A queen of Bordeaux' sweet white wines with awesome richness

Climens

 

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Berenice Lurton, the woman behind Climens' heavenly quality

The Lurton family has owned chateau Climens since 1971. It's situated in Barsac commune, and the soil is a mix of red sand and gravel on subsoil consisting of decomposed limestones. There are 29 ha planted with 100% Semillon, vines are on average 35 years old, yield per ha usually is 12 hl, and the wine is kept for 2 years in 35-60% new barrels.

Climens has always been one of the very best wines in the district, and if everything goes perfectly, it's able to rival d'Yquem in terms of richness and sophisticated touch. This wine is simply an essence of finesse and elegance with such grace and complexity, you often can dream about. We are in heaven!

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Cypres de Climens 2015 88p

Tasted in April 2017. This wine was pleasant, tasty, with good sweetness and acidity.

Cypres de Climens 88-89p

Tasted in April 2017. It offered more elegance and less intensity than the 2015 version.

Cypres de Climens 2013 89p

Tasted in March 2015. Delicious sweetness, nice acidity, flavours and grapefruit and acacia honey, tasty.

Cypres de Climens 2012 88p

Tasted twice - last time in March 2015. Consistent notes. Pleasant nose and taste of acacia honey, good intensity of botrytised flavours, nice acidity and sweetness. Honeyed finish.

Cypres de Climens 2011 90p

Tasted in March 2014. This wine was more intense and concentrated than in 2012, and there was a clear taste of crème brulée and brown sugar, very good balance and persistent honeyed finish. Well-made.

Cypres de Climens 2010 92p

Tasted twice - last time in March 2014. Consistent notes. This wine displayed delicate sweetness and acidity, combined with the catchy aroma of honey melon and apricot. Subtle complexity and length here. A superb second wine is worth every point of its rating.

Cypres de Climens 2009 89-90p

Tasted in April 2012. Similar to 2007 but slightly more nuanced and longer aftertaste.

Cypres de Climens 2008 88p

Tasted in April 2011. Very sweet, aromas of peach and honey melon, delicate balance, elegant and round. Delicious to drink.

Cypres de Climens 2007 89p

Tasted in March 2010. Aromas of brown sugar, pineapple and grapefruit. Very nice acidity, creamy texture and smooth finish. Very tasty indeed. Terrific second wine.

Cypres de Climens 2006 88p

Tasted in April 2009. Very sweet, aromas of peach and honey melon, delicate balance, elegant and round. An absolute pleasure to drink now and in the next 3-5 years.

Cypres de Climens 2005 90p

Tasted in April 2009. More botrytised flavours here than in Cypres 2006 – apricot, peach and acacia honey. Beautifully balanced and with a creamy texture. Intense for a second wine. Terrific effort. 4-6 years horizontally.

Cypres de Climens 2004 88p

Tasted in April 2009. It tastes like the twin sister of Cypres 2006.

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A mind-boggling line-up of 37 vintages of Climens and 3 vintages of Cypres de Climens (second wine), tasted on Saturday the 4th April 2009 at the property.

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Climens 2019 and Climens 2020 - not tasted during primeur in March/April 2019 and not after bottling.

Climens 2018 - not tasted during primeur in March/April 2019 and neither after bottling.

Climens 2017 - no wine produced due to frost in April.

Climens 2016 (barrel sample) 96-97p

Tasted in April 2017. Based on tasted barrel samples/lots, I think this vintage is close to 2015, maybe slightly less rich and intense.

Climens 2015 (barrel sample) 96-97p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2017. Consistent notes. Maybe this vintage can be as stunning as 2014. It doesn't have the acidity of 2014, but it seems that intensity and depth are slightly more significant in 2015. We will see in around 5 years.

Climens 2014 96-97p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2017. Consistent notes. It offers an excellent promise. Better than the 2013 vintage and rivals the 2011 vintage. It may be even better after bottling.

Climens 2013 95-96p

Tasted four times - last time in April 2017. Consistent notes. Great intensity of botrytised flavours like orange peel, grapefruit and pineapple, great acidity, rich and sophisticated, very long finish. Stunning wine.

Climens 2012 93p

Tasted four times - last time in April 2017. Not consistent notes. It was a wine of great finesse with a sophisticated touch but significantly lighter in concentration and intensity than vintages 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Climens 2011 97p

Tasted five times - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. Incredible purity of botrytised flavours, richness, acidity, fabulous intensity and finesse. This is a heavenly thrill. It may develop to be better than 2010, but I doubt it will compete with 2001.

Climens 2010 99p

Tasted five times - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. Great intensity of botrytised flavours, long, sophisticated, excellent sweetness and acidity, superb balance, long honeyed finish. For sure, it's another otherworldly Climens.

Climens 2009 99p

Tasted seven times - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. It offered fantastic botrytis flavours (orange peel, acacia honey, pear and pineapple), ranging from delicate ones to concentrated ones, fabulous sweetness and acidity, richness and breathtaking purity and sophisticated touch. Incredible stuff as well.

Climens 2008 95p

Tasted six times - last time in March 2014. Consistent notes. Beautiful spicy flavours of botrytis like orange peel, apricot, peach and acacia honey, fine acidity. A very elegant and sophisticated wine with a long honeyed aftertaste.

Climens 2007 99p

Tasted nine times - last time in March 2014. Consistent notes. It offers a fabulous showing of breathtaking elegance, purity and outstanding balance. When you add striking depth and intensity of botrytised flavours, perfectly placed acidity to support sweetness, this wine can't be more exceptional than it already is. Will, without any doubt, go into history books. C'est magnifique!

Climens 2006 95p

Tasted nine times - last time in March 2014. Consistent notes. It hits your nose and palate immediately with stunning depth, finesse, concentration and excellent balance. Strong botrytised aromas of candied orange peel and crème brulee. Impressive length on the palate and very honeyed aftertaste. Will keep for another 15-20 years.

Climens 2005 99p

Tasted seven times - last time in March 2014. Consistent notes. The whole 80% of the harvest went into Grand Vin. This wine is so, so perfect! It's sublime all over with marvellous intensity, depth, richness and harmony between acidity and sweetness. It was sophisticated in big numbers. Intense and fabulously scented botrytised flavours of acacia honey, apricot, peach and oranges. So stylish and elegant that you simply scream with joy. This wine has incredible potential and will last for at least half a century.

Climens 2004 93p

Tasted four times - last time in March 2010. Consistent notes. Significantly lighter than 2005 and showing less botrytised flavours than 2005. It is understandable since noble rot's journey through vines of Climens in 2004 was long, uneven and interrupted by outbreaks of rain. Nevertheless, it doesn't lack the usual Climens goodies, like pure elegance and finesse. Fine showing of botrytised flavours of apple cake with vanilla cream on top and candied apple/pear. Very seductive wine indeed. 10-15 years horizontally.

Climens 2003 100p

Tasted five times - last time in March 2010. Consistent notes. 87% of the harvest went into Grand Vin – there were very few grapes to discard. It possesses the highest level of residual sugar (9.6%) in modern time vintages. It is a pure extravaganza. It's not classic wine from Climens, but what an exotic, concentrated and special one. You feel the extreme concentration of tropical aroma on the nose by the first sniff – red sweet grapefruit, mango, sweet pineapple, honey melon, watermelon, guava, and candied apricot. Everything in this wine is extraordinary – richness, elegance, balance, subtlety and aftertaste. Acidity acts perfectly as a fundament of this wine. Pure heaven! 40-50 years in the cellar.

Climens 2002 92p

Tasted four times - last time in March 2010. Consistent notes. Candied mandarin peel, sugar molasses, mango and candied apricot. It's a great depth, delicate balance and caressing aftertaste. Sensual and sublime. Lighter in texture than usual, but what elegance and finesse. Terrific to taste already and will stay like that for additional 10 years.

Climens 2001 100p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2009. Consistent notes. Low yield – only 6 hl! The richness, subtlety and sophisticated touch of this wine is simply phenomenal! When you add the wonderful complexity, depth, mega long aftertaste and perfect match between acidity and botrytised/reduced flavours, you simply have one of the best sweet wines in the world. 50-60 years' life or even longer!

Climens 2000 91p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2009. Consistent notes. Microscopic yield due to persistent rain in the second half of October – barely 4 hl/ha! All the botrytised grapes harvested before the rain provided delicate sweetness and acidity, roundness and a lot of charm. Quite forward. Drinks incredibly well already now.

Climens 1999 90p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2009. Consistent notes. Very well-structured wine and quite intense on the nose. Acacia flower, pear and touch of oranges. Light texture, smooth on the palate and very harmonious finish. It's splendid wine to drink now and in the next 12-18 years.

Climens 1998 91p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2009. Not consistent notes. This wine has finally opened for all the good things. Great depth and intense botrytised aromas of pear and acacia flower. It possesses terrific elegance and finesse, long and caressing aftertaste. Eminent wine with subtlety and charisma. 15-20 years in the cellar.

Climens 1997 98p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2009. Consistent notes. In this vintage, Climens has been in a backward stage for several years. In April 2009, however, it opened up with imposing stuff. Candied orange peel/mandarin peel, excellent depth and sophisticated touch. It's pretty similar to Climens 2001 with all its richness, supporting acidity and superb balance. Pure class! This jewel an to be cellared for a long time – 25-30 years.

Climens 1996 95p

Tasted in April 2009. Incredibly classy and sublime wine – a lot of finesse and refinement. Acacia flower and honey intermixed with peach and apricot. Perfectly balanced and well-structured. Long and beautiful finish with flower honey flavour. It will last for another 15-20 years.

Climens 1995 94p

Tasted in April 2009. Mango, pineapple and orange peel, perfectly constructed wine with superb acidity and corresponding fruit. Big, long and creamy honeyed aftertaste. Stupendous quality here. 15-20 years horizontally.

Climens 1994 91p

Tasted in April 2009. Baked apple cake with some brown sugar on top, nice botrytised aromas, nice acidity but not that much sweetness here. Drinkable now and in the next 6-8 years.

Climens 1991 90p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2009. Consistent notes. Only 5 ha/hl due to frost in April. Soft and light texture, elegant, round and with a lovely intensity of pear and apricot. Finishes smoothly. Success for this difficult vintage and great effort of the winemaker. To be consumed in the next 4-5 years.

Climens 1990 98p

Tasted in April 2009. A huge wine with much remaining sugar. Sweet mandarin peel, fresh-cut and candied, crème brulée, immense concentration, enormous palate. Excellent support of acidity to the fruit. Not that much elegance and finesse associated with Climens is apparent here, but the quality of this wine is exceptional. A long term runner – 25-30 years.

Climens 1989 99p

Tasted in April 2009. Not that big and alcoholic like 1990. More elegance, finesse and refinement here. Astonishingly fine wine. It will last for at least 20 more years.

Climens 1988 97p

Tasted in April 2009. This wine is exceptionally long on the palate, exquisite and sophisticated. Not as big-headed as 1990 and 1989, and not the same intensity of botrytised flavours (candied fruit), the depth, structure and length are impressive. Acidity and fruit are the perfect marriage, and the finish is smooth and honeyed. Awesome stuff. 25-30 years horizontally.

Climens 1986 98p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2009. Consistent notes. It reminds me a lot of Climens 1988, but it seems more refined and more intense. Botrytised flavours of peach, apricot and pear are staggeringly intense. Magnificent wine. Same keeping prospective as for Climens 1988.

Climens 1985 90p

Tasted in April 2009. It's quite fresh on the acidity side, which is nicely matched by fruit. Raisiny flavours and caramel. Noble rot didn't have an essential role in 1985, and the flavours resulted from grapes being dried by wind. Round, nicely balanced and with a soft finish. Drinks very well now.

Climens 1983 100p

Tasted in April 2009. Direct hit in bull's eye here! Simply fabulous on the nose with extraordinary intensity and depth. Amazing acidity matching botrytised flavours of acacia flower, pear, peach and apricot, and reduced flavours (nuts). Stunningly rich and sophisticated. Still very young, fresh and vivid. What a class act! At the age of almost 26 years, it's apparent that this wine can keep for at least a quarter of a century more.

Climens 1982 88p

Tasted in April 2009. Not that sweet and botrytised, light, charming and round. This wine has a short but smooth finish. Should be consumed within the next 2-4 years.

Climens 1981 91p

Tasted in April 2009. More depth and intensity of botrytised flavours and better structure than in Climens 1982. The length and aftertaste are also significantly longer here. Superb wine. 5-7 more years in the cellar.

Climens 1980 95p

Tasted in April 2009. This wine is a revelation when you think of weather conditions during harvest. Very creme brulee and vanilla pudding on the nose, intense, very elegant, stylish and fresh. The balance, structure and honeyed finish here complete this excellent wine. 10-15 more years.

Climens 1979 93p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2009. It's an extremely well-made wine that offers a blend of botrytised flavours like candied orange peel with a reduced flavour of nuts and aroma of dried apricot and prune. Very elegant and splendidly concentrated on the palate, excellent acidity, sophisticated, long, and caressing aftertaste. Delightful to drink now and in the next 6-8 years.

Climens 1978 94p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2009. Consistent notes. It's the excellent intensity of different aromas of botrytised and dried fruit like orange and mandarin. Fabulous on the palate with the great support of the acidity. Ideal balance and long honeyed aftertaste. Slightly better than Climens 1979.

Climens 1977 90p

Tasted in April 2009. Small yields at Climens in this vintage due to frost in the spring. In the vintage context, it's successful wine on the light side, extremely charming, round and seductive. Acacia honey on the finish. Drinks nicely now.

Climens 1976 100p

Tasted in April 2009. This wine is heaven. Incredibly rich, incredibly structured, incredible balance. Yep – everything is unbelievable in this wine. Big crop but severe selection (only 32% went into Grand Vin) ensured fantastic quality here. Dream wine. Will stay like that for another 10-15 years.

Climens 1975 100p

Tasted in April 2009. This wine oozes pure class and style! It's a wonderful balance and fantastic length. We are hitting the roof. A legend. Same keeping possibilities as for Climens 1976.

Climens 1974 88p

Tasted in April 2009. Together with 1969 and 1982, the least entertaining wine. This said, it is round, charming and very drinkable wine, which has good sweetness. To be consumed now.

Climens 1973 92p

Tasted in April 2009. Outstanding balance between acidity and botrytised flavours of acacia honey, mandarins, orange/apricot peel, plus a touch of raisins in rum. Surprisingly deep, refined and with an entertaining aftertaste. It is a spectacular wine, even if it lacks the great intensity of botrytised flavours. 3-5 more years in the cellar.

Climens 1972 93p

Tasted in April 2009. This wine is even better, more profound and with more botrytised flavours than Climens 1973. Acidity is fresh and makes sure that the wine in question is alive and vivid. Great work of the winemaker here! Will entertain for 3-5 more years.

Climens 1971 100p

Tasted in April 2009. Acacia flower/honey simply explodes on the nose. Angels sing and sing and sing. I'm blown away by this wine. It's an angelic length and finish and shows an extraordinary complexity. The balance between candied fruit and acidity is simply phenomenal. Finesse, elegance and sophisticated touch here is exceptional. What a wine! It will undoubtedly turn the age of 50 years!

Climens 1970 96p

Tasted in April 2009. Again and again, the nose erupts with orange peel, heather honey, crème brélee and candied pineapple aromas. Outstanding balance, structure and richness. Aftertaste won't let you go – goes on and on and on. Simply magnificent wine. It will stay like that until it's 45 years old.

Climens 1969 88p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2009. Darkest colour of all 37 Climens – dark amber. Brown sugar, acidity is apparent and puts sweetness in the background. Lovely concentration and round aftertaste. It keeps well at the moment, but this won't last for more than a few years.

Climens 1967 100p

Tasted in April 2009. Da bomb! Viscous texture. Very deep, rich and spicy with plenty of botrytised flavours. Fantastic length, structure and intensity of flavours. Candied mandarin peel, candied apricots and crème brulee. Great acidity to balance the sweetness. A wine at its peak. This is heaven! Will indeed celebrate its 50 years birthday!

Climens 1964 95p

Tasted in April 2009. Magnificent showing here! Great sweetness, crème brulée, great acidity, finesse and beautiful balance. Strikingly rich and sophisticated. The finish is gracious, smooth and very honeyed. Awesome stuff. 4-6 more years in the cellar.

 

Latest news

I'll be visiting Bordeaux next month (November) after two years of absence. 12 days in Bordeaux and some incredibly interesting visits have been arranged!

1. A full report on the 2020 vintage tasted from the barrel is now available with approximately 500 tasted samples. (since June 2021).  Please check out chapter "2020 FROM BARREL" in "VINTAGES".

2. A full report on the 2018 vintage in the bottle is available with approximately 500 tasted wines (since April 2021). Please check out chapter "2018 IN BOTTLE" in "VINTAGES".

3. A full report on the 2019 vintage tasted from the barrel (300+ tasted samples) is available (July 2020). Please check out chapter "2019" in "VINTAGES".

The planned addition of a property profile during winter 2021/2022 is Angelus.

The Burgundy blog in the News chapter is a new feature, which includes impressions from tastings/tasting dinners attended since November 2018. It will also include impressions on tasted wines from Beaujolais' best winegrowers. Believe me that Beaujolais Crus are in the spotlight right now because of incredibly ambitious owners/winemakers! I recently came across some terrific Beaujolais wines and will go deeper into exploring this wine area in January and February 2022.

In addition to my website, I also post tasting notes to a well-driven and hugely-scaled website, www.tastingbook.com, where I have 9.300+ followers and 2.600+ TNs by ultimo October 2021.