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Located on the outskirts of Bordeaux, Château Pape Clément is one of the oldest estates in the region, since the very first grape harvest took place in 1252. Château Pape Clément is named in honour of Pope Clement V, who managed his vineyard with great passion before donating it to the archbishop of Bordeaux. At the time, the name of the estate was "The vines of Pope Clément". In 1983, Bernard Magrez, the tireless builder and creator of rare wines, bought the estate. Bernard Magrez, who owns 4 Grands Crus Classés in Bordeaux today, injects all his energy and determination in order for Château Pape Clément to stand among the elite of Bordeaux Grands Crus. In 2009, Château Pape Clément was awarded a score of 100/100 by the American critic Robert Parker.
Benefiting from an exceptional terroir in the Pessac-Léognan appellation, the Château Pape Clément vineyard spreads over 54 hectares of vines. The vines are twenty years old on average and are planted on Pyrenean clay gravel soils. The vineyard is split into microplots and is managed accordingly.
The vinification and ageing
The grapes are harvested by hand in small crates, undergoing a first sorting in the vineyard followed by a second sorting on a sorting table. The hand-sorted grapes are transferred to 30 to 70 hl wooden tanks, using gravity. Pre-fermentation maceration at low temperature. Manual punching of the cap is carried out to refine the extraction. Post-fermentation maceration for 30 to 40 days. The wine is then run off, using gravity, into French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation in barrels and then aged for 18 months.
Cabernet Sauvignon (59%)
Petit Verdot (2%)
Cabernet Franc (1%).
The nose is very pure and harmoniously blends intense fruity fragrances (fresh blackcurrant, raspberry, crushed blackberry) with refreshing notes of Lebanese cedar.
A lively attack gives way to a full mid-palate, with a powerful tannic structure while still maintaining finesse. Persistent, aromatic and delicate, the finish perfectly expresses this fine red wine’s great ageing potential.
The 2014 Pape Clement has quite a potent bouquet with lavish red cherry, kirsch, iodine and pastille-like scents, the oak probably needing another couple of years to fully integrate. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine line of acidity, quite refined and focused with appreciable tension towards the finish that comes laden with succulent, tobacco-infused blackberry fruit. This is a sumptuous and yet refined Pape-Clement that demonstrated the most matière or substance out of all the Pessac-Léognan 2014s that I tasted, except for the Haut-Brion. It is certainly a wine destined for a long future.