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Magic and Madness: Climens 1912-2020
BY NEAL MARTIN | AUGUST 18, 2022
I have never been much of a gambler. Ask me to throw a six, and I’ll throw you a one every time. Place a bet on a horse, and it will go lame before the starting gun. The only time I gambled was at a birthday celebration at Wimbledon greyhound track when we all put our money on “Pants”. No joke. That was the dog’s name. The odds were long, but remarkably, he won the final race, and we cashed in our chips. Part of our fortune was invested in a round of beers and the remainder invested in dozens of National Lottery tickets. Surely one of them would win us a huge payout? Of course, we didn’t win a penny, and I frantically phoned friends before any put a down-payment on a Porsche.
This is why I could never become a winemaker in Sauternes. Considering the hard work and dedication invested in producing Bordeaux’s sweet nectar, the scandalously scant financial reward and the odds of a successful vintage, well, I would not be able to handle the sleepless nights. Someone who has endured their unfair amount of stress and misfortune is proprietor of Barsac’s leading estate, Bérénice Lurton at Château Climens. Losing one vintage is unfortunate. Losing four out of five years must be soul-destroying. In this article, I examine reasons why Lurton’s soul has not been crushed and why ours turned out to be the final vertical tasting conducted during the official Lurton era.
The sign welcoming you to Château Climens.
Historical research has uncovered that the land was owned by the Roborel family in the mid-15th century. Climens’ etymology is likely Celtic, a reference to barren and very poor lands, not unlike Trotanoy in Pomerol. “I think it’s wonderful to have a paradox in the name of a great wine produced on poor land,” Lurton tells me. “I find it interesting to draw a parallel between what made the Climens 'miracle' possible. A terroir with unique and exceptional characteristics and the history that allowed it to constantly develop at a high level over centuries. This is particularly impressive in Sauternes where production is based on noble rot and in a humid and changing oceanic climate.”
The Climens name first appears on a contract in 1547 when Girault Roborel was bequeathed the land from his father. The Roborel family would later append “de Climens” to their name. They established the estate over one century, and it remained in their hands until the French Revolution, by which time it was in some decline. In 1802, Climens was acquired by the wine merchant Jean Binaud. In David Peppercorn’s “Bordeaux”, he notes that in the 19th century the wine was written as “Climenz”, which he traces back to a 15th century tax collector named Jehan Climenz. As he collected tax on ships, he would give the captains a blue cypress as a kind of receipt, hence the name of the Deuxième Vin introduced in 1984, Cyprès de Climens.
At the time of the 1855 classification, Climens comprised of around 27-hectares and was owned by the Mayor of Barsac, Eloi Lacoste, also proprietor of the exotic and what I thought was the Basque-sounding Château Peixotto [Bérénice Lurton later informs me that it was named after a Jewish-Portuguese businessman]. In the second edition of Bordeaux et Ses Vins (1863), Féret states that the annual production was between 25 and 40 tonneaux, and in 1871, both properties were acquired by Alfred Ribet. Unfortunately, in 1885, a large proportion of the vines were devastated by phylloxera and consequently Ribet decided to sell to Henri Gounouilhou, whose family name should be outlawed for a flagrant excess of vowels. Peixotto was subsumed into Château Rabaud and consigned to the pages of history.
Lucien Lurton, who acquired the estate in 1971.
At the turn of the century, Climens was highly-esteemed. Lurton cites a quotation from the Wine and Spirit Trade Record in 1920 that stated: “At Climens, quality has never been sacrificed for mere quantity, so that whatever quantity is now produced in any particular year represents the best possible quality of Château Climens for that year.”
Both Climens and the recently revived Doisy-Dubroca continued under the aegis of Gounouilhou until they passed into the hands of Lucien Lurton in 1971.
At that time, Sauternes was in a difficult phase, beset by indifferent consumers and atrocious growing seasons.
“My father, who was always fond of great terroirs, was interested in buying an estate in the region of Sauternes, and several were on sale at this very difficult period,” Lurton explains. “He has always invested at times when things were going wrong. It was the only way he could afford it. He thought the crisis would come and go, but the terroir would stay. How wise he was. He had a choice between several estates but chose Climens after tasting old vintages. He really understood there was something very special about this place and might also have found the same finesse that he loved in the terroirs of Margaux. When he learned that my father had purchased an estate in Sauternes, his brother-in-law, Guy Faiveley from Burgundy, thought he was mad. But when he learnt what it was, he said: 'Climens? Well, that’s all different.' But many thought that he was crazy to be investing in this region.”
“When I was a child, it was, of course, the only wine I liked. We had Climens on special Sundays or for occasions, which was natural, but in a way always surrounded by some sense of respect…and it was always ‘une fête’. Naturally, I didn’t know how it was made, but I knew it was magical and that I was privileged to enjoy this golden wine. We always had it as an aperitif or with a starter, especially foie gras. Now of course it is different, but the respect and admiration for this terroir is all the more intense. I still find it magical. And as you know I don’t serve it only for aperitif and starters!” She is referring to the three or four dinners that I have enjoyed at the estate over the years, when red wine did not get a look in.
Bérénice Lurton is a fascinating person, paradoxically shy in some ways, but has always been tireless promoter for Climens and engaging company. She is that rare commodity, a Bordeaux winemaker with a witty sense of humour, and during much of the evening of our tasting, several of the exchanges took ridiculous, comical tangents. She is the epitome of a passionate winemaker, as cliched as that expression has become. To this writer, she lived and breathed Climens to the point where they felt intertwined and inextricable, defensive about her beloved wines to the extent that on the rare occasion that I questioned its quality, I felt as if I have rebuked her child. Ostensibly, I guess I had. Her dedication paid dividends. Over the last three decades, Climens firmly established itself as the leading Barsac property, arguably only second to Yquem. As we shall see later on, bad fortune has conspired to make an already challenging task of creating Sauternes even harder and in some years impossible. But that has not dented the esteemed reputation that Climens has accrued over the years.
In 1992, Lucien Lurton dispersed his portfolio of Bordeaux estates amongst his children, and his daughter Bérénice was the “lucky” recipient of Climens at a tender 22-years of age. I asked for her memories of the Barsac estate…
I ask Bérénice Lurton how she has coped in recent years when she has lost entire harvests.
“Well, I've been saying for a very long time that if it hadn’t been for Climens, I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago. But this terroir and these wines are bewitching…”
“It is true that the recent period has been extremely trying, psychologically and economically, especially since at that time we had been invigorated with biodynamics and the birth of Asphodele, our new dry white. But nothing can prevent frost and hail. Seeing the harvest wiped out in less than an hour, three years out of five, the vines weakened in following years, even for Sauternes accustomed to hazards, it is really difficult. Being in Sauternes does not change the risk of frost and hail, but when these disasters take place at a commercially tense period then that affects even the biggest estates. Fortunately, the creation of Asphodele has really given us a boost and a lot of motivation. It is also a new birth for Climens. And fortunately, the 2022 harvest is looking very good so far, fingers crossed!”
Contemporaneous with this exchange, rumours swirled that Climens was about to be sold. On the morning of 4 July, I received a press release announcing a majority stake had been sold to Patrimonia Développement, a company owned by Jean-Philippe Moitry. Lurton and Nivelle will stay on, Lurton in an advisory role and Nivelle as Technical Director, with members of Moitry’s family planning to participate in the business.
It was bittersweet news, albeit completely understandable. However devoted to your estate, Mother Nature can rip the carpet from under your feet, time and time again, until you begin to doubt how you can pay staff, run the estate, pre-order new barrels without knowing whether you’ll even need them. Remarkably, up to that point in history, only five families had ever owned Climens. Nevertheless, the truth is that it puts the estate on a financial even keel and give Lurton will surely endure fewer sleepless nights. A chapter ends, another opens.
Bérénice Lurton and Frédéric Nivelle, owner and technical director of Climens.
The estate consists of 30-hectares of vine located on the highest elevation of Barsac. Much like Yquem, perched imperiously atop the hilltop in Sauternes, the combination of topology and geology lends Climens an advantage over its peers. The red-tinged topsoil is a shallow layer of ferruginous sandy-clay strewn with pebbles above a limestone.
“We are at the top of the Barsac appellation,” explains Bérénice Lurton, “where the sandy clay is very thin and the limestone is very close [to the surface]. The drainage is perfect because the limestone is fissured and because the surroundings are slightly lower. But it is so complex that we don’t have a real answer to this question of what makes the terroir special. We are also particularly demanding on the selection of perfectly pure noble rot. But the personality of the wine comes from the terroir. It gives this very special verticality, elegance and mineralité, and the aromas are different too, very fine and incredibly complex. Our job is ‘just’ to reveal this unique terroir.”
Corresponding with Lurton after the tasting, she cited geologist Pierre Bechler who studied Climens’ terroir and discovered a specific feature. He points to a double-advantage, both its relief that results from the extreme closeness of two erosion basins of the Ciron that created a rocky outcrop and some of the best inclines in Barsac. Secondly, the aforementioned network of fault-lines that guarantees exceptional damage whilst the carbonated and ferrous soils regulate water to the vine.
The entire vineyard answers to one grape and one grape only: Sémillon. It was not always like this. There used to be Sauvignon Blanc, but the last plot was pulled out. “It was pulled out in the early Seventies for one very good reason,” Lurton reveals. “It was never included in the blending of Climens. [I must confess that hitherto I had assumed there was a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc in older vintages.] Sémillon is generally better on limestone soils, and it has the ability to be ‘more than just very good’, which maybe is not the case of Sauvignon Blanc. Sémillon, especially in the terroir of Climens, is an incredible interpreter, the ‘diva of a musical composer’. That’s the way I see it.”
The vineyard is planted with 101-14 and 3309 rootstock with a little 420A. Lurton explains that parcels planted in the eighties used clones of poor quality and were consequently pulled out. In 2000, they re-planted using several clones from which the vineyard team selected the best to plant between 2011 and 2014. This happened to be the 909 clone. Most of the vines that are now around 35-years of age are regularly replanted using traditional vineyard methods. “We consider green harvesting as a defeat. We just do the classical tasks.” Some parcels used to be cultivated with inter-row cover crops of grass, however, this ceased about ten years ago. Lurton favours natural cover crops since grass competed too strongly with the vines and resulted in a significant drop in yield, plus she felt that it did not chime with biodynamic ethos. The flora used nowadays is not only more simpatico with the vines, competitive but not gunning for outright victory you might say, but according to Lurton, also serves as a useful barometer of the state of the soil and the needs of the vine. “We adapt to each plot, and also try to find the best ways to be as ecologically friendly as possible and have many projects to reach that goal.”
Biodynamics at Climens
My last interview with Bérénice Lurton, conducted in 2009, preceded a Damascene moment. Climens is now the leading Sauternes in terms of applying biodynamics, while Lurton’s peers remain sceptical (you might recall my interview with Sandrine Garbay on this matter apropos Yquem).
“About twenty years ago, I was convinced that the so-called conventional method of cultivation, which is in fact chemical, was outmoded for our generation. At the same time, I was fully aware that it could be a handicap in Bordeaux’s oceanic climate that makes it more conducive to cryptogamic disease. At the end of the 2000s, I started to become concerned that blends seemed heavier and that the usual intense expression of the terroir was tending to become diluted. Expressing the personality and purity of this unique land has always been our obsession. It is our mission. Conversion to biodynamics was the answer to two complementary issues. One is environmental, regenerating the life of the soil, preserving nature as much as human beings. The other qualitative, restoring and strengthening the expression of the terroir. The meeting with Jean-Michel Comme, who had succeeded in implementing biodynamics in Bordeaux [at Pontet-Canet], allowed us to take this decisive step.”
I ask Lurton to enlighten me further on the role that Jean-Michel, and especially his wife Corinne Comme, played.
“Corinne was an indispensable advisor. Biodynamics cannot be improved or learned from books. Her husband, Jean-Michel, convinced us and visited us at Climens. For Corinne, sweet wines are the zenith. We immediately struck up a relationship. Frédéric Nivelle and I were seduced by this precise and concrete approach and by the pedagogy, which allowed us to convert our team. But, we felt we needed her counsel, and so she became our consultant. She taught us a lot. Her approach is adapted to a sensitive region like Bordeaux where the climate is capricious and humid. It is anything but dogmatic, rather a practice based on solid knowledge, empiricism and reflection. It adapts to each terroir, each plot, each wine and uses a wide range of tools both in the management of the vine as well as natural treatments. Corinne always says that she is fearful and will not take risks.”
The tisanerie where Climens prepared their biodynamic treatments.
“Frédéric Nivelle, technical-director at Climens since 1998, courageously accepted the challenge that I proposed: to change the viticulture over the entire 30-hectare vineyard. Corinne trained Frédéric and now he is completely independent, though we remain in contact with both Corinne and Jean-Michel. The transition was a revelation. We rediscovered the link between terroir and the vine in a way that was more…alive. This is through a holistic and sensitive vision of Nature. It is no longer a question of fighting against enemies but preserving vines’ balance. I often compare biodynamics to homeopathy and Chinese medicine. The living organism is considered in its overall balance with its environment. It’s medicine for health, not for disease.”
“On a practical level, it is not easy to grasp. You need time to change the paradigm, learn through observation and feel what is going on, adapt practices to our own problems of terroir, climate, parcel and so on. The extraordinary thing is that little-by-little we can find remedies and solutions to everything. At our disposal we have a whole range of plants in our “herbal tea room” that we use according to the growth phases of the vine, the weather and our specific problems. We also stopped trimming, which favours the development of the plant [or foliage] to the detriment of fruit maturity. The vines come back to life, as does the soil, even ourselves in a way, as if rediscovering our jobs. Biodynamics breathes new life into viticulture. For me it represents the future of this profession, allows us to rediscover the truth of the terroirs and the wines.”
“Importantly, apart from severe climatic accidents such as frost and hail, we have not experienced any drop or loss of harvest since the conversion. The proportion of Grand Vin has tended to increase whilst vineyard costs are decreasing. We are seeing an earlier maturity than before, while the wines increasingly express the purity, minerality and finesse characteristics of Climens. The certification process has always seemed essential to me as communication in this area is often opaque. The vineyard has been certified organic since 2013, biodynamic since 2014 (Biodyvin) and the wines since 2016 (Demeter).”
One question I had to ask is why Lurton did not trial biodynamics first and introduce it gradually. Essentially, she went the Full Monty, the Lalou Bize-Leroy route of converting her entire vineyard, instead of Aubert de Villaine or Anne-Claude Leflaive’s route of introducing it on a couple of vineyards.
“How could you do it any other way?” she replies. “I am someone that is naturally doubting but when I am convinced, I go for it. But the one who is on the ground, tending the vines daily is Frédéric. He’s the one that accepted the challenge. As he said himself, it would have been complicated to manage the vineyard with several different kinds of vineyard husbandry. Luck smiles on the bold, and the 2010 and 2011 vintages were relatively easy.”
Another major change at Climens has been the introduction of a dry white, baptised Asphodele. I ask Bérénice Lurton the reason for its introduction.
responds to both a desire and a need. We had more than five hectares of very
young vines that in 1998 were between four and seven-years old and 3.5 hectares
of 'young' vines that were about twenty years old. The noble rot developed well
there, the result was botrytised and good quality, if lacking some depth and
structure, the profile very candied. Even if they produced on average more than
the old vines, the wines were neither financially or intellectually stimulating
since the level of Cyprès de Climens is very demanding. Making a third wine in
Sauternes 'ne met pas de beurre dans les épinards' [a lovely French expression…doesn’t
put butter on the spinach…I guess the closest expression might be, doesn’t do
much for the bottom line.] Also, embarking with a dry white represented an
exciting challenge. The initial trials using what we had at hand were inconclusive;
however, a meeting with [Pouilly-Fumé winemaker] Pascal Jolivet led us on a
different path, and allowed us to express the terroir of Climens in a new and
wonderful way. We are ‘crazy’ about our baby!”
Dry white Sauternes divides winemakers between those who feel that it dilutes the name of Sauternes and its association with sweet wines and those who believe stylistic diversification allows the region to survive economically and even promote the Sauternes name. I ask Lurton for her view…
“The mention of Bordeaux Blanc is indicated very discreetly on the back label. For us, it is another interpretation of the terroir of Climens. Above all, it is a unique white wine that does not resemble any Bordeaux.” On the subject of whether it risks diluting the Sauternes, Lurton replies that she finds that notion “absolutely absurd” and continues: “For centuries, Sauternes has been known all over the world as the quintessence of sweet wines. These wines are jewels from a unique history and terroir, noble rot their DNA. Producing dry white wines in the region is great because it allows you to have more stable yields, manage the estate better financially and focuses production of sweet wines on the best terroirs. On the other hand, I do believe it is very important not to confuse consumers.”
Harvest at Climens.
I ask Lurton about the intricacies of picking at Climens.
“That is very complicated because the local pickers are a lot less numerous than they used to be. So, a few years ago, we decided to complete our local team with people from Portugal who come exclusively for us. It is a lot of organization, but they are really efficient.
of the time, the harvest starts with a group of local people [saisonniers]
who are in the region, around 10 to 20 people. Then, our team arrives from
Portugal. We went there a few years ago to find a group who all come from the
same village and number around thirty persons. We provide travel, accommodation
and food, and they work exclusively for us. We train them constantly, even if
they have already come several times, except for the expert pickers that are
great artisans since the work demands great competence and conditions change constantly.
Noble rot looks different according to the tries, the year, the
parcel…and it is sometimes mixed with grey rot. Each picker works in their own
row with two numbered baskets that we check on the flatbed of the trailer. This
involves more people because you also need one trailer for two to four pickers
and of course, two experienced persons to check the baskets before departing to
the winery for pressing. There is constant surveillance in the rows by either
myself, Frédéric if not in the cellar, and a senior member of the team. We keep
track of the pickers on a daily basis. Every day, each picker is given a mark
according to the quality of their work and how closely they are paying
attention, which allows us to calculate a bonus. When they stop for lunch
and after the end of their working day, Frédéric Nivelle and I also have to
spend time inspecting the different plots to observe the development
of botrytis, which is very uneven and unpredictable. We know all the pickers
and remember the best ones forever.”
“One of our constraints is to deal with stops between the tries. Frédéric always has a list of tasks we can give them when they don’t pick and most of the men know how to repair our dry stones walls, an uncommon and precious skill. The difficulty is that we really can’t foresee our harvest calendar. We know we are going to start maybe two or three days before the beginning, not more, sometimes we decide just the day before. We never know when we are going to stop, start again, end the harvest… That’s always an adventure.”
Château Climens, shot from the vineyard.
“The crop is pressed directly when coming from the vineyard in Sutter pneumatic presses and a vertical press for the remainder. The must flows into underground tanks where it stays one night for sedimentation, then transferred into barrels. Every day’s picking and sometimes half-day picking is separated into different lots, so a batch can be composed of two to twenty barrels according to the daily harvest.”
Indeed, whenever anyone visits Climens during en primeur, there is never any trial blend to taste. Instead, Lurton and Nivelle escort tasters, at least those who make the effort to visit, through the various lots of tries, ostensibly tasting your way through stages of the prior harvest. It might be more time-consuming and in the end, you can only form an impression of how the lots will show together, but it is always a fascinating exercise.
“Fermentation at Climens is perfectly natural. No added yeasts. This position was strengthened by tests that demonstrated how much wild yeasts lend to the personality of Climens. They are part of the terroir. We heat the cellars during the fermentation process, and we check the evolution of the alcohol and sugar levels in order to stop the fermentation at a good balance. Analyses are not very reliable at this stage and tasting the fermenting wine can be misleading too, so you have to be wary of that.”
approximately one-third new oak, a good balance for Climens. This proportion
can change according to the vintage, 50% in 2005 for example. It has taken us
several years of testing and tastings to select our favourite barrels, which
are very complementary. They come from Hermitage and Cadus, which are not
classic coopers for Bordeaux. We recently have tried the Tava dolias [amphora,
like ones used at Durfort-Vivens in Margaux] but we find that the wine tends to
sprawl like a teenager on a couch. It needs the backbone of the wood.”
“Sulphur is absolutely essential in the making of Botrytised sweet wines to stop the fermentation definitely and prevent oxidation, but there are now precise analyses that allow us to keep its use to a minimum. Nowadays, its presence is very seldom noticeable in great Sauternes. Sulphur is not the devil that we are led to believe. It is a product that has essential qualities and from which we only suffer if it is poorly applied or in the event of rare allergies [in consumers]. Even today, it is impossible to make high-quality Sauternes, especially great wines for lying down, without sulphur. It is the only natural product which is anti-bacterial, anti-yeasts and anti-oxidative. Since we have converted to biodynamics we have limited the use of sulphur further, but stability of our wine is an absolute priority.”
“Having many different lots allows a very precise blending. The perfect assemblage is not as simple as putting together the best lots. It is a far more laborious and long process, obliging up to 20 tasting sessions over 12 to 16 months. The final blending is a key that we can only find by tasting and does not correlate to any technical elements. We do not have pre-existing impression of what wine to create, but rather we find it. We are certainly not the best wine tasters in the world, but what is important is to have the experience and the sensitivity of Climens’ style. We are searching for this very special light and vibrancy, a verticality that forms the distinguishing mark of the terroir. The energy, at this stage is more important than the aromas, although a perfect purity is of course essential. We then know that we have the backbone around which the wine will express its complexity, structure and aromas. The final blend must reflect tension and this freshness that comes both from acidity and mineralité. It transcends the sweetness and gives a very long and fresh finish.”
This plethora of tasting notes that spans more than a century is a combination of three tastings. Together with Bérénice Lurton and Frédéric Nivelle, I tasted most of the vintages back to 1967 at the property. Older vintages derive from two epic verticals conducted a few years ago, one in London and the other in Zurich, which deserve inclusion because Climens have hardly any library stock from this era. Lurton told me that the oldest she has is a single bottle of 1904. Unfortunately, they once had vintages back to 1880 but an administrator who ran Climens before the 1971 sale misguidedly sold the entire library stock. Lurton has foraged for ancient bottles at auction over the last three decades. Incidentally, for completeness, I always find it useful knowing when a property decided not to release any wine, and these are also included with explanations of what transpired. Sadly, this includes three of the last four vintages. Who would want to be a Sauternes winemaker?
I am not going to trawl through every single bottle. Stylistically, I always find that Climens is a wine that does need age in bottle and I prefer to give it a decade before broaching, the wine tending to shut down after a couple of years. There is always a tangy quality on the nose, touches of quince and saffron, the palate usually weightier than its peers, not as “nimble” as say Doisy-Daëne yet with more density and concentration on the finish.
was a fascinating tasting where Bérénice Lurton, as usual, wanted to know my
thoughts, and naturally, I replied with brutal honesty that resulted in some
quite comical exchanges. She is very maternal to her “babies”, as one would
hope, and perhaps I am becoming less diplomatic as I get older. She did make
one hilarious analogy, comparing the 1988 Climens to a “clergyman” and the 1976
to a “gentleman farmer”. Make of that what you will.
the recent vintages, I was blown away by a stellar showing of the 2015
Climens that had the audacity to outflank the 2016 and 2019.
The precision and the verticality that Lurton talks about is exemplified in
this wine – quite brilliant. In the previous decade, the 2007 Climens
has spellbinding mineralité whilst the 2009 delivers a
captivating viscous finish. Broaching the triumvirate of 1988, 1989
and 1990, the 1989 is hands-down the winner, in fact, three bottles
tasted in recent months have all been exceptional with hints of Manuka honey on
the nose and retaining wonderful energy and precision allied with stupendous
power on the palate.
can work their way through the cornucopia of ancient vintages that stretch back
to 1912 with some very esoteric bottles on the way such as 1936
and 1960. Highlights include: a sublime 1921, a 1934 that
dared improve in the glass and have its nose in front of an impressive 1937,
another wartime veteran, 1943, a testament to those that could create
such wines under the worst possible circumstances, and one of the best 1953s
that I have encountered.
Climens after a long day’s tasting, I took this picture of the floodlit
courtyard looking towards the winery.
Climens can rivet you to the spot. In some vintages, it achieves a level that is equal or even above Yquem. Certainly, re-tasting through the decades was a pertinent reminder of its calibre, and you can only stand back and marvel at the iterations of each growing season, thematically-linked by the DNA of its terroir yet shaped in a different way by the vagaries of the weather and decisions in terms of blending. Making Sauternes is a risk. It literally comes with the territory, dependent on a freak combination of factors that conspire to ignite noble rot. It is not for the faint-hearted. Introducing biodynamics with almost quasi-religious fervour arguably made the risk even higher, obliging a whole new way of thinking and constant work in the vineyard potentially wiped out at the most agonising moment. These kinds of things take their toll – we are all human. I chose to visit Climens this year because adoration for the wines aside, it might serve as a morale boost for a beleaguered vigneron. I was too late.
So ours was the final tasting in the Lurton era. I wonder whether anyone had a quiet word in Mon Poitry’s ear like Faiveley did with Lucien Lurton and told him he was mad? Then again, just like then, it’s Climens we’re talking about. What is Sauternes but magic and madness?
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