Wine Tasting At Chateau Climens Bordeaux
Chateau Climens: First Growth for white wines of the Gironde
We woke up at 7:30 am today and had breakfast at the hotel, which was not very busy. There were not many waiters there, since it was a quiet morning, so no one helped us a lot. They charged us 40€ for two breakfasts.
Today we visited Chateau Climens, which is a First Growth for the white wines of the Gironde, on the left bank of the Garonne. This evaluation first began in 1855, which is the most prestigious. The best sweet white wines in the world are made in this area, and this winery is an exceptional example of Sauternes. The chateau has 30 hectares of land, which is the highest land in the appellation, and there is lots of limestone. The limestone gives the grapes a special, if not magical, flavor. It is interesting to note that “Climens” means “unfertile or poor land” in the local dialect. This winery certainly proved them wrong!
The winery is a simple building that matches the land outside, which is interesting considering their international reputation for outstanding wines. They grow herbs on site as well, which they dry and use later. Everything they grow is lush and flourishing. The reception area is simple, rustic, and comfortable, as if you were visiting a relative’s home. The vineyards are beautiful! A dirt road separates two sides, which seem to go on forever. Like the reception area, the wine tasting area is simple and comfortable. They set it up as if you were going to a tasting at a friend’s house.
They specialize in Sauternes, which are arguably the best dessert wines in the world. Our tour guide was Alexandria. She was very nice and told us about the family and the business. They don’t use any chemicals on their vineyards; instead they use a bio-Dynamic system, for which they are certified. Instead they use the herbs they grow to protect their vines, including chamomile, horsetail, kennel, etc. It is not a very large winery, and they only plan Semillon grapes. On our tour we saw the vet house, where they dry the herbs (it smelled so good in there!), the wine cellar where they process the wines (always a fun room to see), and the packaging room.
We tried two wines here: one from Chateau Climens and the other from Chateau Perez, a secondary label that they have. They were so good! These Sauternes have beautiful layers, notes of honeysuckle, and are elegant. They could definitely be considered nectars of the gods! We ended up buying six wines of various vintages. We plan to enjoy them as our main dessert for a special occasion, or with some white cake, sponge cake, or cheese. Alexandria suggested that we should visit either Restaurant Darroze or Le Saint Julien for lunch.
We ended up going to Darozze Restaurant. We had the best Set Lunch Menu, which is only 30€ per person. We enjoyed foie gras, cracker fish, and had ice cream for dessert. It was a delicious day for food and for wine!