|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Sauv|
Château Clarke stood out at the Listrac and Moulis tasting for a creamy purity in the fruit, which showed the ripeness of plum and the fresh edge of raspberry. Supple and full-flavoured, with some spice - liquorice and a bit of oak vanillin completing a very attractive package. Drinking range: 2019 - 2030 Rating: 89-90 L&S (Apr 2016)
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The 2015 Clarke has an attractive blackberry and briary scented nose with just a hint of dark chocolate emanating from the new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin, the acidity nicely judged with fine tension on the cedar and tobacco-tinged finish. I appreciate the freshness and refinement demonstrated by this Château Clarke, a classic Listrac that should give 10-12 years of pleasure. Drinking range: 2020 - 2035 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2016)
Very dark. Fragrant with sappy meaty notes on the palate. Really quite demanding and astringent on the end but a good start. A game of two halves. Drinking range: 2023 - 2032 Rating: 16+ Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2016)
Château Clarke is named after the Irish family who bought it in 1771. After more than two centuries of winemaking here, the property was acquired by Baron Edmond de Rothschild in 1973. The vineyard was completely restructured, the buildings renovated and the winemaking facilities improved. the 55 hectares of vines are on clay and limestone which is particularly good for Merlot, and it is this which dominates, the mix being 70% Merlot to 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Manually harvested and transported in crates, the grapes are sorted on arrival and put into tanks by gravity. The wines are then aged in oak barrels (70% new, 30% one-year old), where they are refined for 14 to 18 months.
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