2016 Clerc-Milon, Pauillac

SKU #1441890 96 points Decanter

 Always more muscular and powerful than Armailhac, there's no surprise that this has closed down more than its sibling. The complexity of the layers are still on display, showcasing fresh menthol, cranberry, white pepper, black olive, rose and blackberry, all wrapped up in a tight tannic hold. There are some wonderful toasted caramel notes, subdued but rich and tight, waiting to show their exuberance on the finish. There's no doubt that this is as good as I thought en primeur, but it needs time to open up, and I would suggest the full 10 years. 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere finish up the blend. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042 (JA)  (10/2018)

96 points James Suckling

 Hot crushed stones and dark berries jump out of the glass. Full body, very dense fruit and powerful tannins, yet it remains agile and bright with beauty and energy. So muscular and toned. Truly outstanding Clerc for the future. Unwavering nature to this. Try after 2024.  (2/2019)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck

 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.  (2/2019)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Cabernet Franc was fantastic this year, so it was all used in the grand vin. The final blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carménère. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Clerc Milon leaps from the glass with beautiful scents of chocolate-covered cherries, plum preserves and crushed blackcurrants with suggestions of lilacs, cardamom, underbrush and unsmoked cigars. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a firm frame of finely grained tannins and seamless freshness lifting the perfumed fruit to a nice long finish. (LPB) 94+  (11/2018)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Dark and concentrated, this wine offers depth and intensity. It has great ripeness as well as fine tannins that are integrated into the fruit. It is so juicy and exuberant that it’s hard to remember the tannins that will allow the wine to age. *Editors' Choice* (RV)  (5/2019)

94 points Wine Spectator

 A fresh and stylish version, with chalky minerality running from start to finish. Succulent plum and cassis fruit flavors coil around this and absorbs this easily at first. Then pretty violet and lilac notes guild the finish, with the minerality taking a slightly firmer stand. (JM)  (2/2019)

93 points Vinous

 The 2016 Clerc Milon is striking. Here, the interplay of dense fruit and supporting structure make for a wonderfully complete and expressive wine. Dark blue stone fruit, licorice, lavender, spice and menthol are all beautifully delineated in the glass. The aromatic and structure of both Cabernets come through with notable energy and precision. The 2016 has enough density and pedigree to drink well for many years to come. (AG)  (1/2019)

K&L Notes

93 points Neal Martin for Vinous: "The 2016 Clerc-Milon has a tightly knit bouquet of blackberry, raspberry and light floral scents, very similar to its sibling, d’Armailhac. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin. Initially it displays crisp acidity and feels quite fleshy, but it firms up and finishes persistent but linear and a little aloof. I personally find that appealing, and I suspect this Pauillac will blossom after several years in bottle." (01/2019)


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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.