Clarendelle from the owners of Haut-Brion

Clarendelle is the ‘new’ range of generic Bordeaux from one of the finest addresses in Bordeaux. May I quote from a press release that accompanied them…. ‘According to Prince Robert of Luxembourg, great-grandson of Clarence Dillon and President of Château Haut-Brion; “Clarendelle’s style and structure represent elegance, complexity and balance. Clarendelle strives for a style representative of its roots. Our red and white wines are the fruits of an assemblage which mirrors the marriage of grape varietals found in our estate wines.” ‘

But as we all know, there is a difference in the quality of the nominally same raw ingredients. And there is a difference in the way different chefs approach those ingredients…

Clarendelle Bordeaux Blanc 2006 (£13.99 Avery’s)
Quite old-fashioned and rather heavy, creamy lemon curd fruit with some beeswax and a touch of nuttiness, but ultimately lacks freshness. C-

Clarendelle Bordeaux Rosé 2007 (£10.99 Avery’s)
Ripe blackcurrant and plum aromas, but this is flabby and lacking zip – they really should be on a younger vintage now. 0

Clarendelle Bordeaux Rouge 2004 (£13.99 Avery’s)
Some plummy fruit, but the figgy/pruny edges speak of a wine that’s fading, slightly earthy edges to the finish, but very little charm or class. C

Clarendelle Amber Wine Monbazillac 2003 (£19.99/500 ml Avery’s)
Heady, almost Tokaji-like, burnt sugar, orange marmalade, intense but simple and not exactly subtle. B(-)

All in all, not a great advert for Bordeaux. I find it hard to comprehend why such a famous producer would want to soil their reputation with a range such as this.

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