Chateau Clarke is a Claret made in the Listrac Medoc wine-growing appellation of Bordeaux by Baron Edmond de Rothschild. Baron Edmond de Rothschild bought both Chateau Clarke and Chateau Malmaison in 1973 the Compagnie Vinicole Baron Edmond de Rothschild. The Baron is the great-grandson of James de Rothschild who had purchased Chateau Lafite in 1868. Today, as well as Chateau Clarke, Rothschild owns, or co-owns, Chateau des Laurets (Pesseguin St Emilion), Flechas de Los Andes (Argentina), Rimapere (New Zealand), Macan (Rioja, Spain) and Rupert and Rothschild (South Africa).
Chateau Clarke comprises 55 hectares. It was purchased by an Irishman in the 18th Century and the wines became quite famous in the 20th century. The Chateau was largely forgotten when Edmond de Rothschild purchased it in 1973. He immediately set about uprooting the old vines and replanting, an expensive and time-consuming process not completed until 1979. Benjamin de Rothschild took over the reins of Chateau Clarke from his father in 1999 and set about updating the winery as well as enlisting Michel Rolland as consultant oenologist.
Chateau Clarke is the estate’s top red wine. The vineyards now have a vine age of over 30 years old and are situated on clay-limestone soils. The vineyard is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (48%), Merlot (42%), Cabernet Franc (8%), and Petit Verdot (2%). The grapes are manually harvested from low-yielding plots, sorted at the winery and and channeled into the tanks by gravity. The wines are aged mostly in new barrels, where they mature for 14 to 18 months. The final blend is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.