5681 Views
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  7. 2007 Château Clerc Milon

    1. Lighter in style and delivering all it has to offer today, with its earthy, tapenade and cherry profile, drink this over the next few years.

      88 points - Tasted
      1381 Views
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  8. 2006 Château Clerc Milon

    1. Truffle, cocoa powder, blackberry and spice on the nose, with ripe, polished tannins, the structure to age and a fresh, crunchy, cassis finish. Give it a few more years to soften and come together.

      91 points - Tasted
      3231 Views
    2. Earth, tobacco, cassis, spice and blackberry scents, soft, polished tannins and a fresh, spicy cassis finish are found in this charming Pauillac. The wine was made from a blend of blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. Drink this now if you them young, or give it a few more years to develop.

      92 points - Tasted
      4484 Views
    3. From an assemblage of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, the wine opens with tobacco, smoke, blackberries, cedar chest and floral aromas. The wine offers good concentration of flavor and is more powerful as well as tannic than many vintages of Clerc Milon. Although the tannins are polished, this is young and needs another 5 years before the tannins fade, the wine softens and begins to truly open up. This is a stylish Pauillac that still sells for a reasonable price for a classified Bordeaux wine.

      91 points - Tasted
      6267 Views
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  9. 2005 Château Clerc Milon

    1. Cigar box and cedar wood along with cassis and blackberry are available in the open nose. Soft and elegant on the palate, with a fresh, crisp, refined red berry center, this is only going to get better with another 3-5 years of bottle age.

      92 points - Tasted
      3855 Views
    2. Medium bodied and loaded with tobacco, earth, cassis and dark berries, this soft, elegant, refined, fresh Pauillac will probably drink well young. Give it a few more years. The wine was produced from a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere.

      91 points - Tasted
      3005 Views
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  10. 2004 Château Clerc Milon

    1. Cedar wood, spice, earth and dark cherry aromas, medium body and an open, ready to drink, soft, red berry personality. The wine was produced from a blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere.

      90 points - Tasted
      3917 Views
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  11. 2003 Château Clerc Milon

    1. With wet earth, spice box, truffle tobacco and fresh blackberries on the nose, this medium bodied, finesse styled wine avoids the over ripe qualities many wines suffer from in this vintage. Soft and close to fully mature, there is a dusty quality to tannins in the dark chocolate and cassis finish.

      90 points - Tasted
      2651 Views
    2. With the patina of age in the color, tobacco, forest floor and fresh herbs dominate the perfume in this cassis filled wine. Medium bodied, with some dryness in the cherry dominated finish, if you own any, drink up as this wine is not going to get better. The wine was produced from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenere and 3% Cabernet Franc.

      90 points - Tasted
      2608 Views
    3. Tobacco, cedar, smoke, cassis, s[ice and wet earth. Soft and round in texture, with a juicy mouthful of fresh cassis, this medium/full bodied wine is maturing at a rapid pace.

      91 points - Tasted
      7394 Views
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  12. 2002 Château Clerc Milon

    1. A solid wine that is drinking well at 12 years of age. Lots of fresh, ripe cassis, forest floor, tobacco, cherries and earth. Soft, charming and vibrant, this is quite nice today. The wine was produced from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

      90 points - Tasted
      1610 Views
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  13. 2001 Château Clerc Milon

    1. Vibrant, medium bodied with a bright, red berry quality to the fruit, the wine is probably close to fully mature. The wine was produced an unusual blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.

      89 points - Tasted
      1979 Views
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  14. 2000 Château Clerc Milon

    1. Soft, fresh and open, this medium bodied wine serves up fresh cassis, blackberry, forest floor and tobacco in the nose. Polite and refined, this is drinking well today. The wine was produced from a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot.

      91 points - Tasted
      2297 Views
    2. Following the 2009 Clerc Milon, this is my favorite vintage, and it's drinking perfect today with its earthy, tobacco, cassis and cedar chest aromas. More of a finesse Pauillac in style, the medium bodied wine offers pure, ripe, soft cassis and spice in the finish. The wine was produced with an unusual blend for the property, 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot.

      92 points - Tasted
      4194 Views
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  15. 1996 Château Clerc Milon

    1. From a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and 12% Cabernet Franc, this fully mature Pauillac displayed cassis, tobacco and truffle in the aromas. With a medium body, this Pauillac ended with with sweet, black cherries and spice flavors. This Bordeaux wine is fully mature. There is no reason to age it any longer as it will not improve much from here.

      90 points - Tasted
      5031 Views
    2. Cassis, plum and hints of earth make up the perfume. Medium bodied and uncomplicated, the wine finishes with fresh strawberry and plum flavors.

      87 points - Tasted
      4899 Views
    3. Cassis, blackberry, olives and herbal notes made up the perfume. Already mature, this easy drinking Pauillac ended with bitter chocolate and backberry flavors.

      89 points - Tasted
      6469 Views
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  16. 1989 Château Clerc Milon

    1. This has slipped past its prime time window. Light in the palate and nose, this easy drinking style of wine is not bad, it’s just simple, lacks excitement and requires immediate drinking.

      87 points - Tasted
      1893 Views
    2. This starts with black fruit, licorice, camphor and coffee notes on the nose. Full bodied with a nice finish of licorice tinged cassis. This wine is fully mature and should be enjoyed sooner than later. The fruit has already started fading.

      88 points - Tasted
      1166 Views
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