Our Selection for Wine of the Week December 17, 2012
2005 Premier Cru Barsac, France
Château Climens is a First Growth Sauternes producer with a reputation for excellence. In fact, the winery's 1929 vintage was said to surpass the same year's bottling from the great Château d'Yquem. Owned by the winemaking family of Lucien Lurton, Climens has been run by his daughter Bérénice Lurton since 1992. The winery's highly regarded vineyards yield only around 3,000 cases each year, which helps keep this highly reputed bottling in demand. The 2005 is a beautifully balanced wine. Its rich aromas fill the nose with a blend of wildflowers and honey, golden raisin, fresh peach and citrus zest with an intriguing, underlying briny/mineral layer. Silky on the tongue, it offers exactly the weight and viscosity you would hope for from a late harvest wine. Flavors are as complex as the aromas, including raisin, orange peel, a touch of fresh stone fruit and white honey with more masculine, musk and spice notes at the back. Its freshness could easily be appreciated now but the 2005 is also well-suited to cellar aging for another 10-15 years. A wine this finely crafted can easily be enjoyed on its own. As any good Barsac would, it will work beautifully with fresh figs and blue cheese. Or try it with a more adventurous pairing of freshly shucked oysters.