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40 years of Château Clarke, decades of passions and challenges

3 Nov 2021

40 years of Château Clarke, decades of passions and challenges, a new style

Since 1978, following a total renovation of the vineyard, Baron Edmond de Rothschild has been conducting his first harvest at Château Clarke.

With him, the 18th century wine reborn from its ashes. Baron Edmond experienced an enchantment at Château Clarke, making this wine his life’s work.

At the occasion of an exceptional vertical tasting, these 40 vintages (1978-2018) were tasted by the technical team, in the presence of Ariane de Rothschild and Eric Boissenot, Château Clarke’s consultant oenologist (after his father himself had accompanied its evolution from 1987 to 1997).

This vertical tasting allowed a real journey into the past… A review of the property’s milestones and its evolution. An exceptional opportunity for the teams to push their knowledge of the property to the limit.

1978 – First vintage of Château Clarke
2015 – Eric Boissenot’s arrival. A new style
2016 – First vintage of Fabrice Darmaillacq
2018 – Celebration of 40 years of Château Clarke vintages

1978: 1st vintage ever produced and signed by Baron Edmond, with the famous Emile Peynaud.

The original blending : 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot

1986: One of Baron Edmond’s favourites with 1982: the first vintages he was proud of.

Wine blending: 50% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc

Consulting oenologist : Emile Peynaud


10 years of evolution culminates in the glass. 

“Reputedly rustic, square, without the finesse of other Médocs with distinguished elegance, Listrac Rothschildiens must please and offer a renewed silhouette. Over the years, Edmond foresees this radical metamorphosis which will occur with the fine vintages of 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1995. The better thought-out terroir will deliver a different style of wine!” Nicolas de Rabaudy, La renaissance de Château Clarke. 

Wine blending : 50% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc

Consulting oenologist : Jacques Boissenot

1996: The last vintage produced by Baron Edmond. It is also a turning point in the evolution of the vineyard with the start of a different replanting by opting for a majority of Merlot.

Wine blending : 55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon

Consulting oenologist : Jacques Boissenot

2009 : “A wine is a man who believes in it” Michel Rolland
A new beginning at Château Clarke with the arrival in 2008 of Michel Rolland as consultant oenologist. The vineyard is entering a second phase of progression towards the production of great Médoc wines.

Wine blending : 70% Merlot 30% Cabernet Sauvignon

Consulting oenologist : Michel Rolland

2016 : “It’s the terroir that decides, you have to listen to it, be attentive and support it”. Eric Boissenot. 

A new technical team with a fresh perspective breathes new life for Château Clarke. 2016 turned out to be a high quality vintage.

Wine blending : 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon

Consulting oenologist : Eric Boissenot

2018 : “Our ultimate aim is to enhance all our potential, in the vineyards and the wine cellars alike, and to raise Château Clarke to the level of one of the finest Grand Cru in the Médoc”. Fabrice Darmaillacq

The 2018 vintage, after a difficult start, ended beautifully. After a beautiful hot and dry Summer, Clarke produced an elegant wine defined by its complexity, precision, length and inimitable terroir. After 40 harvests, this vintage celebrates its precious heritage.

Wine blending : 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon

Consulting oenologist : Eric Boissenot

To discover in image !

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