Château Clarke
(by Edmond de Rothschild)

Bordeaux, France

Château Clarke – 1996

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  • Introduction

    • Château Clarke takes its name from the Irish family who bought this estate in 1771. After more than two centuries of wine growing tradition and successive owners, the property was purchased by Baron Edmond de Rothschild in 1973. The vineyard was completely restructured and massive investments were undertaken in order to renovate buildings and improve wine making and storage facilities. With a passion for excellence and the best things in life, the Baron made Clarke a benchmark for the whole region.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Appellation: Listrac-Medoc
    • Size: 55 ha (135.9 acres)
    • Vine Age: 30 years
    • Soil: Limestone and clay
    • Density: 7,000 vines/ha
    • Training: Natural grass cover, double Guyot
  • Vintage Report

    • 1996 is one of the best vintages of the ’90s in Bordeaux. Known as the “vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon and left bank” (left bank = Médoc), the grapes benefited from ideal climate conditions until a late stage of maturation of the vineyards. As a result, the grapes reached a fantastic maturity level (especially Cabernet Sauvignon, which achieved a perfect ripeness). In Château Clarke where normally Merlot rules, this 1996 blend is dominated for once, by Cabernet Sauvignon.

  • Vinification

    • Fermentation: The grapes are put into vats via gravity flow, followed by cold soaking and fermentation in both oak and stainless steel tanks. Moderate extraction adapted to each vat by pumping over and delestage (rack and return)
    • Aging: 16 months, 100% in barrels (two-thirds new and one-third second fill)
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot
    • Alcohol: 13.0%
    • Optimum Drinking: Up to 15 years, the suggested drinking window is from 2019 to 2030
  • Tasting Notes

    • Château Clarke 1996 has a light purple color with orange reflections. The aroma is very complex and expressive, with a touch of smokiness, notes of leather, liquorice, spices, black pepper, plum, blackcurrant, tobacco leaves. A supple attack on the palate, followed by a dense and gorgeous mouthfeel, with elegant and velvety tannins. The final offers quite a long and delicious aromatic persistency.