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Professional Ratings: 98 The Wine Advocate, 96 Wine Spectator, 94 Wine Enthusiast, 94 International Wine Cellar, 94 Wine & Spirits
Region: Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Varietal: Bordeaux Red Blends
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Style: Big & Bold
Item no. 94393
Chateau 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 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, planted this original vineyard with red wine grapes.
Probably the greatest Pape-Clement ever made, the dense purple-colored 2005 (a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon) exhibits sumptuous notes of smoky scorched earth, graphite, melted licorice, and blackberries. Once past the exquisite perfume, the wine reveals full body, extraordinary concentration, plenty of chocolate, smoke, cassis, and blackberry flavors, and that unmistakable volcanic ash-like earthiness that comes from this appellation. The tannins are slightly sweeter than those found in most northern Medocs, but this is still a backward, large-scaled effort that requires 7-8 years of cellaring. It should last for 30-35 years.
Dark in color, offering wonderful aromas of licorice, berry, fresh tobacco and currant, with Indian spices. Complex and full-bodied, with supersilky tannins that caress every inch of the palate. Long and satisfying. A joy to taste this young wine.
Barrel sample. This wine has great spice, nutmeg and black fig flavors. It is full of deep, brooding tannins, and packed with intense acidity. It's fresh but has good concentration
Barrel Sample: 92-94 Points
Good deep red-ruby. Superripe, expressive nose offers black plum, smoke, spices and leather. Denser, sweeter and fatter than the 2006; even more generous and forward today. But this impressively chewy and rich wine also has a powerful underlying spine and plenty of lurking power. Finishes very ripe and very long, with the tannins buried by smoky, minerally soil tones.
In addition to the gravel soils, what distinguishes this historic Péssac property is an alluvial deposit from the Gironde, which left a layer of sand in some portions of the vineyard, a layer of clay in others. It was holy ground of the church in the 13th century; this latest vintage seems to reverberate with numinous warmth. It feels plump with fat currant flavor when first opened, developing more muscular structure over the course of several days. The tannins have a pebbly articulation, a terroir character that extends the flavor of the wine and seems to guarantee its greatness over the coming decades.