In November I had the pleasure of meeting Bérénice Lurton, of Château Climens, a very well known winery that’s classified as a 1er Cru Classé its history dates back to the 16th century, and only five families have owned the estate from its roots. This is a rare occurrence and explains why the size of the single-vineyard has essentially remained constant and unchanged since the beginning.
” In 1971, Lucien Lurton, already the owner of several famous classified growths in the Medoc, was won over by the finesse of the Climens wines and acquired the château. It was in 1992 that his daughter Bérénice Lurton took over the château’s destiny. Since then, it is with enthusiasm and determination that she takes great care in perpetuating the precious magic of Château Climens, ensuring that this legendary growth shines with evermore brilliance and grace.” – Vineyardbrands.com
I had the pleasure of sitting down at Ai Fiore one afternoon with Bérénice, and it was a real treat. She’s witty and exciting and has a wonderful demeanor about her. We talked all afternoon about vintages, wine trends, soils, and then even got a little spiritual and talked about manifesting! I always love it when you can connect with a winemaker on a personal level as well as professional, and she’s just one of those personalities.
Now, onto the wine, because that’s what we’re here for right? I have always loved the wines from Bordeaux, and do enjoy the sweeter style of wines from this region besides the famous red and white dry wines. Sweeter wines get a mixed reputation, but whenever I break them out, people are always so pleasantly surprised, especially when I pair them with food. Ai Fiore is a Michelin Star Italian Restaurant in NYC, and it was a perfect match with these wines. The cuisine here is unmatched, and it’s always a pleasurable dining experience. Bérénice brought a few wines for us to try including the Asphodèle 2018, 1er Cru Barsac Sauternes, and the Cyprès de Climens Barsac Sauternes.
Asphodèle 2018: Made in collaboration with Pascal Jolivet, from Sancerre, this dry white from the Climens vineyard has a very distinguished personality, making it different from any other wine of the region. It’s elegant and soft with beautiful fruit and floral aromas. On the palate, it is refreshing and balanced, and went incredibly well with the poached lobster terrine appetizer!
Alongside we tasted older vintages and compared them to the new ones! It was so exciting to be able to try sauternes from 2015, 2010, and 2005! Paired was Scallops in a savory broth topped with freshly shaved truffles!
Château Climens 1er Cru Barsac, Grand Vin De Sauternes 2015: A very good vintage for many, and this one is stunning. It’s bright and luscious with incredible elegance and a nice light style. It pairs beautifully with savory seafood dishes, as well as with Roquefort and strong cheeses.
Château Climens 1er Cru Barsac, Grand Vin De Sauternes 2010: Another stunning wine that came from a decent vintage. They did have a late-ripening and dull summer, but that didn’t stop them and they waited until October and did some selective picking as the noble rot made it’s way to the grapes. Luckily it was an exceptional vintage for quality grapes and a nice yield! This wine has a lot of depth and elegance, which makes it very intriguing and would make a great cigar pairing wine!
Château Climens 1er Cru Barsac, Grand Vin De Sauternes 2005: An interesting vintage that resulted in a wine with nice finesse! Notes of pineapple, flowers, and citrus fill the glass, enticing you to pair this one alongside Asian cuisine! I’d also be curious to see this pair with Indian as well.
Cyprès de Climens Barsac 2016 & 2015: These wines were both wonderful, and went beautifully with the scallops and truffles. What I love the most about pairing these sweeter wines with truffles and savory seafood dishes, is that it brings out the minerality in these wines, that sometimes can get lost when you pair them with desserts and chocolates after a meal. 2016 was a decent vintage, and 2015 was exceptional, and both wines you can taste true talent and passion Bérénice has for winemaking.
These wines are truly incredible and are available through Vineyard Brands. I absolutely recommend these wines to be consumed year-round, because they do pair well with savory foods, cheeses, and even cigars. They make a wonderful gift, for a wine lover, who enjoys and can age their wines. If they choose to drink the wine sooner, rather than later, don’t worry, the wines are ready and absolutely beautiful!