|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan|
Owner Bernard Magrez has made serious investments here since the late 1990's and recent vintages have been outstanding thanks to extremely low yields, labour-intensive sorting of grapes and modern wine-making techniques. Quality bears no relation to the weedy wines of the early 1980's and before. The 42 hectares are planted with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 55% Merlot.
As to the Grand Vin 2019 Château Pape Clement, it reveals a dense purple hue to go with stunning aromatics of crème de cassis, graphite, lead pencils shavings, scorched earth, and tobacco. Beautifully balanced, with flawless tannins, this full-bodied Pessac has that rare mix of elegance and power, a great mid-palate, and again, perfect balance. It's one of the gems of the vintage and has some accessibility today given its purity and balance, yet deserves 4-5 years of bottle age and will cruise for 20-25 years or more in cold cellars. The blend is equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, brought up in two-thirds new French oak.
The 2019 Pape Clément has a lot of intensity on the nose, although the new oak is more prominent here compared to the Domaine de Chevalier. Still, there is admirable delineation and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with a sweet 'n sour entry, grainy tannins, black truffle and soy. Quite intense and assertive on the finish. This will require 3-5 years in bottle and will doubtless deserve a higher score. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting. Drink 2026-2055.
Crushed-stone and berry aromas with some blackberry and black-tea character. Just a touch of smokiness. Sweet fruit, too. This is so refined, subtle, and beautiful for Pape with full body, ultra-fine tannins and a succulent finish. The center-palate is dense and complete. Goes on for minutes. So subtle and refined, focused and classy. Try after 2026.
The 2019 Pape Clement is deep garnet-purple in color. It starts off closed and broody before offering fragrant scents of rose oil, cardamom, and fertile loam, over a core of plum preserves, blackberry pie, and cedar. The medium-bodied palate is taut, muscular, and intense, delivering firm, grainy tannins and fantastic tension, finishing long and mineral-laced.
This lays down a challenge to the other wines in Pessac-Léognan, with a little more power and definition, with slate tannins and a rasp of minerality all while delivering pure and concentrated raspberry, loganberry and black cherry fruits. The tannins are confident and are not about to let the fruit go anywhere soon. Great quality and potential, a little more severe and austere than the 2018 at this point, needs a good five years in bottle. Harvest September 17 to October 10, An upscore from En Primeur. Tasted twice, two months apart.
Tasted blind. Very deep crimson. Solid and ripe. But with the acidity not integrated. A bit of a puzzle with a hollow middle. 14%
Black core and inky rim. Intense, sweet aroma of damson and black cherry. Dark, rich and also sweet/sour. The tannins are thick and a little furry. Full-flavoured and surprisingly fresh but needs time to become more elegant and shed the powerfully thick tannin texture. (JH)
Drink 2030 – 2045
A yielf of 45hl/ha in 2019, the second year in a row with good yields for the property. Picked between the 18th September and 8th October. A straight 50:50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Two thirds new oak, one third used oak - with 10-15% large vats, which are a new addition to reduce the influence of new oak on the wines. Deep ruby in colour with an impressive and spicy nose of opulent cassis, damson, tobacco and sweet vanilla. The palate is dense and richly structured, the mouthcoating tannins complementing the glossy black fruit at the core. There are waves of wood smoke, clove, and cigar smoke, but the fleshy black fruit is intense enough to find a hedonistic balance. Driven and powerful through to a long, smoky and intense finish. Impressive, if modern.
The 2019 Pape Clément has turned out well in bottle, delivering a rich bouquet of cherries, blackcurrants, plum liqueur and blackberries mingled with notions of burning embers, licorice and a nicely integrated framing of new oak. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's a layered, fleshy wine, with a deep core of ripe but lively fruit, plenty of powdery tannin and a long, expansive, discreetly heady finish. This is a powerful, dramatic Pessac with a transatlantic accent and will drink well with only a few years' bottle age. Drink Date 2026 - 2049
50/50 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep purple colour. Sweet and seductive on the nose, full of cassis, kirsch and charred spices from wood. This is plush and modern but not overworked. The palate is full bodied, sweet with spice, dense with black fruit and mouthcoating in sandy, ripe tannins. Chewy and impressive, pairing suculent fruit and toasty wood in balance. There is enough refinement and just a hint of savoury cedar in the background. Though oily and decadent there is enough restraint here to suit a wide audience, particularly after 5+ years in bottle when the oak has had more time to integrate into the wine.
The 2019 Pape-Clément was a real show-stopper from barrel. Now in bottle since summer 2021, it has a more refined nose that I feel is perhaps just a little closed in as it approaches its first winter. Aeration reveals some lovely rose petal and incense aromas (there’s something almost Burgundian, Morey-Saint-Denis–like about its purity). The palate is extremely well balanced with velvety tannins and perfectly judged acidity. The oak (65% new, in the form of 400-liter barrels that have been employed since 2018) are beautifully integrated. This fans out wonderfully on the finish. One of the finest releases from Pape-Clément in recent years. 2025 - 2060
The 2019 Pape-Clément was picked from 17 September to 10 October, underwent a 30 day maceration. Matured in 90% oak barrels and 10% wooden foudres for 18 months. It has a very perfumed bouquet with luscious black cherries and boysenberry fruit, touches of raspberry preserve and crème de cassis. The palate is full-bodied and quite muscular, exerting a firm grip and displaying plenty of tobacco-tinged black fruit that dovetails into a more saline, marine influenced finish. This is a very serious Pape-Clément that will require longer ageing than its peers, but will surely be rewarding for those with patience. Tasted on five occasions - hopefully there is some wine left back at the château. 2025 - 2060
This shows attractive aromas and flavors of chocolate, walnuts, wet earth, mushrooms and berries with full-body, round and refined tannins and a subtle, focused finish. Excellent length, in a sophisticated way. Chewy at the end.
Made up of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, the 2019 Pape Clement is medium to deep garnet-purple colored. It needs coaxing to unlock cassis, plum preserves, and licorice notes with hints of tar, wild sage, and tobacco. The medium-bodied palate is elegant and lively with soft, rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral-laced.
Composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, the 2019 Pape Clement was harvested from the 18th of September to the 11th of October. Ninety-three percent is aging in French oak barriques, 66% new, and 7% is aging in large foudres. Deep garnet-purple in color, it hits the ground running with bold, expressive notes of warm cassis, boysenberries and black cherries with an undercurrent of clove oil, fertile loam, cedar chest and tar. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers a rock-solid foundation of firm, ripe grainy tannins and tons of freshness supporting the densely packed black fruit and earthy layers, finishing very long and mineral laced.
I loved the 2019 Château Pape Clement. This beautiful terroir in the heart of Pessac has produced and magical 2019. Stunning notes of crème de cassis, spring flowers, violets, crushed stone, and lead pencil and flow to a full-bodied, flawlessly balanced, elegant effort with great tannins and a rock star of a finish. It's a rich, powerful wine, yet it's the level of purity and elegance that sets it apart. Bravo! Tasted twice.