2016 1er Cru Classé Barsac

Colour White
Origin France, Bordeaux
Village Barsac
Classification 1er Cru Classé
ABV 14%

The 2016 Climens has a wonderful bouquet similar to my last bottle, more expressive now with orange pith, wild honey and quince. Like before it opens wonderfully in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with fine definition, fresh and vibrant with a creamy honeyed texture, praline and apricot, on the seductive finish. Superb. Tasted at the Climens vertical at the château in April 2022. Drinking range: 2025 - 2055 Rating: 94 Neal Martin, (Aug 2022)

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The 2016 Climens has a tightly wound bouquet, perhaps a little more mineral-driven than its peers, featuring detailed orange pith, honey and marmalade aromas that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with a viscous, honeyed opening. This is a touch richer and creamier than its peers, but it is not cloying and delivers a lovely crème brûlée and toffee apple finish that lingers. Superb. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2024 - 2055 Rating: 95 Neal Martin, (Aug 2020)

The 2016 Climens was tasted from the 12 different lots that will go into the Grand Vin, with some selected from the Deuxième Vin, Cyprès de Climens. As usual, I had to assemble them in my mind and relate commonalities, though at a négoçiant a week later I re-tasted four preprepared micro-blends. I found much elegance this year. It is not a powerful Climens in the making and even with the higher alcohol lots that reached 14.9%, you could not feel any warmth and the wines maintained the tension. Some lots displayed saline finishes, perhaps a little more than usual. Perhaps the most important factor was just how "Barsac" they all tasted. Sometimes some lots can taste more Sauternes-like in style, but not this year. Drinking range: 2021 - 2055 Rating: 95-97 Neal Martin, (Apr 2017)

Climens is usually blended over a prolonged period of at least a year with various lots assembled painstakingly along the way. Until 2017 this has meant that tasters have to visit the chai and schedule a good hour for the barrel-by-barrel process. This year Mathieu Chadronnier of CVBG persuaded Bérénice Lurton of Climens to provide samples of the four main ingredients in Climens 2016 for their tasting at Ch Belgrave in the Médoc, thereby putting it on the itinerary for far more tasters. A much-appreciated initiative. Sample from northern parcels (picked 30 Sep and 18 Oct, 14.1% alcohol, RS 120 g/l, 16% of the crop): Liquorice and rich and round and exciting. Thick and round. Sample from the eastern parcels (picked 29 Sep and 3, 4 Oct, 14.2% alcohol, RS 131 g/l, 27% of the crop): Toasty, deep and edgy with a green streak. From the western parcels (picked 28 Sep, 4, 8 Oct, 14.4% alcohol, RS 129 g/l, 14% of the crop): A bit loose and sweet with bracing acid. Big and bold, with a firm end. From the southern plots (picked 6, 19, 20, 22 Oct, 14.2% alcohol, RS 141 g/l, 43% of the crop): Friendly, round, fresh and floral, gorgeous. Bright fruit. Drinking range: 2026 - 2048 Rating: 18+ Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (Apr 2017)

Château Climens

Barsac Premier Cru 1855 The name "Climens" appears to be derived from a local dialect word meaning unfertile land. It is one of the two Premier Cru properties in Barsac (the other being Château Coutet), although the golden age for Climens came later after Henri Gounouilhou bought the estate in 1885, guiding it through phlloxera and oidium, managing to expand the vineyards and, on occasions, rivalling even Château d'Yquem. In 1971, Château Climens was purchased by the great Lucien Lurton and is now run by his daughter Bérénice. The 30ha of vineyard are planted entirely with Semillon. The yield for the Grand Vin is very low, averaging 7hl/ha. The grapes are fermented in small barrels (a third new each year) and aged for 20 to 24 months before release.

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