New Bordeaux discovery: Clos Manou – ‘Consistently brilliant’

Dec 12, 2023 | All, International wines | 0 comments

‘Consistently brilliant wines. This estate merits a mention in any list of Bordeaux’s finest under-the-radar producers.’

– William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Clos Manou is a small, family operated winery that’s redefining the concept of quality and value in Bordeaux. Found in the far northern reaches of the Médoc, the estate is owned by the Dief family, whose history in the region stretches back to the 19th century – working for Mouton Rothschild. These vine growers at heart are the envy of many classified growths as they own a parcel of ungrafted, pre-phylloxera vines that date back to 1850!

Petit Manou 2019 is the winery’s second wine and a great introduction. At R325, it’s an absolute steal and ideal for the holidays – serve slightly chilled, drink and enjoy. It’s a delicious claret that shows sour red cherry and raspberry on the nose, with crunchy tannins and a mouthwatering finish. The grand vinClos Manou 2019, is a step-up in all respects. A beautifully perfumed nose is followed by a layered, narrow palate. Keep until 2030 if you can resist. ‘Can I say “yummy” in a professional note? Yummy, writes Neal Martin. At R695, need we say more?

Stéphane Dief started Clos Manou in 1998 with his wife, Françoise, from a mere 0.12 hectares of vines. Today the pair own more than 18 hectares in the northern Médoc. The vineyard is their focus and they employ minimal herbicides and pesticides – a practice they consider normal. Stéphane grew up with this approach to farming, looking after the soil and vineyard before contemplating winemaking techniques.

For access to the 2020 vintage of their rare Cuvée 1850, made exclusively from the 1850 vineyard, please email Johan@winecellar.co.za.

*Wines are sealed under Ardeaseal closures to minimise any cork-related faults or defects.

Tasting Notes:

Petit Manou Médoc 2019

‘This ripe wine offers dark-chocolate flavors over tannins and young black fruit. It is dense, piled with tannins and ripe blackberry flavors.’ – Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast, 90/100

Clos Manou Médoc 2019

‘The 2019 Clos Manou has a ripe, extroverted bouquet of black cherries, mulberry, rose petal and slight confit aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with juicy ripe tannins, fleshy and generous. The smooth, spicy, voluminous finish is irresistible. Can I say “yummy” in a professional note? Yummy.’ – Neal Martin, Vinous, 92/100

‘From an 18-hectare estate planted at a density of around 10,000 vines per hectare, the 2019 Clos Manou is a serious wine. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berry fruit, cigar wrapper, licorice and espresso roast, it’s medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with terrific concentration, lively acids and plenty of ripe, powdery tannin that will reward a bit of bottle age. It’s closed with an Ardeaseal technical cork as used by Burgundy’s Domaine Ponsot among others. This estate merits a mention in any list of Bordeaux’s finest under-the-radar producers.’ – William Kelley, Wine Advocate, 92+/100

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