Akin to a ray of light streaming through the clouds in a week that as seen a plethora of Estate releases whose release prices do not work in terms of collector value, there is another, like the excellent sell-out release of Beychevelle 2017 that does: Clerc Milon 2017. It has released this morning for £600 per case of twelve. Clerc Milon 2017 has bettered the 2016 and possibly the 2015, likely to outshine even the 2010 and 2005. It has been awarded a 93-95 point score from the Wine Advocate, with Lisa Perrotti-Brown describing it as having a ‘deep garnet-purple in color and scented of crushed red and black currants, wild blueberries and black pepper with touches of cigar box, violets, underbrush and menthol.’ The Asian demand and rising quality should come as no surprise. A Fifth Growth in its own right, with vineyards neighbouring both Mouton and Lafite Rothschild, its terroir and potential have never been in doubt. Since its acquisition by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the vineyard has been returned to is former glories and enormous investments have been made to technology and the winemaking facilities. It is going from strength to strength and is one of the best priced leading wines from Bordeaux and this is reflected in its performance post release, the average of which since 2005 is 91%!
As is the case with Beychevelle, global demand drives secondary market prices of Clerc Milon. As can be seen in the table below, today’s Clerc Milon release price reflects an 8% discount to the current market trading price of the 2016. Indeed, the price offers a 21% discount to the trading price of the 2015, which has increased 58% since release and a 17% discount to the 2014, which has increased 122% since release. The average trading price of all vintages running from 2005 is £738, meaning that the 2017 offers a 18.7% discount to Clerc Milon’s mean price. The 2017, along with being potentially the greatest ever Clerc Milon and the lowest priced, therefore naturally has the lowest Price Over Points Ratio, 43; the average is 65. Clerc Milon has become one of the most highly allocated wines and while the Estate offer no discount on release, they have left at least 23% upside on the table for collectors from barrel to bottle. This is a superb Clerc Milon, released at an excellent price, it is one to own and it will be sold out by close of play.
Chateau Clerc Milon occupies a superb location overlooking the Gironde between Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild. Its vineyards are adjacent to Duhart Milon Rothschild whose name it shares in recognition of the tiny hamlet both occupy in the north east of Pauillac. The Chateau derives its name from the Clerc family who purchased the Estate following the French revolution in 1789 and John-Bapiste Clerc owned the vineyard in 1855 when it was classified a Fifth Growth. Following decades of arguments over ownership and neglect of the vineyards, the property was purchased by Baron Philippe de Rothschild who stated that Clerc Milon deserves a ‘rightful place’ alongside Mouton Rothschild and d’Armailhac. Clerc Milon boasts enviable terroir, situated on the Mousset crest, its gravel soils over a bed of clay and limestone are similar to Mouton Rothschild’s, as are its flavour profiles of concentrated dark fruits and exotic spice. Since 1970, the family have turned the fortunes of the property around by investing heavily in infrastructure and technology, including adopting renewable energy sources and building a cutting edge environmentally friendly barrel hall in 2011. The wine produced at Clerc Milon 2017 stands face to face with its classified growth peers, it is potentially the Estate’s finest ever vintage, which will continue to develop over the next 30 years.
As can be seen from the table below, there have been numerous releases this week. We are only focusing on key releases, or those that offer excellent value. The table below shows the releases’ scores, their discount to 2016 in pounds: the pound recommended price is set in Bordeaux. We analyse releases by comparing the price of equivalent scoring vintages already on the secondary market, the Price Over Points Ratios, historical performance and release price. While some have offered larger discounts, the more telling metric is the average case price, many Chateau aggressively increased their prices in 2016 and even with discounts, their price vs score ratio remained higher than equivalent vintages. This analysis is purely comparative of the qualitative and quantitative side of the market. If collectors can buy older vintages, which have a similar price and score, it undermines any opportunity cost of en primeur. However, from a purely quality perspective, many wines in 2017 are excellent and would make excellent additions to cellars and continuations of verticals.
|Wine||WA||JS||Release||% GBP on||Ave price|
|Malescot St. Exupery||91-93||95-96||£430||-17.2||£536|
|Carmes de Rieussec||90-92||n/a||£165||-2.9||£169|
|Domaine Chevalier Blanc||91-96+||96-97||£825||-2.9||£720|
|Clos du Marquis*||91-93||93-94||£400||-14.9||£410|
|* Released today|
We have all the following available, please let us know if you would like to secure any, in 12x75cl or 6x75cl cases, the price in the table is set with a 12x75cl unit size.
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