Ranked a fifth growth in the 1855 classification, Clerc Milon was run down when Baron Philippe Rothschild, who owned Château Mouton-Rothschild next door, purchased the property in 1970. Today, this classically styled Pauillac is considered one the best fifth growths and has increased in size from 30-41 ha planted to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37%Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere. A new state of the art gravity-fed winery was built in 2007 and in 2017, Clerc Milon was the first producer in Bordeaux to trial robotics.
91-93/100 Robert Parker Jr. The powerful 2010 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and the balance mostly Merlot except for dollops of Petit Verdot and Carmenere that achieved 14.5% natural alcohol – a record at Clerc Milon. An intense purple color is followed by notes of incense, creme de cassis and flowers and a broad, rich wine with superb purity, concentration and depth. This layered, expansive effort could turn out to be one of the finest this estate has ever made. Give it 3-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades.
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.