Climens, dubbed ‘The Lord of Barsac’, undoubtedly deserves its reputation as one of the top châteaux in Barsac and Sauternes. The property’s distinct terroir, marked by its hilltop position and the presence of limestone subsoil, led the Lurton family (the present owners) to remove what little Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle remained and plant the vineyard to 100% Semillon. They feel the estate’s terroir lends itself perfectly to the cultivation of this variety and that the character of the estate is best expressed through Semillon rather than as a blend.

The wines themselves show this to have been a good decision and the quality of their second wine Cyprès de Climens has improved dramatically as a result. Hand-harvested and oak-aged in precisely the same manner as Château Climens (20-24 months in 35-45% new oak barrels), Cyprès is not a pre-determined second wine from a blend of lesser plots, but rather a wine made from the second round of picking in the vineyard and selected barrels that don’t quite fit the profile of that year’s Grand Vin. When you consider that yields for the first wine are regularly as low as 7hl/ha, it is no surprise that Cyprès also has great richness and power that reflects the quest for perfection undertaken by Berenice Lurton and her team.

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