• Decanting time

  • When to drink

  • Food Pairing


The Story

Located in the northern part of the Pauillac appellation, Clerc-Milon is one of eighteen Cinquièmes Crus (Fifth Growths) and faces Château Lafite Rothschild across the Route des Châteaux. 

Having become increasingly fragmented through sell-offs, it was acquired in 1970 by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, of Mouton Rothschild fame, as a doup with great potential, and he immediately set about renovating the estate, constructing a new vat house and weaving his well documented magic on the château’s imagery. 

The vat house is the first in Bordeaux to claim High Environmental Quality certification. The 45-hectare vineyard is planted in 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% of Carménère, the latter consisting of vines that were planted back in 1947. 

Clerc-Milon is now making the best wines in its history, beguiling, classically-styled expressions of currant, blackberry and spice, and can boast an outstanding run of recent vintages.

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Written Notes

There are a number of lessons in drinking the 2003 Chateau Clerc Milon. The first is about the vintage. When it came out, it was hailed as a top vintage for the last ten years, then the 2005s arrived, and when the 2009s and 2010s were released, 2003 was almost forgotten. Yet, there were many generous and elegant wines produced from this vintage, and this is one of them.

The second issue is about ageing Bordeaux wines. I remember drinking this wine some years ago. The tannins seemed harsh, and the wine not well balanced. Now at 14 years, this is a very harmonious wine. A decent Bordeaux should be cellared for at least 10 years, a top wine for 15 to 20 years minimum. To be frank, it is a waste of money if you don't do this. Also decanting is important. I did not do this on this occasion, but the wine was better on the second day after opening.

Blackberry flavours dominate above a mocca background. The wine is not overly complex, but smooth and elegant, with soft tannins providing a rounded finish.

  • 93p



Pauillac, Bordeaux


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