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Professional Ratings: 95 The Wine Advocate, 93 International Wine Cellar, 92 Wine Enthusiast, 92 Connoisseurs' Guide, 91 Wine Spectator
Region: Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Varietal: Bordeaux Red Blends
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Style: Big & Bold
Alcohol By Volume: 13.5%
Item no. 101348
Château Pape Clement is one of the brightest stars in the extensive range of vineyards Bernard Magrez owns worldwide. Based in Bordeaux, this great owner has made quality his personal battle. Hence, the care lavished on this land, the exceptional qualities of which have made Pessac's reputation for over seven centuries.
Planted in 1300, the estate is the oldest planted vineyard in the region, when it was presented to Bertrand de Goth upon his appointment as archbishop of Bordeaux, by his brother, Berald. It received its name from Bertrand's papal name, Clement V; on his election in 1306 he gave the estate to his successor as archbishop, Cardinal Arnaud de Canteloup. Bertrand, who would later move the papacy to Avignon near Châteauneuf-du-Pape, planted this original vineyard with red wine grapes.
The dense purple-colored 2006 boasts an extraordinary perfume of lead pencil shavings, creme de cassis, burning embers, and a sensation that can only be described as like walking through a damp forest on a hot, humid day. Full-bodied, extraordinarily textured, and multidimensional with an amazingly long finish of nearly 60 seconds, this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot from a 75-acre vineyard is a compelling wine that is one of the stars of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.
I can't say enough about the extraordinary work proprietor Bernard Magrez, assisted by the internationally renowned Michel Rolland, is doing at Pape-Clement. From this outstanding terroir, he comes close to rivaling what both Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion are accomplishing a few miles away. Following the prodigious 2005 Pape-Clement, it would be hard to believe the next vintage could nearly match its predecessor. However, that is what has happened at this estate with both white and red, by the way.
Full ruby-red. Superripe, highly complex aromas of plum, cocoa powder, tobacco and warm stones. Big, plush and chewy, with compelling sweetness and generosity of texture to the flavors of plum, minerals, tobacco and woodsmoke. Has the sheer stuffing to support the serious, building but noble tannins. Finishes with superb palate-staining persistence. This may well shut down in bottle, and should age well for the next two decades, but it's a knockout right now.
A ripely smooth, polished wine, the new wood a major constituent of its character. It has a severe structure, dark and concentrated, but the texture of the very ripe fruit is rounded, jammy, giving a more generous potential. Age for at least five years.
60% Cabernet Sauvignon; 40% Merlot. This Chateau's star has been rising of late, and this superb effort shows how careful selection and attentive winemaking are to be had even in years that fall a bit short. Its deep, black-cherry, cassis and tobacco-leaf nose is followed up by meaty, well-extracted flavors of a similar stripe, and it matches its ample tannins with fine fruity substance throughout. It has the muscle of a wine meant for long keeping for a decade or more.
Dark in color. Blackberry, coffee and milk chocolate aromas follow through to a full body, with lots of chewy tannins, ripe fruit and polished wood. This needs time to come together, but it's very powerful. Best after 2014.