Château Pape Clément, Cru Classé, Pessac Léognan, 2016

  Château Pape Clément

Bernard Magrez's flagship estate is often a huge disappointment. It's wonderfully situated in the suburbs of Pessac, but it is regularly a victim of its own ambition. The 2016 was a pleasant surprise. It still boasts a deep, inky colour, a slightly ponderous nose of gravel, brooding minerals, flowers and crème de cassis. The palate is taut and focussed with waves of Morello cherry fruit; pure, serious and long with a fine gravelly minerality. The tannins are really impressive, laced with detailed red berry fruit and graphite. This ranks amongst the best young Pape Clements we have tasted. Bravo!

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Pape Clément

Bernard Magrez’s flagship estate is ideally nestled in the suburbs of Bordeaux, close to the Rocade and not far away from Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion. The terroir is well respected, however, the Magrez style is sometimes criticised for over extraction. Indeed, the wines do sometimes appear thick when tasted from barrel, but there are many fans, none more influential than the American critic, Robert Parker. Of the 32.5 hectares of vineyards, 30 are planted with red varietals (60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot). The Pape Clement Blanc is produced from 45% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Semillon and 10% Muscadelle and unusually is fermented and aged in oak. As a result it is quite a distinctive style and has a niche following.

Appellation: Pessac-Léognan

The region has one first growth, Château Haut-Brion, whilst other renowned Chateaux currently doing well are La Mission-Haut-Brion, Pape-Clément, Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Haut-Bailly. Soils are gravely and well-drained and the plantations are similar in proportion to those of the Médoc, consisting mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The region is also well known for its long-lived whites that can be varying blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon oaked or unoaked. The most lauded are Domaine de Chevalier, Haut-Brion, Pape-Clement, De Fieuzal, and Laville-Haut-Brion.