Learn everything about Clos de Sarpe St. Emilion with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all the best vintages, a history of the property and information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Clos de Sarpe History, Overview
Clos de Sarpe is an interesting wine that clearly represents its stony, limestone terroir. Prior to being in the hands of the Beyney family, Clos de Sarpe was owned by the Baron du Foussat de Bogeron, who let go of the estate in 1923 when it was purchased by Jean Beyney.
Since the property was purchased by the Beyney family, the estate has remained a family owned vineyard. Chateau Clos de Sarpe has been passed down from generation to generation in the Beney family. Currently, the estate is managed by Christine Beyney and Jean-Guy Beyney.
Chateau Clos de Sarpe Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The small Clos de Sarpe 3.68-hectare vineyard is planted to 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. The vineyard is situated in the heart of the Sarpe area, located just north east of the village of St. Emilion. The terroir is thin clay over deep limestone and chalk soils with southeast exposure.
The vines are planted to a density of 5,500 vines per hectare. Clos de Sarpe has old vines. In fact, they have some of the oldest vines in St. Emilion. 70% of the vineyard averages 60 years of age. The remaining age of the vineyard is over years of age.
Yields are always low at Chateau Clos de Sarpe. On average, they are often close to 25 hectoliters per hectare. In some of the top vintages, for example, 2010, the yields are only 15 hectoliters per hectare! All vineyard management techniques use biodynamic farming principals. However, they chose not be certified.
To produce the wine of Chateau Clos de Sarpe, after a 5 day cold soak, vinification takes place in a combination of oak tanks and traditional, cement vats. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel.
Chateau Clos de Sarpe is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for 16 to 18 months before bottling. For the first 6 months of the barrel aging process, the wine is aged on its lees.
The best vintages of Chateau Clos de Sarpe are: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2010, 2009, 2005 and 2000.
Since Jean-Guy Beyney took over management of Clos de Sarpe, the property has completely turned around. Previously, there was almost very little selection and no new French oak was used for barrel aging. Things are very different today at the Right Bank property. The differences clearly show in the wine. Chateau Clos de Sarpe is consulted by Michel Rolland.
On average, less than 1,000 cases of Clos de Sarpe are produced every year. There is a second wine, Charles de Sarpe, which made its debut with the 1997 vintage.
Character and Style of Clos de Sarpe
The wines of Clos de Sarpe are a backward, tannic, mineral driven throwback to the ancient days of Bordeaux wine making. The character of this Bordeaux wine is intense minerality, strong tannins and serious levels of concentration and ripe fruit, with old vine intensity. It is a unique style of Saint Emilion wine that requires serious aging to soften and develop its aromatic complexities.
When to Drink Clos de Sarpe, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Clos de Sarpe is a very long lived wine. On average, 15-20 years of age in the cellar is what the wine needs before starting to show its best. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage. Clos de Sarpe is best enjoyed in the first 15-35 years of life.
Young vintages can be decanted for about 2-4 hours. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
Serving Clos de Sarpe with Wine and Food Pairings
Clos de Sarpe is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Clos de Sarpe is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes.
Clos de Sarpe is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.
Château Clos de Sarpe Wine Tasting Notes
21 Vintages 100,816 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2019||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
If you want to understand minerality in a wine, this is the one to teach you. Inky in color, the wine tastes of crushed rocks and stone. The range of black and blue fruit paired with licorice and smoke works and keeps on working. Big, powerful and stony, you will need patience with this gem. Give it 15 or more years before pulling a cork. You will be happy you waited. The wine is made from blending 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. 93-95 Pts
2,182 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
|2018||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Fresh and stony with a sweet edge to the plums, cherries and licorice, this wine offers a distinctive crushed rock and floral character to the fruit on the nose and on the rotundly lavish palate. From a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 15% alcohol. 93-95 Pts
1,747 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2017||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Crushed rocks is the first thing you notice, followed by toasty oak, dark cherry, licorice, flowers and smoke. The wine is full bodied and delivers ample fresh red fruits, salty ripe tannins and a strong rocky essence through to the finish.
1,639 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2016||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Concentrated, dense, stony and fresh, with a deep core of ripe, salty plums. The fruit has a spicy quality, with polished tannins and the structure to age, But this is not a user-friendly wine for early drinking. You will need to give it at least 12 years for everything to come together, but it is going to be worth the wait. The wine was made from a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.
1,577 Views Tasted Sep 21, 2019
Deeply colored, this powerful, dense, rich and intense wine combines concentration and mouth-coating levels of fruit and acidity with ripe, dark red fruits and citrus in the endnote. The wine was made from a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, reaching 15.5% with a pH of 3.3. Currently aging in 60% new French oak barrels, this is a change in the maturation process, as the previous vintages were aged in 100% new oak.
1,687 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2015||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Deep ruby in color, the wine resembles eating ripe plums with rocks, and that's what is so great about it. There is weight, density, length and complexity. The finish is long, leaving a trail of sweet, perfectly ripe, red fruits and freshness.
2,950 Views Tasted May 21, 2018
Inky in color, this is clearly the softest fruit produced at Clos de Sarpe. Liquid minerality, blended with plum liqueur is the best way I can this concentrated, intense, deep, rich wine.
2,466 Views Tasted Mar 19, 2017
Powerful, full-bodied, concentrated and filled with fresh plums and sweet, ripe, black cherries, thyme, crushed rocks and flowers, this wine is deep, fresh and long -- a grande dame who will age with grace and dignity.
2,752 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2016
|2014||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Earthy in character, with plums, licorice and spice, this is the first vintage where Clos de Sarpe began micro-vinifying15% of their wine in 600 liter barrels. Concentrated for the vintage, the microvinification has added additional softness to the wine, as well as rounding the tannins. That does not mean you don't have to give this time, as you do, but the plummy fruit has more softness in the texture.
1,326 Views Tasted May 19, 2017
Crushed stone, flowers and smoky, red fruits are coupled with a tannic, full bodied, fresh, red berry-packed style. This wine will enjoy one of the longest lives of the vintage. 92-94 Pts
2,014 Views Tasted Apr 27, 2015
|2013||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Few wines show this much color in 2013. The blend of fruit, herbs, tannins, spice and stone are slowly coming together. There is perhaps too much tannin for the fruit here, but time will tell.
1,113 Views Tasted Mar 19, 2017
Crushed rocks, flowers, licorice and kirsch liqueur aromas get you going. Intensive mineral sensations with fresh, juicy plums leave a long, rich impression on our palate. This would be a success in any vintage, but it’s a real accomplishment in this difficult vintage. From yields of only 8 hectoliters per hectare, this blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc reached almost 15% alcohol. If prices are fair, this is worth taking a look at, especially on release. 92-94 Pts
1,719 Views Tasted Apr 28, 2014
|2012||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Concentrated with layers of black plums, and assorted dark red pit fruits, this is packed with a combination of fruit and a wall of tannin, coated with crushed rocks and spice. Primary, and in need of aging, this will develop nicely if you are patient and have a few decades to spare.
1,848 Views Tasted Mar 19, 2017
With a complex nose of crushed rocks, coffee bean, smoke, black cherries and plums, the wine is full bodied, tannic, rich and long. There is good depth of flavor and concentration. One of the few vintages of Clos de Sarpe that is shaping up to show well early, the wine was made from a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.
2,303 Views Tasted Nov 8, 2015
With smoke, stone, plum and coffee notes, the wine offers a structured, powerful, mineral-driven and tannic finish. This is one of the more structured wines of the vintage. 89-92 Pts
2,800 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2013
|2011||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Forward in style, if one can say that about Clos de Sarpe, this is one of most dense wines of the vintage. Stony and tannic, with some oak that still needs to integrate, this concentrated, full bodied wine is loaded with truffle, and dark, red fruits.
1,975 Views Tasted May 19, 2017
Normally Clos de Sarpe requires years, if not decades in the cellar before its ready to drink. But that is not the case with this vintage. Notes of stone, licorice, oak and dark red berries open up the wine. The wine is polished and round, with an approachable, fresh, black cherry filled finish. This haas really filled and improved since it was tasted in barrel.
2,757 Views Tasted Nov 17, 2013
Smoke, black raspberry and stone notes lead to a powerful, dense, tannic, stone-filled, severe wine that will take a long, long time to soften. 88-90 Pts
2,849 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2012
|2010||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Deep in color, almost opaque, this is still close to a barrel sample, even now. Tight today, the wine has a lot going on here. There is a fatness to the fruit, lushness to tannins, concentration, intensity and length. Structured to age, this should take 20 years to show its true self. It's going to be worth the wait.
4,266 Views Tasted May 19, 2017
Clos de Sarpe An assemblage of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc from very old vines situated on stony soils produced a massive wall of dark fruit, rocks and tannin, with a ripe black plum finish. 92-94 Pts
7,522 Views Tasted Apr 22, 2011
|2009||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Perhaps the most elegant vintage of Clos de Sarpe, the wine is powerful, tannic, fresh and stony. The fruit is clean and fresh, but the tannins are there, letting you know, this requires more time than most wines from the often, forward 2009 vintage.
1,756 Views Tasted May 19, 2017
|2008||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
It takes effort to bring out the truffle, fresh herbs and just picked plums. Once you find them, they stock with you, along with a strong, tannic backdrop that frames the fruit. Long, concentrated, fresh and stony, this needs time in the cellar.
2,596 Views Tasted Mar 19, 2017
08 Château Clos de Sarpe is a huge wine, tannic, structured, and balanced. From grapes grown mostly in limestone soils with little clay, this unique wine offers intense minerality. It smells like a massive pile of broken rocks. Add liberal doses of black fruit and dark berry liquor, and you have the start of their tell tale perfume. This full bodied wine has ripe tannins and a big jolt of black fruit in the finish. Some plots reached close to 15% natural alcohol, requiring 3 additional months of malolactic fermentation. Only 500 cases were produced. 91-94 Pts
4,880 Views Tasted Aug 1, 2009
|2007||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
At 10, this is ready to show its unique combination of flowers, crushed rocks, ripe red fruits and espresso. Medium-bodied, fresh and with a strong sense of minerality interspersed with its red fruits and leafy herb characteristics.
1,654 Views Tasted May 19, 2017
|2006||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Talk about hot off the press... This was just bottled yesterday! Deep ruby color, black jammy raspberries, crushed stone and a powerful mouth presence announce this wine. Large scaled, dense and concentrated, it's also massively tannic with a long, mineral, earthy, licorice, black fruit filled finish. This wine demands aging
3,261 Views Tasted Jun 9, 2008
|2005||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Powerful, full-bodied, concentrated and showing saline character from all its stony qualities, herbs, tobacco, ripe, tannic black raspberries, plums and a hint of florality. This is quite young and fresh, it will take at least another decade to soften and pull all its qualities together.
5,301 Views Tasted Mar 19, 2017
Massive in layers of concentrated fruit, huge tannins and minerality. Not a lot of fun to taste today, but interesting to check in on it. Licorice, plum, earth, black cherry, spice, herbs and crushed rocks. The wine clearly fills your mouth and coats your palate with intensity and purity. If you can wait another decade, wait. If not, leave it in the decanter for a few hours. This is a unique, mineral driven expression of St Emilion.
5,219 Views Tasted Sep 25, 2012
|2004||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Tannic, firm and mineral driven, this needs more time for the fruit to shine through and for the wine to come together.
2,246 Views Tasted Nov 30, 2014
|2003||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
There is definite intensity here, which comes from old vines and very low yields. You also find ripe, very ripe and over ripe, plums, cherries, figs, chocolate and hints of jam. The opulent texture and crushed rock sensations makes it fun, but the low acid profile is not for everyone. This blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc is on the unique side, which some will like, and others are not going to dig it.
2,879 Views Tasted Dec 27, 2017
|2001||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Very concentrated, but with all the right stuff! This powerful, mineral, infused wine is packed and stacked with gobs of ripe fruit. Almost dense, this wine packs a lot of flavor and character into the bottle. I'd love to watch a bottle evolve over a day and chart its progress.
2,798 Views Tasted Jul 12, 2008
|2000||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Salty, stony, pure, and intense, the wine has power, a ripe, wall of tannin and layers of seemingly, rock-infused, red fruits. Another 7 or more years are needed here before this is fun to drink.
2,377 Views Tasted Feb 9, 2019
Crushed rocks, truffle, dark red fruits come to the surface. On the palate, the wine is dense, fresh, young and tannic. The feeling combines freshness with serious concentration and minerality. Give it another decade of rest.
3,085 Views Tasted Mar 19, 2017
This huge, massive, incredibly concentrated wine has a lot to offer. Stuffed with ripe dark fruit, minerality and spice, coupled with ample, but ripe tannins, this will age for decades.
3,352 Views Tasted Nov 25, 2007
|1998||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Stone, pepper, fresh herbs, spicy red and black plums with tobacco make up the perfume. Tanninc, fresh and bright, this is not a charming style of St. Emilion. The wine need another 5-10 years for the tannins to soften. But it will never be round or soft.
4,606 Views Tasted Sep 9, 2014
With its chocolate covered licorice and blackberry perfume was a pleasure to smell. But the wall of tannin will not afford the wine much pleasure if drunk young. This wine needs several years before possibly developing into a bottle that’s fun to drink
1,681 Views Tasted Oct 13, 2012
A weak sister to the more potent, modern vintages. Still, it was a very stylish wine with chocolate, covered licorice and blackberry flavor scents accompanied by a large mouthful of young Merlot. Ripe and tannic.
1,722 Views Tasted Jul 12, 2008
|1989||Château Clos de Sarpe (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
This was produced in a way completely different from the one the Chateau employs today. The `89 saw no oak and was subject to little selection. The wine was aged entirely in tank. Light licorice tones and earth notes are in the perfume. In the mouth, little enough fruit remains: it’s probably been drying out for the past several years.
1,911 Views Tasted Jun 19, 2009