Cool Hunting: Chateau Clarke’s “Le Merle Blanc” Bordeaux White Wine
To read David Graver’s full article at Cool Hunting, click here
A DELICACY FROM ONE OF A HANDFUL OF ESTATES TO PRODUCE WHITE VARIETALS IN THE MÉDOC
The word Bordeaux tickles sense memory, conjuring the deep colors and lavish aromas of medium- and full-bodied red wines with tannic gravitas. Château Clarke, which sits on roughly 150 hectares in Bordeaux’s Listrac-Médoc appellation, produces such wines—and yet their white, Le Merle Blanc, represents something of greater rarity. Few estates in the Médoc nurture white wine varietals; even fewer offer a white wine as elegant as the one here. La Merle Blanc straddles the interests of lovers of fine Bordeaux wine and consumers who prefer to drink white wines.
Château Clarke’s earliest roots date to 1771. As Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon flourished in the region, La Merle Blanc de Château Clarke first released wine around 1890. The winery and its vines would change hands twice, ultimately finding a champion in Baron Edmond de Rothschild in 1973. The de Rothschild name was already famous in the wine world, as Baron Edmond’s great-grandfather James had purchased Château Lafite in 1868. Baron Edmond sought to transition the derelict Château Clarke property into one of great prestige—a mission that required a complete overhaul of the lands and facilities—and it was his idea to revive the château’s white wine.