Learn everything about Chateau Clerc Milon, Pauillac, Bordeaux wine, 1855 Fifth Growth with wine tasting notes, and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all the best vintages, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Clerc Milon History, Overview
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 German widows. The vineyard holdings were broken up first in 1877 during the widows’ successions and finally reduced to just half its original size after that. Jacques Mondon, a notary in Pauillac, bought the estate and began to bottle and the sell the wine as Clerc Milon Mondon.
In the 1960’s, the chateau and vineyards passed into the hands of Jacques Vialard, another Pauillac notary, and then on his death, the vineyard was given to his sisters Marie and Marguerite Vialard. Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the owner of Chateau Mouton Rothschild acquired Clerc Milon from the family in 1970.
Chateau Clerc Milon The Modern Age
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. The Baron described it as; “A pretty estate in a high-quality terroir, that was currently in poor condition.” He was right. And that was soon to change.
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 is on display in the Museum of Wine in Art at Chateau Mouton Rothschild.
In 1983, the illustration for the Chateau 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 facilities. 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 placing half the cellars underground. This keeps the cellar cold while taking advantage of the environment. Work continues on replanting the vineyards. Optical sorting is also used. All of these improvements in the facilities have clearly helped create a better wine at Clerc Milon.
Chateau Clerc Milon Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
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, making it a very difficult patchwork of soils to farm and harvest. The owners are trying to slowly change that. When neighboring parcels are replanted, they are now joined together. With one small exception, a small parcel of vines placed close to Chateau Pedesclaux, all of their vines are in 1 large block. Chateau Clerc Milon adjoins two of the finest growths in the Medoc, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Their best parcels are located on a plateau, not too far from the Gironde estuary. Today, close to 50% of their vines are farmed using organic farming techniques.
On average, the vines are 53 years of age. However, they have even older vines. In fact they own some Carmenere vines that were planted all the way back in 1947. Those are the oldest remaining Carmenere vines in the entire Bordeaux appellation! The vine density is the same as what is planted at neighboring Chateau Mouton Rothschild with 10,000 vines per hectare. All work in the vineyard is done using only, 100% biodynamic farming and sustainable vineyard management techniques.
To produce the wine of Chateau Clerc Milon, vinification takes place 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. Richard Peduzzi is best known as the interior set designer for the Louvre and d’Orsay museums in Paris. In 2015, Chateau Clerc announced they were going to start producing a second wine, Pastourelle de Clerc Milon to help continue increasing the quality of their Grand Vin. However, the better term would be, they were about to start releasing a second wine, as Pastourelle de Clerc Milon was made starting with the 2009 vintage.
The best vintages of Chateau Clerc Milon are 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006 2005, 2003 and 2000.
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 were the finest young vintages of Clerc Milon I’ve ever tasted. That changed with the sublime 2016 vintage here. The wine 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.
Chateau Clerc Milon is ably managed by Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy. Under the direction of Jean Emmanuel Danjoy, Chateau Clerc Milon is now making the best wines in the history of the estate. Much of that success is due to their work in the vineyards, selection and in picking riper fruit, according to Jean-Emmanuel 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.”
On average, there is close to 16,000 cases of wine produced each year at Chateau Clerc Milon. There is a second wine, Pastourelle de Clerc Milon, which made its debut with the 2009 vintage.
When to Drink Chateau Clerc Milon, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Clerc Milon can be enjoyed on the young side with a few hours of air. But I find it so much better with cellaring. The wine is usually better with 8-12 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. In the best vintages, the wine will be at its best level of peak maturity between 10-25 years of age after the vintage. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 2-3 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
Serving Chateau Clerc Milon with Wine and Food Pairing Tips
Chateau Clerc Milon is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Clerc Milon is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Clerc Milon is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.
Château Clerc Milon Wine Tasting Notes
20 Vintages 217239 Views Sort Vintage - Rating
With quite a dark ruby color, there is chocolate-covered black raspberry, plum, and cigar box with a floral nose. The palate has a richness that I've never seen here before. Concentrated, polished, silky, sweet and fresh, the wine is long with real depth of flavor, ending with a salty complexity in the finish. This is a new level of quality for Clerc Milon. Blending 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% old vine Carmenere, this wine reached 13.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.58. The harvest took place September 26 to October 15.
Apr 29, 2017points - Tasted 1682 Views
Medium bodied with a bit of minerality in the salty tannins, the wine is vinified to be soft, approachable, fruity, elegant and fresh. Pastourelle de Clerc Milon is not sold as a future, the wine is aged until it's ready for drinking, which, on average, is five years after the vintage.
Apr 29, 2017points - Tasted 724 Views
At the top of my score range, or even better is where this should end up. Rich in texture, silky tannins and ripe, pure, sweet, cassis with a crispness on the palate is the name of the game here.
Jul 12, 2017points - Tasted 1251 Views
The essence of forest floor, freshly fallen leaves and the wrapper of a fine cigar mingle with sweet cherries and fennel to create the aromatics for this medium/full-bodied wine. Silky, elegant, charming and focused on perfectly ripened red fruits, there is a beguiling purity in the cherry finish, leaving a lasting memory on the palate. Blending 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% old vine Carmenere, this wine reached 13.4% alcohol with a pH of 3.63. 90 - 92 Pts
Apr 18, 2016points - Tasted 1961 Views
Freshness, ripe, sweet, dark red fruits, soft, elegant tannins and an attractive, spicy, fresh, red berry finish, what more can you ask for in a young Pauillac?
Feb 1, 2017points - Tasted 2548 Views
Tobacco and forest floor infused with a spray of cedar, the wine is soft, polished, medium-bodied, fresh, complex, elegant and approachable. There is length and a suave charm in the zippy finish. Using 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% old vine Carmenere, the wine reached 13.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.5. 91-93 Pts
Apr 14, 2015points - Tasted 2614 Views
Elegant, early drinking, medium bodied Pauillac, with a floral, red berry and cassis character.
Feb 10, 2016points - Tasted 1603 Views
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
Apr 20, 2014points - Tasted 1255 Views
With a floral, cassis, earth, thyme and black cherry nose, this soft styled wine will deliver tasty, early drinking pleasure.
May 15, 2016points - Tasted 2423 Views
With a floral, cassis, earth and black cherry nose, this soft styled wine will deliver tasty, early drinking pleasure.
Mar 11, 2015points - Tasted 1745 Views
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
Apr 23, 2013points - Tasted 2804 Views
Fresh, lively, vibrant red fruits and spice, medium bodied, with an open, red plum and black cherry finish.
May 22, 2015points - Tasted 5932 Views
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.
Feb 16, 2014points - Tasted 4565 Views
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
Apr 10, 2012points - Tasted 2469 Views
A beauty in 2010, this is a great Pauillac with character. The cassis, tobacco and cedar character, coupled with the elegant tannins and freshness makes a great combination.
May 4, 2016points - Tasted 4675 Views
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.
May 22, 2014points - Tasted 6607 Views
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.
May 7, 2013points - Tasted 4688 Views
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
Jul 30, 2011points - Tasted 5814 Views
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
Apr 20, 2011points - Tasted 5083 Views
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.
May 22, 2014points - Tasted 5428 Views
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.
May 1, 2013points - Tasted 7453 Views
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.
Feb 7, 2012points - Tasted 8445 Views
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
Aug 26, 2010points - Tasted 8632 Views
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.
May 22, 2014points - Tasted 6366 Views
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 .
Feb 16, 2012points - Tasted 6168 Views
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.
Jan 28, 2011points - Tasted 6293 Views
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
Aug 31, 2009points - Tasted 5867 Views
Medium bodied, earthy, cedar dominated character with crisp, peppery, red fruits in the finish.
Sep 2, 2017points - Tasted 1248 Views
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.
May 22, 2014points - Tasted 4133 Views
Ready for drinking, this charmer delivers tobacco, dark chocolate and sweet red fruits. Medium bodied and mature, the nose, followed by the sweet, fresh, ripe, red berry filled attack are far more interesting than the finish. Drink now age it for more development.
May 25, 2016points - Tasted 3774 Views
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.
May 22, 2014points - Tasted 4833 Views
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.
Sep 1, 2012points - Tasted 5259 Views
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.
Dec 21, 2011points - Tasted 7056 Views
Silky, smooth, delicious, polished, sweet, dark red fruits and tobacco with some, refined tannins left to resolve and a kick of fresh, juicy, cassis in the finish. Give this a few more years to develop.
Jun 28, 2015points - Tasted 4567 Views
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.
May 22, 2014points - Tasted 5457 Views
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.
Aug 20, 2012points - Tasted 4230 Views
Earth, cigar box, blackberry and green pepper on the nose. There is a hint of dryness on the palate in the singed, cassis finish. This is ready to drink.
Jan 4, 2015points - Tasted 2186 Views
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.
May 1, 2012points - Tasted 4443 Views
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.
May 22, 2014points - Tasted 4960 Views
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.
Dec 18, 2013points - Tasted 3652 Views
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.
May 15, 2011points - Tasted 8198 Views
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.
May 22, 2014points - Tasted 3066 Views
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.
May 22, 2014points - Tasted 2864 Views
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.
May 22, 2014points - Tasted 3413 Views
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.
Jun 21, 2012points - Tasted 5044 Views
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.
Jul 16, 2013points - Tasted 6160 Views
Cassis, plum and hints of earth make up the perfume. Medium bodied and uncomplicated, the wine finishes with fresh strawberry and plum flavors.
Jul 15, 2011points - Tasted 5841 Views
Cassis, blackberry, olives and herbal notes made up the perfume. Already mature, this easy drinking Pauillac ended with bitter chocolate and backberry flavors.
Jul 1, 2010points - Tasted 7407 Views
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.
Nov 15, 2009points - Tasted 2539 Views
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.
Jun 19, 2009points - Tasted 1814 Views