Château Pape Clément, Cru Classé, Pessac Léognan, 2018

  Château Pape Clément

Bernard Magret's flagship estate Pape Clement should be achieving so much more. It possesses a great terroir in the suburbs of Bordeaux, not far from Haut Brion, but the winemaking style rarely gets us excited. There is certainly ambition, probably far too much ambition for our liking. At this stage it's a bit of a gorilla, a muscular, tannic, hairy chested beast. It's a huge wine packed with cassis, black olive and masses and masses of tannic extract. It will no doubt wow some critics and like other big tannic wines made on great terroirs in Bordeaux, it will almost certainly resolve and become harmonious given enough time in the cellar. We would far rather recommend Olivier Bernard's sensational Domaine de Chevalier.

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.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot | Cab. Franc | Petit Verdot

The full complement of permitted Bordeaux varieties (excluding the rarely used Carmenere & Malbec) and the classic left bank Bordeaux blend. The Cabernets and Merlots usually dominate the blend with small percentages of Petit Verdot blended in for colour, structure and complexity. Several producers outside of Bordeaux have tried to emulate this with a Bordeaux style blend of their own, a particularly successful example being Cain Cellars in the Napa Valley and their splendid Cain Five.