Le Merle Blanc de Château Clarke 2021
There are very few Médoc estates that produce a white wine, which is why Le Merle Blanc de Château Clarke is as wonderful as it is rare, with just a few hundred cases produced annually. Le Merle Blanc de Château Clarke was first produced as early as 1890 and at the time, was one the most important products of Chateau Clarke. Sadly production of Le Merle Blanc decreased as the owners prioritised Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with little care for white grape varieties. After acquiring Chateau Clarke in 1973, Baron Edmond Rothschild was keen to reinstate Le Merle Blanc and pay homage to this forgotten wine. A small part of the vineyard covering just 3ha was identified and planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Gris. Sixty per cent of the blend was matured in oak (50% new) and the rest in stainless steel tanks for six months. What emerges is bright and breezy with wonderful aromatics. Notes of crisp grapefruit, lemon sorbet, jasmine, lemongrass, peach, quince, acacia honey, delicate wood and a pinch of sea salt all combine in this gorgeous white Bordeaux, which manages to balance its ample richness with a crunchy freshness. This is very clever winemaking that brings together all the qualities you expect in a fine dry white wine.