High praise for Château La Clarière as Decanter celebrates 10 years of Côtes de Bordeaux

We’ve got some great news – Tony’s own wine Château La Clarière Laithwaite 2016 has been named joint winner in Decanter’s celebration of 10 years of the Côtes de Bordeaux.

“Deep and rich … complex and concentrated … easily one of the best in the line up,” that’s how Bordeaux correspondent Jane Anson reviewed the 2016 vintage in the latest edition of the magazine.

Decanter’s June edition celebrates the 10th anniversary of the creation of the AOC Côtes de Bordeaux with a tasting of 210 wines from across the last three years – 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Château La Clarière in pictures

“It means 10 years,” explains Anson, “since the AOC Côtes de Bordeaux has brought together the winemakers of Blaye, Cadillac, Francs and now St Foy, making sense of their common approach to producing deliciously fruity, affordable wines that almost invariably have real families behind them, winemakers that live onsite in their estates and work outside in their own vineyards or in their cellars every day.”

Only 120 of the wines made it to print, and Château La Clarière scored a very impressive 93 points – a feat only matched by the much pricier Château Biac and Château Ad Francos.

Deep and rich, this really is a very nice bottle of wine. Well-handled, complex and concentrated but not overblown. Easily one of the best in the line up in terms of quality and approachability – a good advert for what Castillon can do. Back chocolate, liquorice, slate, firm tannins, young but not totally closed up, and with clear ageing potential. Good stuff from Laithwaites.

Jane Anson reviews Château La Clarière Laithwaite 2016 in Decanter, June 2019

By now you probably already know the story of how Tony got his first break in the wine world. His grandmother, Nana Florrie Rudd, had a chance encounter with a French woman who ended up inviting a young Tony (then a Geography student) to work on a friend’s vineyard as a bottle washer.

Monsieur Cassin took Tony under his wing and encouraged him to start his only business – and eventually persuaded him to take over Château La Clarière.

54 years in the making…

But Tony says it’s our Confrère members who have helped with the wine’s success.

By simply putting their name down for a 6- or 12-bottle wooden case of the next vintage, it allows him to keep investing and improving the wines.

“We’ve been lucky to have a great run of vintages recently – 2014, 2015, 2016,” Tony explains, “and these wines have been clocking up lots of Golds.

“In total, Château La Clarière has won over 50 Golds.”

But the accolades don’t stop there. Tony would be embarrassed to mention it, but his outstanding contributions to agriculture have even earned him the Chevalier de Mérite Agricole – given to him by the French government.

Try Château La Clarière Laithwaite 2016 for yourself. Find it in our stores or online for £24 a bottle.

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About Laithwaites Wine

Laithwaite's began in 1969, when Tony Laithwaite took a job washing bottles in Bordeaux... and fell in love with real wine and the people who make it. When he borrowed a van to share these delicious wines with friends and neighbours at home, things went so well that boutique wineries were soon queuing to take part. Today we're the UK's No.1 home-delivery wine merchant, with over 1,500 wines to choose from... including red, white and rosé, plus Champagne and sparkling, beer and cider.

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