1983 Climens

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Wine Critic Reviews for 1983 Climens

Beautifully crafted, plump, very long and complex. Medium gold, lush and si lky, with lemon, fig, apricot, pear, and a particualrly elegant balance of acidity, fruit and wood. Power and finesse in the same package. Drink now through 2000.

Wine Spectator | 95 WS
(Château Climens (Barsac)) The 1983 Climens is one of the stars of the vintage and has reached a really beautiful point in its evolution at age thirty-five. The bouquet offers up a vibrant blend of fresh apricot, tangerine, chalky soil tones, incipient notes of walnut, honey and a topnote of orange peel. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, pure and generous on the attack, with a lovely core, fine focus and grip and a long, zesty and perfectly balanced finish. Fine juice with decades of life still ahead of it. (Drink between 2017-2045).

John Gilman | 93 JG
The 1983 has consistently improved since bottling and is a far greater wine than I ever imagined after tasting it from cask. It exhibits the classic honeyed pineapple and spicy oakiness that makes Climens so profound. In the mouth, this wine is opulent, extremely rich, with gobs of glycerin, yet enough acidity to give it plenty of definition and crispness. It is a beautifully made, even stunning Barsac that is eclipsed by the great 1986 and 1988. Anticipated maturity: Now-2009. Last tasted, 11/90.

Robert Parker | 92 RP

Wine Details on 1983 Climens

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Producer Chateau Climens: Resting atop the plateau of Barsac, surrounded by 30-hectares of Sauternes’ most alluvial and famed terroir sits the elegant, yet discreet Chartreuse of Chateau Climens. This traditional style home perched upon its peak serves as a testament to its distinguished past. It was built by the Roborel de Climens family in the 17th century, though the family name can be traced back to 1547, when the estate’s first family inheritance contract was etched. Climens was classified a Premier Cru of the appellation in the official 1855 classification of the Medoc and today is one of the most premier Sauternes to grace the market.

Paradoxically, the name Climens means “unfertile or poor land” in the local dialect. What wasn’t taken into consideration during this unceremonious naming was that the extremely chalky soil of Barsac, comprised mostly of limestone, sand and clay is perfectly attuned to the chosen varietal (Semillon) of the appellation for “sweet Bordeaux white” wine. The land is soggy and the air is most often fog covered, creating its own unique micro-climate. The primary grape variety of Sauternes wine is Semillon, which is a particularly trendy host for botrytis (Noble Rot). The other two grapes Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle attract botrytis as well, though, to a lesser extent.

Beginning in 2014, the estate became 100% biodynamically farmed, using natural practices to treat and protect the 30-hectares under vine. Organic teas, such as Chamomile, Horsetail, Willow Tree, Cypress and Juniper Berry are modified into disease destroying agents which are eco-friendly. Their commitment to nature is commendable and ingenious.

To produce the wine of Chateau Climens, vinification takes place in French oak barrels at 27-degrees Celsius for 2 to 3 weeks. Once the wine reaches the desired degree of alcohol, the fermentation temperature is rapidly dropped to about 3 degrees Celsius. The wine is aged on average 35% to 45% new, French oak barrels for close to 20 to 24 months. The amount of new oak barrels depends on the character and quality of the vintage. Climens is one of the few Bordeaux wine producers to make a non-blended wine and uses 100% Semillon. A mere 3,000 cases of Chateau Climens is produced annually.
Region Sauternes: The white wines of Bordeaux are sometimes sadly looked over, as the region is primarily known for their almost absurdly powerful and delicious reds. However, if you like a refreshing, sweet treat on a late summer evening or you wish to complete your journey through Bordeaux's finest wines, you should not skip a Sauternes bottle or two. Made from a carefully balanced mixture of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grape varietals, this wine boasts an almost supernatural sweetness. This sugary nature can be attributed to the presence of noble rot that can cause the grapes to visually resemble raisins in a way.

We would completely understand if a single taste of fine Sauternes brought visible tears of joy to your eyes, as the flavor is just that magnificent. As you swirl the liquid gold in your mouth, an orchestral performance echoes on, with a grounding double bass of honey and the sharpness and acidity of a passionate violin solo. Notes of peach, apricot and nut punctuate the experience, sending you sky-high with inspiration and pure, emotional bliss. Let us open the door to a whole new world together.
Subregion Barsac
Cru Premier Cru
Country France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.
Type of Wine Dessert White: In the minds of many wine lovers, no food pairing matches the appeal of a dessert and an appropriate dessert wine. For those of us with a pronounced sweet tooth, dessert whites come in many shapes, sizes, and, most importantly, varietals. Whether you're dealing with an Austrian Pinot Blanc or a sweet German Riesling, it's hard to resist for long.
Varietal Sauternes Blend: Twenty-five miles southeast of the city of Bordeaux, in the southern end of the Graves winegrowing district, a magical event takes place – harvest season in Sauternes. Each year, beginning in September, the white grape varietals Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle become the star performers in an otherworldly transformation that takes winemaking to a completely magnificent level. Of course, this event could not take place would it not be for nature to play its part.

A unique set of climatic and geological conditions combine to form a rare equilibrium. A ghostly fog descends upon the region each morning, created by the differing water temperatures of the cool Ciron tributary as it flows into the warm Garonne River near Barsac and Preignac. The humid mornings give way to warm afternoon sun, encouraging the proliferation of Botrytis Cinerea.

Approximately 2,000 hectares of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle apron the region’s vineyards of Sauternes. Semillon is the most widely planted, with roughly 75% of the distribution in the vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc is planted to a little less than 25%, while Muscadelle inhabits the remaining hectares (Muscadelle is able to contract Botrytis Cinerea but not to the same effect, thus being used in miniscule amounts). The three allowable grapes (by AOC law) thrive in a terroir of varying degrees of chalk, limestone, sand, clay and gravel which rest over an alluvial bed. The soil in Sauternes is warm and dry, accumulating heat due to the smooth flat pebbles and course gravel which collect the suns warmth.

The Sauternes’ plateau reaches elevations of 3 to 80 meters, awarding the location with a unique set of micro-climates and allowing winds from the east to move through the vineyards helping to remove unwanted moisture. This is especially crucial later in the growing season, as the noble rot sets in.

Noble rot, otherwise known as Botrytis Cinerea, is a fungus that attacks the grapes. The very unique and specific climate of this region allows for this magical process to occur. The grapes become shriveled, dehydrated and concentrated with extraordinary characteristics. The byproduct is a honey filled, tropical, roasted nut and exotic elixir that is otherworldly. Pineapple, peaches, flowers, orange, vanilla, butterscotch, coconut and honey infiltrate the nose and palate creating an experience that is euphoric. Typical Sauterne blends are golden yellow in color and turn amber when aged.

Due to the immense risks taken during the harvesting season, where the possibility of grey rot (grapes become overly saturated with moisture) could occur or the complete absence of noble rot, they are the most expensive wines in the world to produce. This viticultural hazard combined with the “gold” quality liquid commands top-dollar prices.

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