A CHÂTEAU WORTHY OF THE NAME
A legendary terrior, prestigious neighbours, a providential encounter: the history and the success of Château Clerc Milon are summed up in these three words. The terrior is that of Pauillac, where some of the world’s finest wines are made. The neighbours are Mouton and Lafite, illustrious First Growths whose nearby vines can be seen from the terrace of the Château. The encounter was with Baron Philippe de Rothschild, who in 1970 acquired the then badly neglected estate and decided to restore it to its status as a Classified Growth.
Now, thanks to Baroness Philippine de Rothschild (Baron Philippe's only daughter), Clerc Milon, one of the most highly regarded châteaux in the Bordeaux region, can boast technical facilities and reception areas worthy of its reputation.
Château Clerc Milon now has 41 hectares (101 acres) of vines in the north-east of the Pauillac appellation, on the lovely Mousset crest overlooking the Gironde. The slight slope favours both natural drainage and exposure to sunlight, while the nearby river creates a microclimate that protects the vines from frost in spring, reduces the risk of hail and brings coolness in summer. The soil is made up of two-thirds deep sandy gravel over a clay-limestone base which outcrops in the eastern part of the estate.
The vineyard is planted with five varieties typical of the region: Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (37%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Petit Verdot (2%) and Carmenere (1%). The average age of the vines is 53 years, probably one of the highest in the Medoc. Mostly planted before the development of clonal selection, they represent an exceptionally rich genetic resource. The vine density is high, ranging between 8,500 and 10,000 vines per hectare depending on the parcel.
Environment-friendly integrated vinegrowing techniques are employed, keeping the use of pesticides to a minimum. In the vineyard itself, the close monitoring and strict parcel selection are on a par with those practiced at Mouton Rothschild.