Pape Clément 2003


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Tasting Notes

This gorgeous, fully mature, complex Pape Clement exhibits notes of smoky tobacco, earth, loamy soil, forest floor, black cherries, plums and cassis. Medium to full-bodied, fresh and lively, the acids have fallen away and the tannins have melted into an opulent, fleshy, classic Bordeaux. Consume it over the next 10-15 years. Bravo! Drink 2014-2029

Score: 95Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (214), August 2014

Named after the first French pope, this brilliant 75-acre estate located just south of the beltway surrounding the city of Bordeaux is planted with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Produced from yields of 25 hectoliters per hectare, the 2003 is evolved (part of its extraordinary appeal). Complex characteristics of smoke, meat, lead pencil shavings, sweet plums, black cherry liqueur, blackberries, and a hint of espresso are followed by an opulent, full-bodied wine with moderately high but silky tannin, a layered texture, and copious glycerin, which gives it a big, savory, expansive mouthfeel. The finish is long and persistent. This example appears to be on a fast evolutionary track, but it will probably never close down, and should last 15-20 years ... at the minimum.

Score: 94Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006

A stunning success that has gone from strength to strength since I tasted it last year, Pape Clement is clearly one of the stars of the vintage. It boasts an inky dark plum/purple color as well as a big, sweet nose of smoked meats, lead pencil shavings, incense, blackberries, cherries, and plums. Opulent and full-bodied with decent acidity, lavish quantities of glycerin and concentration, and sweet tannin in the long finish, it should be relatively accessible in its youth, but age effortlessly for well over two decades. It is hard to know what some of the 1959s tasted like at a similar stage, but this could be a modern-day version of that hot-year vintage. A brilliant wine – don’t miss it!

No property in Bordeaux is pushing the envelope of quality as hard and as enthusiastically as proprietor Bernard Magrez’s Chateau Pape Clement. This is a fabulous terroir in the suburbs of Bordeaux, several miles from the area’s two legends - Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion.

Score: 94/96Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (158), April 2005

After the great performance of Haut-Brion, Pape Clement is undeniably the star of the Pessac-Leognan region. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot produced from low yields of 25 hectoliters per hectare, this deep purple-colored 2003 possesses a soft, projected, forward, smoky bouquet offering black currant, graphite, licorice, and earthy scents. Medium to full-bodied, with heady alcohol, low acidity, high pH, medium to full body, and a layered, fleshy finish, it will drink well between 2006-2016. This is a very seductive wine.

Score: 92/94Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (152), April 2004

Intense aromas of crushed berry, mineral, tobacco and smoke. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and loads of ripe, rich fruit. Goes on for minutes. This is tight and well-structured. Best after 2011. 7,080 cases made.

Score: 93James Suckling,, March 2006

A beautiful cloak of velvet envelops the body and masks the tannins. Very impressive. Very rich nose of chocolate, tobacco and bright berries. Full-bodied, soft and luscious with ripe tannins and a long, delicious finish. Fine wine.

Score: 92/94James Suckling, Wine Spectator (April 04), April 2004

Deep ruby with some biscuity edge to it. Flattering and although the acidity is quite dominant, it is not overwhelming. Not the purest but one of the most flattering. Chalky finish. (Average group score: 15.8)

Score: 16.5Jancis Robinson MW,, October 2010

Maroon. Very very sweet and rich. Certainly big and bold.

Score: 16.5Jancis Robinson MW, (April 04), April 2004

Deep ruby. Sweet smoky spice on the nose but also fragrant black fruit. Silky and elegant. Glides across the palate and lingers. Drink 2008-2018.Date tasted 23rd Jan 08.

Score: 17+Julia Harding MW,, January 2008

Score: 16Farr Vintners, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2007

Score: 16/16.5Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (1), April 2004

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.