Château Clarke — 2008
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.
- Appellation: Listrac-Medoc
- Size: 55 ha (135.9 acres)
- Vine Age: 40 years
- Soil: Limestone and clay
- Density: 7,000 vines/ha
- Training: Natural grass cover, double Guyot
The weather threw a few surprises, with the growing season kicking off with a mild winter. Early spring saw cool, damp weather, which prompted both rot and disease, making spraying essential. The wet chilly conditions delayed and disrupted both budburst and flowering. Cool, damp conditions persisted throughout the summer, but just enough sunshine pervaded. Despite the drab summer, mid-September onwards finally delivered some stunning weather, with warm days and refreshing nights. Despite some light rain, the late blessing of good weather allowed for a relaxed harvest. Despite some problems with underripe fruit, with careful picking and sorting as well as harvesting from the top sites, the resulting wines were of very good quality. Generally speaking, the wines of 2008 reflect the cooler nature of the vintage with refined aromas, good acidity, and elegant structure.
- 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)
- Varietal Composition: 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Alcohol: 14.0%
- Optimum Drinking: Up to 15 years, suggested drinking window is from 2021 to 2031