Bright red-ruby. Brooding aromas and flavors of cassis, licorice, minerals and earthy dark tobacco. Juicy, spicy and tightly wound; dense and powerful but with the elegance of the year. Seriously concentrated wine with enticing sweetness currently overshadowed by a serious spine of dusty tannins. This deep, long Pauillac calls for at least six to eight years of cellaring.
(a blend of 50% cabernet sauvignon, 44% merlot, 4% cabernet franc, 1% carmenere and 1% petit verdot; ph 3.65; 13.5% alcohol; IPT 65) Ruby red. An enticing floral element adds lift to aromas of red berry cocktail, cinnamon and bay leaf. Enters juicy and fresh, with flavors similar to the aromas, offering good concentration and length but also a youthful austerity. The energetic finish features chewy tannins, considerable energy, and notes of menthol and coffee that speak of the carmenere, a variety that can make its presence even in minute doses. Barons Domaines de Rothschild's general manager and technical director Philippe Dhalluin told me that the '09 Clerc Milon is very Pauillac in style. "I know that's a funny thing to say considering that it includes 44% merlot, but it has a rigid and massive quality that is very typical of Pauillac," said Dhalluin. "My main goal with Clerc Milon is to try to civilize it more and more with each new vintage." One factor that will go a long way toward improving the already high quality of this wine is that, starting with the 2009 vintage, Clerc Milon now has its own director in charge of operations, Jean-Emanuel Darjoy, who works closely with Dhalluin on a day-to-day basis.