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 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 parcels on 13 September and ended with the Petit Verdot and Carmenere 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. Yields were lower than in an average year because of the drought.
A crimson-hued garnet red, the wine offers redcurrant and strawberry aromas on the nose, mingled with delicate roasted coffee-bean and dark chocolate notes. From a clean, well-defined attack, the beautifully smooth mid-palate develops red fruit flavours underpinned by subtle, supple tannins and enhanced by notes of liquorice and slightly acidulated blackcurrant, leading into a balanced, elegant, lingering and fresh finish.
Varietal mix 2017 Vintage