|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Cab Sauv, Carménère|
|Classification||5ème Cru Classé|
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenere. Closed on the nose again, but the palate is significantly richer and fuller (than d'Armailhac). There's a dry density to this which is impressive, Blackcurrant, cassis, blackberry - long concentrated finish. Drinking range: 2027 - 2045 Rating: 92-94 L&S (Apr 2017)
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The 2016 Clerc-Milon has a crisp, graphite-infused bouquet of well-defined black fruit, hints of peony and iris petals showing underneath. The classic palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, well-judged acidity and just the right amount of austerity toward a finish that has a bitter edge. Excellent (and less "aloof" than I found 12 months earlier). Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2021 - 2036 Rating: 93 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Aug 2020)
I was able to taste the 2016 Château Clerc Milon on multiple occasions and it was always brilliant, showing a deep ruby/purple color as well as sexy aromas and flavors of crème de cassis, new saddle leather, spicy oak, and graphite. Deep, powerful and beautifully concentrated, it’s a rock star of a Pauillac that’s going to keep for 30 years or more. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot and Carménère, all aged 16 months in 50% new French oak. Drinking range: 2019 - 2049 Rating: 95 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)
The 2016 Clerc Milon is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere (the latter vinification intégrale, so that it includes 50% of the stems, and Philippe Dhalluin said he was pleased with the results). It has a very pure bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, a touch of cedar and ash in the background. It takes time to really unfold in the glass. The palate is adorable: svelte tannin, beautifully pitched acidity, great depth with a silky smooth finish that just caresses the mouth. There is a little tightness here compared to the more expressive 2016 d'Armailhac, but I have no doubt that it will turn into a top-flight Clerc-Milon. Drinking range: 2023 - 2050 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)
Château Clerc Milon
Pauillac Cinquième cru 1855 The tiny village of Milon is in the far north of the Pauillac commune and lends its name to Château Duhart-Milon. Château Clerc Milon is a kilometre away to the east, the other side of Château Lafite-Rothschild in the village of Mousset but, for some reason, also adopted the name of Milon. The Clerc comes from Jean-Baptiste Clerc who owned the château at the time of the 1855 classification when it was accorded 5th Growth status - a status that the Rothschilds (of Mouton, who bought the run-down estate in 1970) have striven hard to exceed. As far as neighbours go, they don't come more impressive than Clerc Milon's - the vineyards adjoin both those of Château Lafite-Rothschild and Château Mouton Rothschild. That's quite a lot to compete with! The vineyards are planted to around 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, a proportion that has slowly been reduced over the years in favour of Merlot (40%). There is just over 10% Cabernet Franc, a little Petit Verdot and, very unusually for Bordeaux these days, a small amount of Carmenere. The label shows an ornate pair of jewelled dancing clowns that are part of the art collection at Mouton Rothschild.
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