New wave dry wines from classified growths in Sauternes and Barsac were amongst the best surprises of our week tasting 2022 en primeur Bordeaux last year. In general, 2022 is not a great vintage for classic dry whites in Bordeaux but I was stopped in my tracks by the new generation of dry wines from some of the world’s most famous sweet wine producers.
I simply never expected they would achieve such quality, and never at such fair prices.
Having been massively impressed by these wines in tastings, a chance meeting with Paul Marchais – Sales & Marketing Director of Chateau Climens – saw the start of a conversation about their new dry wines. Our discussions continued and, today, I am delighted to be launching Chateau Climens’ dry white wines – exclusive to Vinum in Singapore.
Dry wine allows Chateau Climens’ exceptional terroir to speak with a new accent, distinct from the Grand Vin yet with a shared ancestry. 100% Semillon preserves the estate’s DNA and nods towards the pedigree of the celebrated sweet wines. With the guidance of Loire Valley mastro Pascal Jolivet, from Pouilly Fume, the team have been able to give a new voice to this great terroir.
Chateau Climens produces two dry whites, Asphodele and Lilium. In my household this pair are fast taking the place of the Chablis we used to drink so regularly:
The same climate change that challenges the sweet wine producers of Bordeaux is transforming the fundamental character of Chablis, robbing the wines of their acidity and driving up prices.
Asphodele and Lilium are bone dry, characterful and mineral, delivering a racy charge of acidity.
Prices are extremely modest for the quality and winemaking pedigree. I think of Asphodele as the equivalent of village Chablis, whilst Lilium is the 1er Cru.
Equally delicious as an aperitif or with food, the acidity and texture of the wines is sufficient to match well with spice and local food. Asphodele makes an attractive pairing with Laksa!
Essentially the two wines are almost identical – both 100% Semillon, from the same Climens vineyard and made without oak. Lilium is a superior selection of fruit and is matured in a glass WineGlobe for eight months. Production is much smaller, and only around 3,000 bottles of Lilium 2022 were made.
Offered subject to remaining unsold and immediately available from our Singapore cellars.
Chateau Climens ‘Asphodele’ 2019
25 cases (1×6) OC available @ $240 per case (w/ GST $261.60)
100% Semillon. Feels bone dry, or very close to it, yet has an intriguing suggestion of honey that starts as just a hint on the nose and then blossoms into something more distinct, and almost floral, on the palate. This also carries the distinctive spice notes of a degree of botrytis fermented to dryness. Notes of orange rind and something like candied peel, too. Aromatically this is pretty reserved but it really comes alive on the palate. There’s an attractive textural component that fills out the mid-palate and an almost buttery quality. Overall this is mid-weight, lithe and refreshing in its acidity. I like the weight, it’s really quite compact, and just 12% ABV. There’s an attractive twist of acidic grip on the tangerine and citrus-blossom scented finish.
89/100 – Matthew Hemming MW
The 2019 Asphodele, aged for eight months in concrete tanks, has an expressive nose with freshly sliced pear, nettle and light waxy aromas. Good vigour and definition. The palate is taut and fresh on the entry. Fine weight, perhaps a little more concentrated than the 2020 with slightly longer length. Edgy, yet delicious. Tasted at the Climens vertical at the château in April 2022.
91/100 – Neal Martin / Vinous
Chateau Climens ‘Lilim’ 2022
25 cases (1×6) OC available @ $420 per case (w/ GST $457.80)
100% Semillon. There’s something ‘extra’ on the nose but it’s not oak. Can’t put my finger on it although this was aged in a WineGlobe (like a 220L glass demijohn). Much more complex that Asphodele and displays a much broader register of fruit aromas. Yellow stone fruit, juicy qualities and mango tones. It’s quite sophisticated and, whilst bone dry, has a fruit sweetness. Coats the mid-palate with attractive scent and spice. Another step up in focus, there are also phenolic textural notes adding both body and complexity. Pure and persistent in its fruit – there is a sustained clarity and focus right onto the finish of white blossom and more floral characters.
92-93pts – Matthew Hemming MW
The maiden 2022 Lilium (FYI, Latin for lily) is more or less the same as the Asphodele but represents a selection that is aged in WineGlobe. It has a light Granny Smith and white flower-scented bouquet that offers slightly more presence than the Asphodele. The palate is well balanced with a more resinous texture and seems to have more matière. Texturally satisfying, this is one to look out for after bottling, though quantities will be limited to 3,000 bottles.
90-92pts – Neal Martin
Terms & Conditions
Offer ends on Wednesday 24th January 2024 l No further discount l Immediate payment required l Delivery fees ($32.72) waived for purchases above $500 before GST excluding airports | Cancellation of orders not allowed l Orders to be collected/delivered within 3 months upon stock availability l Offered Ex-Singapore & subject to remaining unsold