Peter Maude Fine Wines

2020, Château Clerc Milon, PAUILLAC, 5ème Grand Cru Classé


Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Carmènere (1%).

The label of the 2020 Clerc Milon contains a discrete celebration of its half-century ownership by Baron Philippe de Rothschild. The nose is quite strict at the moment, leaning more towards the red fruit side of the spectrum, touches of gravel and tobacco, gaining more black fruit as it opens in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy blackberry and bilberry fruit, gentle grip, maybe not quite as delineated as the 2020 d'Armailhac, yet with a subtle pencil lead note enhancing the finish. Very fine. 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.

The 2020 Clerc Milon is a total knock-out. The 2020 has come together impressively with élevage. It offers up a heady mix of blueberry jam, crème de cassis, chocolate, new leather, spice and crushed rocks, with a ton of Cabernet Sauvignon character driving the overall feel. 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.

Aromas of dark berries, cigar wrapper, exotic spices and burning embers introduce the 2020 Clerc Milon, a medium to full-bodied, fleshy and layered wine that's seamless, concentrated and refined, with lively acids and a long, saline, violet-inflected finish. A blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and the balance Petit Verdot, it's a terrific effort from this clay-limestone terroir that has benefited from so much investment in recent years. 94+ William Kelley, Wine Advocate.

The 2020 Clerc Milon - a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot with just a splash of Carmenere - has a deep garnet-purple colour, opening with notes of tar, unsmoked cigars, bouquet garni and graphite, giving way to a core of ripe black and red currants, boysenberries and tree bark, plus a touch of black olives. The medium-bodied palate delivers fantastic tension and impressively ripe, fine-grained tannins to support the crunchy, energetic black fruit flavours, finishing with a lively herbal lift. 92-94 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate.

Powerful, a little austere with tight black fruits that will benefit from adding flesh over ageing, as the tannins are a little angular right now. The freshly crushed mint leaf finish is beautiful, and this is is ripped with powerful nuanced fruit, tobacco and earthy flavours, followed by waves of violet flowers. Good quality, not as exuberant as some years of Clerc Milon. First year of Caroline Artaud to oversee the entire vintage, as Jean-Philippe Danjoy has headed over to Mouton. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 50% new oak. There is also 0.6% of Carmanère in the blend. 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.

Subtle, delicate, not shouting but delivering a really nuanced glass of wine with lots of fresh acidity and soft sweetness but also a herbal element giving spiced red fruits in the glass. Feels less serious than d'Armailhac, more upfront and open, but lovely detail too. Soft, such high acidity, really so lifted in the glass, a lovely purity, clean and clear. I love the grippy tannins that almost clean the palate leaving a crushed velvet texture on the tongue with lots of generosity. Super appealing and already very pleasant and pleasing to drink. 95 Georgina Hindle, Decanter.

Drinking Window: 2027 - 2045

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