Chateau Clerc Milon
- Wednesday 15 July 2009
Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 73 20 20
Visits: By appointment only
Details: Pauillac, 5ème cru classé, 43ha, gravel and sand
Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon 46%, Merlot Noir 39%, Cabernet Franc 12%, Petit Verdot 2%, Carmenere 1%
Like Châteaux Pontet-Canet, Château Clerc Milon is considered one of the stars of Pauillac's Fifth Growth properties. Since 1970 it has been owned by the company Baron Philippe de Rothschild of First Growth Château Mouton Rothschild fame. Back in the 19th century the terrain, around the village of Milon, belonged to Jean-Baptiste Clerc who achieved Fifth Growth ranking for his vineyard in the 1855 classification of the Médoc. After his success, Clerc sold off a small portion of the estate to a Monsieur Lamena, and it is this property rather than the larger vineyard subsequently inherited by Clerc's widow that was granted the use of the Clerc Milon name (Lamena fought in court for the right to use the title, and won). Lamena's success, though, could do little to counter the ravages of vine disease during the decades that followed, nor could a string of different owners weather the war and recession of the early 20th century, and Clerc Milon fell into disrepair. Its rescue by Baron Philippe de Rothschild involved complete reorganisation and renovation of the vineyard and facilities, though by the 1980s the effort and investment were already paying off.