During the days of being a Bordeaux fanatic, I usually opted for the futures offers from various chateaux with a tendency to go for left bank First Growths and Super Seconds. Occasionally, I`d try other releases to compare and look for good QPRs. Rarely did I find anything that I truly loved, but there were a few exceptions and one was the 85` Clerc Milon.
I loved it early on and over the years thereafter. Then my palate took a shift for lighter, more elegant wines and champagne and Bordeaux became a less frequent experience. In the last few years, I`ve found that I like a good Bordeaux especially with the right food and occasion.
A recent offer for the 85` came in and I went for it. This was the first bottle of the lot I purchased and the first I’ve had in probably 20 years:
1985 CHATEAU CLERC MILON PAUILLAC- 11.5% abv; Imported by Young`s Market in LA whose Santa Barbara rep was a good friend those days; it had a top shoulder fill and scuffed, soiled label; because I had a last minute whim to open it, I decanted it about 10 minutes prior to pouring into Riedel Vinum Bordeaux stems; the colour was dark purple with bricking on the edge; the initial strong Bretty nose was a bummer; past that, some nice tertiary fruit came in with a bit of spice and I`m thinking I can get past the barnyard, but then about mid palate, the Brett regained momentum and dominated to the end; we swirled and swirled and let it sit for 10 more minutes and re-tried it and it was just a bit more approachable, but not enough; at least I now could discern more of the pleasant notes of dried and earthy black currant, blackberry and black cherry with some cedar and dark chocolate arriving late; the Brett component remained and I conceded, topped the bottle and placed it in the frig for a re-visit maybe.
Three days later, I’d built up enough resolve to give this another try and lo and behold, the Brett factor has now been relegated to that of a subtle hint and all of the other treasures were more prevalent. It still was not representative of all those wonderful memories of yesteryear, but I have more bottles to sample and am hoping for a really good one.