A private dinner (Restaurant De Salentein, Landgoed De Salentein, Nijkerk, NL): A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenère and 11% Cabernet Franc, 14%. Perfectly classical Pauillac, ripe and rich but energetic, finely wrought, blackcurrant fruit and violet lift, the tannic structure is completely enveloped in firm flesh, pure and minty, fabulous spicy new oak, perfect balance and weight, the hint of tar is balanced by cool minerality, ripe but fresh fruit, not a hair out of place, beautiful resonance and length. Marrying power to precision, this focused Clerc-Milon must be (one of) the best ever. Drink now - 2040.
K&L Bordeaux Tasting (Wine and Wall, SF): Very nice aroma - appetizing black fruit, with slight Brett and slight stewed bell peppers. On the palate, there’s more prominent cedar and freshly-sanded wood, tending just a hair towards sawdust. A bit thin and green on the palate. 8.5
Opened and let sit in a wide bowl decanter for about 6 hours. This wine is still no where near ready for consumption even with extended aeration. Reticent nose giving up little other than some menthol and blackberry. Relatively shut down on the palate with drying tannin. Revisit this in 10 years.
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(Chateau Clerc-Milon (Pauillac)) Cabernet Sauvignon 50%, Merlot 36%, Cabernet Franc 11%, Petit Verdot 2% and Carmenere 1% - a little less Merlot and a lot more Cabernet Franc compared to 2009. The alcohol is 14.5%, reflecting Merlot's higher contribution here. A dark, glossy, dark crimson hue in the glass. Really seductive fruit character here, very expressive and open, far more so than d'Armailhac. There are dried fruits with a darker twist here, notes of black cherry and black raspberry. The palate is polished, quite creamy in terms of composition, seductive and yet relaxed and composed. The tannins have a lightly grainy feel to them, the acidity is firm, but together the whole seems very relaxed despite its flattering flesh. It is the frame of acid and tannin matched with the fruit texture that does this I think. Long finish, the tannins a touch more chewy here - the Merlot? Nevertheless, overall very attractive indeed.
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