Robert Parker / The Wine Advocate: A terrific effort in 2012 from a northern Medoc vineyard near St.-Christoly, possesses sweet, soft, sexy tannins, a surprisingly opulent mouthfeel, impressive purity and a medium-bodied, long finish. Clos Manou continues to over-perform for its humble pedigree.
The starting point of this property was more than modest: a garage turned into a cellar, 0,12 hectares of vines, 600 bottles in its first vintage in 1998 and a strong wish of the founders: Francoise and Stephane Dief - to make the best possible wine. As they say, a solid intention ensures 80% of success.
Now Francoise and Stephane are proud to own 18 hectares of vines, the jewel in their collection being a small Merlot-planted parcel that has survived since the pre-phylloxera times, a 600 square meter fermentation shop and an environmental-friendly wine cellar. They are experienced agriculturalists, who perform manually all farming operations; conduct soil- and vine-testing to ensure the correct balance of mineral substances in fertilizers (needless to say, farming is 100% organic); use ploughing instead of weed-killers and with all this effort and passion inevitably have succeeded in creating great wine.
One third of the grapes are used for production of Clos Manou, the rest makes the 2nd wine Petit Manou, which is aged less than the 1st label – only for 1year – and can be drunk young with no bottle-aging.
Vineyard area: 18 hectares
Soil: Gravel, sand, clay, limestone
Barrel-aging: 17 months (100% in new French oak)