Bordeaux 2010: All That Glitters… (May 2011)

(50% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot, 11% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot and 1% carmenere; 14% alcohol) Deep ruby-purple. Dense, rich nose redolent of cassis, dried herbs and violet, with a refreshing note of mint emerging with air. Smooth, full and rich on entry, with pure, precise black fruit and herbal flavors. Big, strapping tannins are silky and sweet. A very big, expressive Clerc Milon that manages to deploy its considerable power with uncommon charm and refinement. Call me crazy, but I thought I could pick up the green pepper note given by the carmenere. Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy, who was previously at Opus One for ten years, has worked for the past two years at Clerc Milon with Philippe Dhalluin (the technical director and general manager of the Mouton estates), and his involvement is starting to show in a string of ever-improving wines from Clerc Milon. And the greater attention to detail can’t be a bad thing either, given the difficulties presented by working with such a high-quality but complex site (230 different parcels of vines!). This 2010 struck me as much better than the 2009.