2005 Clos Manou Médoc Bordeaux France Wine Tasting Note
Clos Manu Vineyard, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
Located in the northern part of the Medoc, the 16.8 hectare vineyard of Clos Manou is planted to 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. The vines are old, with an average of 35 years. One of best, or should I say amazing things about the vineyard of Clos Manou is that they also have some very old vines. In fact, they have some of the oldest vines in all of Bordeaux.
They own one small parcel of Merlot that was planted during the 1850's. This is one of the few remaining parcels of vines in Bordeaux that is pre-phylloxera. I wish they would bottle some of those grapes. The vineyard of Clos Manou is planted to a vine density of 10,000 vines per hectare. The vineyard has a terroir of gravel, sand, clay and limestone soils. All farming and vineyard management at the estate is 100% organic.
The wine of Clos Manou is vinified in a combination of oak vats and cement tanks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel. 1/3 of the wine is aged on its lees for 6 months, to give the wine more richness. The wine is then aged in 100% new, French oak for barrels for an average of 17 months before bottling.
The estate produced a special wine for 2 vintages that was a high end version of their Grand Vin, Clos Manou Cuvee 1850. The wine was only made in 2008 and 2009 and is no longer being produced. There is a second wine, Petit Manou. The production hovers around 3,000 cases per vintage of Clos Manou. However, it's good to note that a large portion of their crop is designated for the second wine. That makes quite a statement for their search for quality, especially when you consider they are not a classified growth and their wine is available for a very, consumer friendly price point.
When to Drink Clos Manou, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Clos Manou needs some time before it can be enjoyed. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 1 hour or so. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Clos Manou is usually better with at least 6-9 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Clos Manou offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 6-14 years of age after the vintage.
Serving and Decanting Clos Manu with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Clos Manu is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. The wine of Clos Manu is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Clos Manu is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.