Vintage 2013

Tasting Notes:

Château Clarisse 2013 :

The wine of the purple red hue and brilliant highlights. Average intensity. The nose is characterised by notes of cherries and blond tobacco leaves, creating a mixture of a fine aromatic palette of noble vegetable and small black berries. The aeration gives place to sweeter and vanilla notes coming from aging.

The mouth is spherical and soft, supported by the freshness typical for this vintage which gives it a nice length.  The tannins are firm and already somewhat smoothened by the aging, the result as a whole is juicy and very pleasant.

Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2013

The wine of intense ruby hue and brilliant highlights.  The nose is still characterised by the notes of noble aging. Exposed to aeration, the bouquet gives place to very delicate floral notes, such as peonies and irise, for example. A fresh aeration reveals the palette of yellow and white fruits typical for these limestone soils: peaches of vines and mirabelles.

The attack is broad and powerful. The very dense middle of the mouth of this vintage offers a delicious chew. The grain of tannin definitely has limestone notes, chalky in its texture and salty in its taste, extending the final to several seconds onwards.

Technical Sheets

Château Clarisse


Clarisse Vieilles Vignes

Vieilles Vignes_2013_img

Logbook :


After a mild and humid winter, the arrival of spring, although slow, allows an explosion of vegetation and the vines developp in a regular manner.  All the buds explode at the same time, inviting to make the first prognoses: it is a fruity vintage, becoming a true gift after two vintages marked by little productivity. We will cut ceveral grapes, and even too many, according to some the opinions. Temperatures remain low throughout the month and slow down the growth.


Regular rains and persistent cold do not allow the soil to warm up, especially to clayish part of it. It is in the second half of May that symptoms of cold manifest themselves. The growth becomes irregular, depending on the type of soil, and the lack of vegetation for this time of the year is undeniable. The foliage is dull, the green hue is pale. The leaves are thick, the vine is cold.


The tendancy is not changed : the cold remaining throughout the month. Participants at Vinexpo Bordeaux will remember for a long time the violence of the showers as well as the freshness of the festive evenings, such as the Festival of the Flower or other. It is under these fairly dramatic conditions that flowering begins. Very long on the Merlot variety, a little shorter on the Cabernets, the expulsion of flower caps stretches over two weeks offering a fabulous possibility for botrytis intrusion, as this period is the most sensitive.


The summery of this 1st of July is depressing. It is already known that the harvest will be small, and the vine is three weeks behind its vegetative cycle. It is enormous. Luckily, the heat settled permanently and gave back hope to the winemakers. The warm and dry days are all linked throughout the month and give a sense of eternity.  We now manage to catch up on the delay. July becomes the warmest month of the past twenty years ! The botrytis is dormant, latent, and the foliage has regained all of its splendor. The wisdom of the well-inspired winemaker prompts him to perfect the lifting, topping and leaves thinning. Prophylaxis is ensured. The vineyard resembles to a splendid garden. Few vineyards in the world can be proud of such precision. Everything is done to catch up for this spring caprices.


If the storms of July 26th  accompanied by the hail put an end to the wave of heat, it was those of August 2 that happened to be particularly devastating.  The hail brought truly heavy results, with an oubreak of desolation over the fourteen thousand hectares, ruining the Entre-Deux-Mers wine region. However, the month of August was rather beautiful. The average temperature was not so bad, especially considering the nocturnal freshness. Doubtlessly, the cold nights have slowed down the advances of maturity, but as for its aromatic consistansy, we could not ask for more, as these temperature amplitudes contribute greatly to the complexity of the wine. The beginning o ripening (veraison) starts slowly and stretches in the same way as flowering did earlier over the spring. It will therefore often be necessary to have a tour around the vines in order to check on the homogeneity of the ripening maturity. Despite the small yields, it is still necessary to cut raisins. The counter-foliage starts then together with the countdown. We need to hold on for a long time now.

September – October

On average, the grape harvest should have begun around 7th October for the merlots and we could hope for a beautiful late vintage, as those of 2008 or 2011. Well-prepared vines, with broad raisins could perfectly go to its end, to its perfect maturity. How many vintages in Bordeaux were finally saved by a beautiful September and an Indian summer? But 2013 has been different, as starting September 20th, the temperatures rise again causing the moisture to settle. In this truly tropical climate, the fungus soon shows itself truly present. The situation is not homogenic, and most certainly the type of soil as well as the quantities of water brought by the storms of August also play their role.  Beyond the talent of the winemakers, this vintage also required to have some luck.


Stéphane Derenoncourt