Climens reckons 2015 ranks among its greatsBy Rupert Millar
The 2015 vintage easily sits alongside the great Sauternes vintages of recent years, says Château Climens.
Although most of the trade is yet to taste the latest Bordeaux vintage, Climens’ own report points to an exceptional vintage and one on the same scale as the 2009s, 2010s and 2011s.
Conditions throughout the year were “exceptional” for the development of botrytis and cool nights in early September prevented the fruit flies from hatching – which in turn prevented the sour rot they create.
The harvest began on 21 September and was completed on 5 October – early by Sauternes standards.
The estate reported: “Eight consecutive days of quick and meticulous picking that turned out to be both generous and superb. The early and very quick period for the harvest enabled us to avoid the negative aspects of an over- concentrated crop and also the disadvantages of rainy weather.”
The estate also credited its biodynamic viticulture as being behind the successful development of botrytis, noting it prompted faster development.
The estate said: “Biodynamic farming has allowed much faster development of Botrytis than on the neighbouring vineyards, which enabled us to harvest at a period which was particularly favourable in terms of the weather conditions.
“This proved to be a guarantee of good quality but also good quantity: with our 20 hl/ha of pure excellence and after three very short years in terms of yields, we are back with the abundance found in the trio of 2009, 2010 and 2011.”
Tasting in the cellar in December last year of the 20 or so parcels that make up the final blend, showed various citrus, mineral, floral and even petrol-like aromas.
“The structure of the different lots is more or less rich, at times delicate, but most often energetic, tight and underlined with a beautiful bitterness and obvious freshness,” said the château.
“The purity and finesse of the grape musts, their outstanding balance with an average potential alcohol of 22 degrees and the homogenous aspect of the lots leads one to believe it will be a superb Climens. This 2015 vintage has outdone us, just as it will soon overwhelm lovers of great wines.”