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2015 : Early, fast and outstanding harvest! / The beginning of October is much more quiet than usual at Château Climens : seldom a harvest has finihed so early!  After a longer and bigger than expected first period, due to very good climatic conditions, the picking did stop shortly between September 22 and 28. The golden grapes were slowly becoming mauve under the effect of Botrytis when a succession of sunny and windy days dramatically accelerated the process of concentration. The harvest started back for what proved to be the last straight line: 8 consecutive days of quick but meticulous picking, giving rise to a superb and abundant crop. This early and fast picking enabled us to avoid both the effects of overconcentration and those of the coming  rainy weather: right from October 5th, all the crop was under cover in the cellar, slowly but surely fermenting in barrels.

2015 : Early, fast and outstanding harvest!

Thanks to biodynamics, the vineyard did fully benefit from the very favourable climatic circumstances leading to early maturation of the grapes, followed by perfect development of noble rot in September.

After 3 years of meager yields, our 20 hl per hectare of great quality remind us of the bountiful crops of the 2009-10-11 trilogy.

The aromatic purity and finesse of the musts, their excellent balance (potential 21.5° as an average), the consistency of the lots predict a superb Chateau Climens!

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The exceptionally distinguished Château Climens, whose outstanding past spans several centuries, became known as the “Lord of Barsac” very early on. The history of this prestigious growth is characterised by unfailing continuity enabling only the very best to be coaxed out of this unique terroir. At the same time, it has meant that ongoing upkeep and perfection of its ancestral heritage is possible.

Only five families have owned the estate from its origins. This is a rare occurrence which explains why its surface area in a continuous single vineyard has practically remained unchanged since the date of its creation.

The name Climens appeared for the first time on a contract dated 1547, in which it is stated that Girault Roborel, the King’s advocate in Barsac, had inherited a part of this land from his father. The two names, Climens and Roborel, would soon become one family name, the Roborel de Climens family who built up the domain over more than two centuries. An elegant, discreet Chartreuse (traditional local architectural style home) built in the 17th century is a telling indication of the domain’s distinguished past. However, historical unrest would get the better of this joint venture and the well established domain was damaged during the French Revolution. The widow of Jean-Baptiste Roborel de Climens sold it in 1802.


Jean Binaud who bought it knew what he was doing: a Bordeaux wine merchant, he recognised the potential of this property and took great care of it. Thereafter Château Climens belonged to two more families of wine makers who were equally conscious of the value of this unique terroir. It is therefore no surprise that Château Climens was granted First Growth status in 1855. From 1855 the famous printers and journalists from Bordeaux, the Gounouilhou family, took over Climens and kept it for almost a century. In the early 1970s Lucien Lurton started taking an interest in the Sauternes region. This man who is passionate about exceptional terroirs already owned several famous classified growths in the Medoc. He was won over by the finesse of the Climens wines and with great foresight acquired the Château in 1971 despite the crisis that Sauternes wines were undergoing at the time. He brought a determined touch of modernity as well as relentlessly high standards to the domain while respecting both tradition and the centuries-old savoir-faire in particular. It was in 1992 that his daughter Bérénice Lurton took the Château’s destiny into her capable hands. Since then, it is with enthusiasm and determination that she takes great care in perpetuating the precious magic of Château Climens, ensuring that this legendary growth shines with evermore brilliance and grace.

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On the left bank of the Garonne, an enclave within the Graves region in the south-west of Bordeaux, the Sauternes-Barsac appellation is a tiny region where the most prestigious sweet white wines in the world are made. The Grands Crus from Sauternes and Barsac were classified in 1855 at the same time as the Grands Crus from Médoc. Château Climens belongs to the First Classed Growths of 1855.


Within the Sauternes appellation, the village of Barsac is the only one to benefit from its own appellation: its terroir, with a predominance of limestone gives different wines, often less opulent than those from Sauternes, but generally endowed with greater freshness in terms of balance and aromatic expression. The Barsac vineyard stands out across the heart of the rolling landscapes of the Gironde. Dry stone walls echo the rows of vines, indicating the four enclosures of Climens that surround the château’s 30 hectares situated on the appellation’s highest land where limestone outcrops are abundant.

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Climens is a wine with a very strong and bewitching personality. Every deed and gesture in our complex profession of being a viticulturist and wine maker are relentlessly aimed at this target: to bring out the special grace that is specific to Climens and which so many passionate wine lovers fall in love with – to bring this out year after year, beyond and through the differences of each vintage.

The philosophy of Château Climens: crafting wines like a true goldsmith

In creating the wines we seek the special grace that only the terroir at Climens can produce. It is a harmonious and magical wine that takes flight and remains weightless.”


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Inside information

The name Climens means ‘unfertile or poor land’ in a local dialect! That was not taking into account the vine, this prodigious plant which is capable of transforming apparently undesirable soils into terroirs blessed by the gods. Their red soils, a thin layer of clayey sand rich in iron, cover a fossil-rich limestone platform which favours natural drainage.

From a biodynamic point of view, great terroir is born of balance among the four elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. At Climens one’s eye is drawn to the red earth that originates in Fire and is the guarantor of richness. The element Water, found in the clay, balances this natural opulence perfectly by endowing the wine with its fluidity and freshness. The climate is different every year and whether it is the rain or the heat, Water or Fire in varying proportions, it makes each vintage unique.

However, Climens is above all an airborne, weightless wine, devoid of any heaviness. It is the really unusual sands which give it the Airelement, guaranteeing the brightness, the elegance and the taut tension that are so characteristic of Château Climens. The limestone which represents the Earth element brings structure and depth to it.

But in order to attain the perfect balance, generations of wine makers have realised that it was necessary to transcend the limestone with a grape variety characteristic of Earth. And so it has been Semillon that imposed itself over the centuries as the one and only variety at Climens. It asserts the originality of the cru as a virtuoso interpreter of this exceptional terroir and is a tremendous vector for Botrytis Cinerea.

With a helping hand from the micro-climate, the ultimate paradox can take place: the arrival of noble rot, which veritably sublimes this natural harmony that one calls the soul of a wine. 

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Wine Moments

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 Christoph Hons, Wine Blogger (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  10 wines 

Weekly tasting at Park Chinois London

3m 13d ago

 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  30 wines 

Le Cinq "Wine Legends" Dinner with wines like Bouchard 1865, Beycheville 1899, DRC Conti 1940, DRC Richebourg 1942, Margaux 1928, Latour 1929, Mouton 1949, Petrus 1949, 1955, 1959, and 1966 etc.

3m 16d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.

 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.

 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

5m 27d ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  161 wines 

Bordeaux 2016 vintage!

5m 28d ago

 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  10 wines 

Putting in mouth anything that is 290 years old, sounds suspicious. Enjoying it so much that you wish to have plenty more of it souns insane. I truly enjoyed that "sanity" with great friends, when we sahred the world's oldest known wine available – 1727 Apostelwein. What an insane night it was with so many great wines – Romanee-Conti 1923, Vega-Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial 1973/1975/1976, Petrus 1982, Ch. Margaux 1982, Harlan 1993, Grange 1998, and Ch Climens 1943 bottled for Nazis. Wow!!

7m 26d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  19 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  19 wines 

Château Climens 1934-2011 / 2001 Vintage is bright golden, absolutely fabulous! Complex, seductive, apricots, botrytis, such elegance, gorgeous structure, bready, or maybe more of biscuits, incredibly youthful, all of this, but the acidity? Well it kind of does the job, because it's never sticky, not even close. But it isn't fresh and lively either, and that is where it loses its marks for me, but still. 95

8m 30d ago

 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  12 wines 

What a great evening. Fantastic food, sensational winnes and fabulous company.
I am a very lucky person to have friends like this.

11m 16d ago

 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  14 wines 

“A few brief words. In 1982 , for these properties, a mere 200 meters apart, Christian Moeueix and Jean-Claude Berrouet made both Petrus and Lafleur 1982, the Robin sisters were quite advanced in age, and only in 1985 did Sylvie and Jacques Guinaudeau take over the helm at Lafleur.
Petrus is virtually all Merlot, and Lafleur is roughly evenly split between Cabernet Franc and Merlot, usually making it somewhat more structured, and in 1982, in some bottlings (like ours on this evening), more introspective.

1y 3m ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  6 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  50 wines 

“Bordeaux 2015 Vintage Part I / I did have quite great expectations for 2015 vintage while tasting barrel samples in two first weeks in April 2016. Mainly because I witnessed during 10 days stay in Bordeaux (28.09 - 08.10), exceptional quality of grapes, their ripeness inside and outside, and very favourable weather in September and October, which promised so much. Expectations weren't fulfilled 100% unfortunately. Anyway, 2015 has nothing to be ashamed of!”

1y 4m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  104 wines 

“Bordeaux Vintage 2015 Part I / Vieux Château Certan 2015:100 points: Deep colour. Fresh aromatic musky dark plum aromas with praline, fine espresso, vanilla oak. Sweet dark cherry, musky plum praline violet flavours, beautiful long fine chalky silky tannins, superb savoury oak complexity and mid palate viscosity.  Fine dry grainy finish with beautiful flavour length. A very sophisticated wine with lovely freshness and line. Finesse and elegance. ”

1y 6m ago

 Bob Thompson / Wine Writer, Pro (South Africa)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  25 wines 

“Sauternes 1975 and 1976 tasting: Château Climens 1976 - 96 points: Decanted for one and half hour. Retained its best characteristics for three hours after opening. Wine level by the neck. The wine is temptingly golden. A charmingly open, mature and full nose. Still an attractively sweet, lively and multi-layered wine. Soft creamy texture. Excellent balance and a refined aftertaste. A perfect Sauternes from a suberb vintage.”

1y 6m ago

 Jules Chauvet / Wine Importer, Wine Importer (France)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Climens . In a tasting of  19 wines 

“One of the stars of the vintage for Sauternes, the 1996 Guiraud offers a sumptuous nose of tangerine fruit intermixed with caramel and buttered corn. The wine displays a deep golden color, and striking flavors of Chinese black tea, marmalade, honey, and citrus. The powerful yet elegant flavors remain in the mouth for a significant period of time. While this wine is traditionally a blend of 65% Semillon and 35% Sauvignon, Xavier Plantey, the estate's manager, told us that there is nearly 45% Sauvignon Blanc in the final blend of the 1996.
93 points”

1y 7m ago

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