You have seen from past releases to this list, that Pape Clément has tremendous ageability, still fresh and vibrant 30+ years after release. What you may have yet to experience is how this wine in its younger stages, has incredible vibrant fruit, rich, structured tannins, but fantastic balance in its concentration.
As you may know, Château Pape Clément is one of the oldest properties in Bordeaux. The vineyard was first planted in the 13th century by Bertrand de Goth, the youngest son of a noble family from Bordeaux. He was the Archbishop of Bordeaux and became Pope in 1305, then took the name of Clément V. . The estate can take pride in the production of wine in the same vineyards for over 7 centuries.
The estate has 50 hectares under vine, planted almost equally to Cabernet Sauvignon (50%) and Merlot (47%) with small portions of Petit Verdot (2%) and Cabernet Franc (1%). The vines of over 30 years of age produce fruit that is concentrated yet with bright acidity, all planted in clay gravel soils dating back millions of years. The grapes are all harvested by hand after multiple sorts in the vineyard and in the picking crates. Once in the winery, the grapes are manually destemmed berry by berry before being transferred to wooden vats for a 30-40 day maceration. The wine is then aged in primarily new French oak for at least 18 months, giving the wine a presence, but not the dominance of oak. The 2015 vintage is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc.
99 points, James Suckling – “The clarity to this wine is impressive. Wealth of dark-plum and black-fruit essence not to mention orange citrus. Everything is dialed up to the limit here but then dialed in on the palate. Such impressive depth and suave, ripe, fluid tannins that deliver impressive length. Great wine. Such polish. Superb. Try from 2022.”