Many of you are familiar with Chateau Climens, the First Class Growth Sauternes producer in Barsac. Their work with Semillon is probably second to none – with some of the most memorable sweet white wines ever recorded in vintages such as 1929, 1949, 1961 and 1986.
But what you may not know is that The Wine Advocate’s Editor-in-Chief, Lisa Perotti-Brown named her favorite discovery of last year, and it was a white wine in only its second year of existence that blew her away. “I loved, loved, loved tasting Berenice Lurton’s new take on a dry white wine coming from her Sauternes plantings at Château Climens, called Château Asphodele, made in collaboration with Pascal Jolivet from Sancerre.”
I too was blown away when I tasted this a few weeks ago– probably because I haven’t tasted anything like it. The closest thing I’ve had in years was last year’s Clos de Lunes L’Argent from Domaine Chevalier’s Oliver Bernard, but this is in another class all together.
Though few dry white Bordeaux ever command big scores– this one absolutely does. It’s exceptional. A wild floral bouquet with underlying tropical and citrus aromas and a mid-palate that sings like a single-vineyard Sancerre, this wine is just a delight to drink. Unsurprisingly, it comes with a 92+ from Lisa-Perrotti Brown who concluded her review by saying, “I’m seriously smitten by this uniquely fragrant, uncontrived style of dry white coming from Sauternes—bravo!”
But it was Decanter that came in with a thunderous 94, cementing this wine as one of the highest scoring dry-white Bordeauxs ever, and further validating this incredibly rare project. As Decanter pointed out, “the purity of fruit has been allowed to express itself without the hindrance of oak.” Like the best Sancerres, this one sings like a song bird.
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94 Points, Decanter
An enchanting second vintage of the dry white from Château Climens. Apricots and peaches invite you in, bestowing you with gifts of Sicilian lemons and ripe tropical fruit. Pineapples and kiwis overlay a rich honeyed and ginger complexity. There is equal richness in the mouth, balanced by acidity and a grippy texture. The purity of fruit has been allowed to express itself without the hindrance of oak.
92+ Points (Top Discovery), Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“This is only the second vintage of this dry white wine made from the Chateau Climens’s vineyard in Sauternes, in collaboration with Pascal Jolivet from Sancerre. It is 100% Sémillon, fermented and aged in stainless steel.The nose has a lovely, soft-spoken restraint, offering notes of lemon peel, fresh hay, Bosc pears and paraffin wax with touches of coriander seed, honeysuckle and toasted almonds. The medium-bodied palate has beautifully understated savory and mineral nuances accenting the citrus and spiced pears flavors with a lively line of freshness and a satiny texture, finishing long and perfumed. I’m seriously smitten by this uniquely fragrant, uncontrived style of dry white coming from Sauternes—bravo! It is delicious right now, but I’d like to see what this does with 5+ years of cellaring.”
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