The Climens Style
This noble sweet white wine, graceful and weightless, is a subtle wine that is like no other. If it is the very expression of the quintessence of this appellation with balance and freshness, it also has the strength and magnificence among the greatest Sauternes. Climens is characterized by brilliance or depth, borne only of its unique terroir.
This special grace, the result of tightness and minerality is also blessed with an extraordinary aromatic palette, mingling perfumes of flowers, fruits, spices, and often even a hint of eucalyptus or fresh mint. In their youth the wines, which have a pale colour that is reminiscent of the aromas, are dominated by citrus fruit (grapefruit, lemon, citron), fresh fruit and white flowers. Sweet spices and other deeper, confected fruit flavours will develop with the passing of time. Whatever the vintage, the wines continue to age slowly, retaining their harmonious blend of sweetness and freshness for decades, which signs their inimitable charm.
Climens is most famous for the elegance of its wine, but also for its sustained excellence: even in less than great vintages, the wines produced are always magical.
Terroir/Grape variety: What makes a great terroir
The name Climens means ‘unfertile or poor land’ in a local dialect! That was not taking into account the vine, this prodigious plant which is capable of transforming apparently undesirable soils into terroirs blessed by the gods. Their red soils, a thin layer of clayey sand rich in iron, cover a fossil-rich limestone platform which favours natural drainage.
From a biodynamic point of view, great terroir is born of balance among the four elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. At Climens one’s eye is drawn to the red earth that originates in Fire and is the guarantor of richness. The element Water, found in the clay, balances this natural opulence perfectly by endowing the wine with its fluidity and freshness. The climate is different every year and whether it is the rain or the heat, Water or Fire in varying proportions, it makes each vintage unique.
However, Climens is above all an airborne, weightless wine, devoid of any heaviness. It is the really unusual sands which give it the Air element, guaranteeing the brightness, the elegance and the taut tension that are so characteristic of Château Climens. The limestone which represents the Earth element brings structure and depth to it.
But in order to attain the perfect balance, generations of wine makers have realised that it was necessary to transcend the limestone with a grape variety characteristic of Earth. And so it has been Semillon that imposed itself over the centuries as the one and only variety at Climens. It asserts the originality of the cru as a virtuoso interpreter of this exceptional terroir and is a tremendous vector for Botrytis Cinerea.
With a helping hand from the micro-climate, the ultimate paradox can take place: the arrival of noble rot, which veritably sublimes this natural harmony that one calls the soul of a wine.
History: History, The Guarantor of Excellence
The exceptionally distinguished Château Climens, whose outstanding past spans several centuries, became known as the “Lord of Barsac” very early on. The history of this prestigious growth is characterised by unfailing continuity enabling only the very best to be coaxed out of this unique terroir.
The name Climens appeared for the first time on a contract dated 1547, in which it is stated that Girault Roborel, the King’s advocate in Barsac, had inherited a part of this land from his father. The two names, Climens and Roborel, would soon become one family name, the Roborel de Climens family.
However, the well established domain was damaged during the French Revolution. The widow of Jean-Baptiste Roborel de Climens sold it in 1802. Jean Binaud who bought it knew what he was doing: a Bordeaux wine merchant, he recognised the potential of this property and took great care of it. It is therefore no surprise that Château Climens was granted First Growth status in 1855.
From 1855 the famous printers and journalists from Bordeaux, the Gounouilhou family, took over Climens and kept it for almost a century. In the early 1970s Lucien Lurton started taking an interest in the Sauternes region. This man who is passionate about exceptional terroirs already owned several famous classified growths in the Medoc.
He was won over by the finesse of the Climens wines and with great foresight acquired the Château in 1971 despite the crisis that Sauternes wines were undergoing at the time. It was in 1992 that his daughter Bérénice Lurton took the Château’s destiny into her capable hands. 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.