En Primeur 2022 New Release: Château Clerc Milon, Château Talbot and Château Grand Mayne
1 June 2023
The 2022 Clerc Milon has been released this morning at GBP 792/12.
As Jane Anson writes in Inside Bordeaux, Château Clerc Milon is “easily one of the Pauillac wines that has been making the biggest strides forward in recent years, beginning to rival the Super-Seconds in outperforming its Fifth-Growth status.” And since these words were published in 2020, those confident strides forward have continued at pace. The real improvements have been made in the vineyard, and that is palpable in the balance and depth of the resulting wines. The vast majority of the estate’s vines are now over 55 years old, including some 1904 Cabernet Sauvignon and 1947 Carmenère (quite a rarity in Bordeaux), and organic and biodynamic treatments are employed.
"It shows the ripe, exuberant yet structured style of the vintage beautifully.” Jeb Dunnuck
Excitingly, the fruit trees that formerly grew among the vines have been reintroduced, as have extensive hedgerows, in an agroecological approach which seeks to increase biodiversity both above the ground and below the ground (introducing more diverse mycorrhizal fungi to the soils which help to supply the vines with nutrients and water). The combined effect of old vines, capable of seeking out water reserves deep within the soils, and farming to improve soil biology and soil health, meant that the château was able to take the hot, dry conditions of last year in its stride, and the resulting wine is a beauty.
"The profile here is elegance, refinement, lift, and purity, along with a note of sweet chocolate on the very backend of the finish.” Jeff Leve
The 2022 vintage stands shoulder to shoulder with the brilliant trio of vintages of 2018, 2019, and 2020, clearly demonstrating that this is an estate still on a roll, and that these are vineyards resilient at coping with heat and hydric stress. Benefiting from all the skills of the vineyard and winemaking team at Mouton and being blessed with exceptional terroir bordering both Mouton and Lafite, Clerc Milon offers exceptional quality/value, time and time again and is worth a space in your cellar.
“The depths are evident in the velvety texture and colour, and it stretches out through the palate with slow confidence.” Jane Anson
The word that kept echoing around the room as the Bordeaux Index team were tasting the new releases from the Talbot stable, alongside talented Director Jean-Michel Laporte, was “energy”.
All the wines showed such inherent liveliness and vitality that we left buoyed and excited for the week of EP to come and, more particularly, for the future of this rapidly improving property. The 2022 vintage is just quintessential St-Julien; mid-weight and incredibly elegant, while a little reticent at first on the nose, it showed gorgeous concentration of ripe cassis flecked with graphite on the palate, and sapid, savoury tannins. We have long been a follower and friend of Talbot and agree wholeheartedly with William Kelley’s assessment that this is likely to be the most exciting wine they’ve produced since the 1980s!
“The 2022 Talbot is especially impressive, and if it fulfills all its promise, it is likely to emerge as this large Saint-Julien property's most exciting wine since the 1980s.” William Kelley
Owned by the same family for over a century, Château Talbot has a privileged position on one of the highest gravel hills in St-Julien (23m above sea level is modest, yes, but not by the Médoc’s standards…), and is one of the largest estates in the appellation. Quality has been notably on the up since the 2010 vintage, with the 2016 the best for many years, but the 2022 easily surpasses it. Diverse innovations in both the vineyards and the cellars have led to this improvement, one of the more radical of which is their use of soundwaves in the vineyard to stimulate the vines to produce protein which in turn builds their resistance against disease.
"This is delicious, with texture and heart.” Jane Anson
As Jane Anson writes, in Inside Bordeaux, “As much as an 1855 estate can be ‘one to watch’, Talbot qualifies for the title.” And we firmly believe that the 2022 is the vintage from Talbot to watch – the vintage to get behind.
Today is the release of a true classic of St Emilion, Chateau Grand Mayne 2022 at GBP 390/12 IB.
A member of our sales team’s favourite estates on the right bank, it is easy to see why, with its eye-catching 16th Century Chateau nestled on the clay-limestone slopes of St Emilion. The Nony family, who have been owners since 1934 have been managing the estate with care and dedication. Jean-Antoine is now heading in the estate, and quality leaped forward when he employed Louis Mitjavile from Tertre-Roteboeuf as consultant for a number of years - now Michel Rolland remains on the books as the estate’s consultant.
“Plush, hedonistic, and balanced are the key words here, and I'd be happy with bottles in the cellar.” Jeb Dunnuck
“The Nony family has produced a silky, intense, balanced but fully charged wine in 2022.” Jane Anson
A total of 17ha, vines run down the clay-limestone slopes from 55 metres down to 40 metres, with more sandy-clay terroir on the lower slopes. At the top of the hill, a portion of vines abut esteemed neighbour Beausejour-Becot. An extensive replanting programme is underway, following soil analysis, which should be completed by 2035 with increased levels of Cabernet Franc. This remains a charming and characterful St Emilion that is sure to give a lot of drinking pleasure in the years to come.