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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 châteaus 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.
In Bordeaux, the heat resulted in early flowering. Also, this led to an early harvest after a very hot summer. As a starting point, there is great maturity in the grapes, and one can expect a more opulent vintage than in the last few years.
The summer this year has been the warmest since 1959, yet the rain has fallen at the right times during the growing season. The harvest took place two weeks before the norm and will yield grapes with high potential alcohol and the lowest acidity since the 2003 vintage. As they say in Bordeaux: "It has been a good and extreme growing season which hopefully also produces great wines".