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.
“The vintage went quite well—not as extreme as 2018,” said Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy, the new estates manager, formerly the winemaking director at Clerc Milon, now overseeing winemaking for Mouton Rothschild, Clerc Milon and d’Armailhac, following the retirement of Philippe Dhallhuin last year. “There was no excessive heat, no sunburn damage, no blockage on the vines. It was an extremely early vintage, but, because of the earlier budbreak, it was also a long growing season—180 days. Usually, it is around 178 days.” I asked Danjoy about the slightly lower alcohols this year, given the overall heat of the vintage. “I don’t know why—the sugars never went up toward the end. The vines appeared fine. The tannins were getting more and more polished. We also don’t have really high acidity.” As for the styles of the 2020’s, Danjoy commented, “We have cool wines from a hot vintage. There was no heat spell just before the harvest—no cause for jamminess.” Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, chairman and CEO of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, commented, “This vintage is freshest compared to the other two (2018 and 2019). And there is a great complexity of tannins. What’s happening in the barrels with the wines—there is a multilayered, complexity to the tannins. These wines handle the barrels—they are like an oxygen sink. Usually, it's the more structured vintages that behave like this. It’s incredible.”
Drink Date:2027 - 2055