The Mouton range was an absolute delight to taste this year. Philippe Dhalluin and his team have produced some sumptuous, lavishly fruited wines that are texturally very alluring. Clerc Milon is a big step up in quality (from d'Armailhac). The bouquet is much more fragrant; lots of polished damsons notes, Asian spice and a beautiful floral perfume. The palate is relatively thick with swathes of ripe black cherry and cassis fruit. It remains elegant and focussed with a fine griotte finish. This is sexy and voluptuous yet retains a sense of classicism. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot and Carmenere.
Owned by the Baron Philippe de Rothschild empire, Clerc Milon has benefited from financial investment of its parent and the technological knowhow of First Growth partner Mouton Rothschild. Situated to the north east of Pauillac close to Duhart Milon and Lafite Rothschild, there are currently 40 hectares in current use with a further five hectares which will come on line in the next few years. Since 2005 the wines have been of excellent quality and the bar is continually being raised. For those who want First Growth wine-making at a fraction of the cost, you’d do well to look at Clerc Milon and d’Armailhac.
The Cabernet Sauvignon domanates the appellation, in fact some might justifiably call Pauillac the most classical expression there is of Cabernet based Claret. It is sandwiched between St-Julien to the south and St-Estèphe to the north, a stone’s throw from the Gironde Estuary. The excellent drainage of the intensely gravely soils are the key to quality, producing some of the world’s most long-lived wines. The First Growths of Latour, Lafite and Mouton-Rothschild are found here, while other great Châteaux include Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande, Pontet Canet, Lynch-Bages and Grand-Puy-Lacoste.