Five from Château Climens, 2019

I would guess I have visited Château Climens more often than any other property in either Sauternes or Barsac, which perhaps gives some clue as to my level of interest in this estate’s wines and their quality. This is surely the leading estate in the Barsac appellation, with only the wonderful wines of Château Coutet providing any real competition for this title. And in the broader worlds of Sauternes and Barsac, it is surely only second to Château d’Yquem.

Château Climens

A biodynamic trailblazer in the region, having switched to this philosophy in 2010 followed by full certification in 2011, since this transformation both estate and wines have gone from strength to strength. After a stunning 2011 vintage the team, lead by Bérénice Lurton, even produced a charmingly affable 2012, a vintage when many in the region – including the team at the aforementioned premier cru supérieur – simply threw in the towel, stating that the vintage conditions were simply not compatible with good quality. Such commitment is admirable, but it seems not even Bérénice and team could overcome when it came to the 2017 vintage. In this frost-blighted year they managed to fill 35 barrels with wine, but Bérénice decided the quality was insufficient for either the grand vin or the second wine, and it was presumably all sold off. This explains the gap in my Château Climens tasting notes.

Having therefore omitted Château Climens (pictured above) from my 2017 Bordeaux primeurs timetable, my visit in early 2019 was the first for two years. While there I Bérénice poured a few other recent vintages, and I gladly made use of the opportunity to revisit them (before dashing off to my next appointment).

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