Classification: First Growth (Premier Cru)
Château Climens is a Sauternes wine from the Barsac region and its nearest neighbour is Château Coutet. The Château takes its name “climens” from the local dialect for “poor or infertile land” - which is ironic as this terroir has created one of the best wines in Barsac. The Château dates back to the 1500s and was owned by the Roborel family up until the 18th century. Only 5 families have owned the estate and its vineyard is a continuous single block which has practically remained unchanged since its creation. The reputation of Château Climens has grown throughout the centuries - producing wine which in some vintages rivalled Château Yquem in terms of quality and price.
Château Climens was purchased in 1971 by Lucien Lurton who also owns Châteaux Brane Cantenac and Durfort Vivens. Since 1992, the château has been in the hands of his daughter, Bérénice Lurton. She takes great care in perpetuating the traditions of the Château Climens whilst ensuring that the wines continue to reach excellence. Tradition is important at the Château – only when technical advancements have proven themselves as ways to improve the quality of the wines have the procedures here changed. A good example is the cellar master, Christian Broustaut, who began his work at Château Climens in 1969. He was trained by his father who held the same job. Christian's father was, in turn, trained by his own father who was also the cellarmaster at Château Climens.
The vineyards of Château Climens are situated on the highest point of the Barsac appellation, and stretch out for 70acres around the château. The red soil, dotted with stones is made up of a thin layer of clayey, iron rich sand on a bedrock of fissured starfish limestone. The combination of these soils and the slope allow excellent natural drainage. With the microclimate in Sauternes and the exceptional terroir, the grapes are subject to an early development of noble rot, or Botrytis Cinerea. Aided by specific weather conditions of alternating mist and sun, this microscopic mushroom develops on ripe grapes, inducing the concentration and structure modification necessary for making great sweet wines. Château Climens with its 100% Semillon, is one of the rare single variety growths of the region and it shows fabulous expression of Semillon here.
The wines of Château Climens have a bouquet of pineapple, vanilla and apricot. They have good acidity which keeps the wine from being cloying and a wonderful balance of power and finesse. The wines are velvety, round and smooth with flavours of honey, quince, pineapple and candied fruits. They need at least 10 years as a minimum to develop and can have a life of 50 to 100 years in great vintages.
Owner: Bérénice Lurton
Château Website: www.chateau-climens.fr
Oenologist: Lucien Llorca