|Grapes||Cab Franc, Merlot, Cab Sauv, Petit Verdot|
Stéphane Dief's excellent Médoc shows its class again. Deep dark colour and flavours, pure and straight, with volume on the palate and good depth. Juicy ripe velvety black fruit. Good shape and length and a feeling of mineral lift too. Drinking range: 2022 - 2035 Rating: 89-91 L&S (Apr 2017)
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The 2016 Clos Manou comes from complex limestone and sandy, gravelly soils in the northern part of the Médoc and is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc brought up 70% new French oak. It’s another winner from this rock star of a vintage and offers classic cassis, graphite, spice, and cedar pencil aromas and flavors. Beautifully balanced, clean, elegant, and with good concentration, It’s a beauty to drink over the coming 15+ years. Drinking range: 2019 - 2034 Rating: 92 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)
The 2016 Clos Manou is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, cropped at 25 hectoliters per hectare after sorting and matured in 70% new oak. The bouquet felt a little muddled compared to say the 2016 Charmail that I tasted just before it. There are some attractive undergrowth aromas but I would be looking for more detail. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, slightly dry tannin, slightly attenuated towards the finish. Not bad, but it could be better. Drinking range: 2019 - 2027 Rating: 86-88 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)
Ripeness is pushed to the edge in the 2016 Clos Manou. Super-ripe black cherry, chocolate, spice, leather and licorice burst from the glass. Unctuous and flamboyant to the core, in an especially bold, full-throttle style, the 2016 is not especially subtle, but it is quite tasty. Harvest took place between October 6 and 21. The 2016 spent a full month on the skins and will see a lavish 70% new oak. Rating: 87-90 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)
"We turned our garage into a makeshift wine cellar and made our first wine in 1998.” Françoise and Stéphane Dief. Which sounds impossibly idyllic! In a region of grand estates with long complicated histories the arrivistes of Clos Manou are a refreshing change. Starting with just .12ha of vines, the Diefs have patiently spent 15 years building their holding up to 18ha, along the way absorbing the obscure Cru Bourgeois of Château Cantegrive. The estate may be 'new' but amongst their holdings are Bordeaux’s oldest vines – they have a small pre-phylloxera parcel from the 1850’s. The estate is centred on the village of Saint-Christoly de Médoc in the increasingly popular area of the Haut-Médoc to the north of Saint Estèphe. All of Clos Manou’s vineyards are high-density plantings – some 10 000 vines per hectare – and all are converted to organic farming as soon as is practical. Grape variety proportions are 45% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. The first wine is aged in 100% new wood. The second wine is called Petit Manou.
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