The nose opens on blackberry notes mingled with refined hints of roasted coffee beans. With airing, noble and delicate notes of graphite, flint and cocoa round off this very attractive array of aromas.
A fresh and full-bodied attack leaves an impression of generosity and superb balance, leading into a mid-palate on cherry-stone and dark chocolate flavours underpinned by chiselled tannins.
The slightly chalky finish is mineral and very long.
After a relatively mild winter with below average rainfall, frost hit the whole Bordeaux terroir on 27 April. 2017 will also be remembered for a particularly lengthy drought, which did not truly end until December.
Spurred by above average temperatures, the vine growth cycle started slightly earlier than usual, at the end of March. Exceptional weather in April and May meant that flowering occurred 10 days earlier than the average for all varieties. After a very wet June, the summer was moderately sunny but dry, increasing a water deficit which started in 2016. As a result, the grapes remained small, with concentrated sugar and colour.
With an early growth cycle and a dry summer, the 2017 harvest was particularly early. It was also exceptionally long, as picking took place over four weeks across the three estates. At Château Clerc Milon, the harvest started with the Merlot grapes on 13 September and ended with the Petit Verdot and Carmenère on 29 September. Running-off ended on 20 October and blending was finalised in December.
The wines are rich, with a deep colour and an attractive tannic structure, both full-bodied and pleasantly fresh even though 2017 is a “solar” vintage. Less wine was made than in an average year because of the drought.
From 13 to 29 September
The wine has a rich colour with a garnet hue.