Once a part of the vast seigneury of Lafite in the 1700s, the estate was sold as a ‘national asset’ during the French Revolution. The Chateau was then bought in 1789 by the Clerc family who joined their name to the Pauillac hamlet where the property is located, Milon, to form the new Chateau Clerc Milon estate. In the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, Clerc Milon was awarded Fifth Growth status, at a time when the estate covered 30 hectares. Over time the Chateau’s holdings were reduced and by 1970 had only 16.5 hectares. Nonetheless, the estate’s capability to produce outstanding wines was picked up on by the Baron Philippe de Rothschild who purchased the Chateau and set about investing in the vineyards and renovating the estate. This important work was continued by his daughter, Baroness Philippine, until her death in 2014. It is her children who now uphold their family’s legacy. Philippe and Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild have worked alongside the talented Jean-Emmanual Danjoy and Caroline Artaud. In 2007, a gravity-fed vat room was inaugurated at the estate, followed quickly in 2011 by a modern winery complex comprising of a half-underground barrel hall, a cellar, reception and tasting rooms.
Today, Clerc Milon’s vineyards have been restored and now make up 41 hectares. Planted on deep sandy gravel over a clay-limestone base, the Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (37%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Petit Verdot (2%) and Carmenere (1%) have an average age of 53 years. The vine density is high – between 8,500 and 10,000 vines per hectare, depending on the parcel. Where possible, environmentally friendly techniques are use to minimise the use of pesticides and harvests are all done manually. The estate’s proximity to the Gironde estuary helps to moderate the climate, giving the vines ideal growing conditions. Chateau Clerc Milon has considerable ageing potential and displays the typical elegance of Pauillac we have come to expect. The label of Chateau Clerc Milon depicts a pair of dancers that is based on a 17th Century work made of precious stones by a goldsmith that is displayed at the Museum of Wine in Art at Chateau Mouton Rothschild.