2011 Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan

Grapes Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Village Pessac-Léognan
Classification Cru Classé
ABV 13%

Glossy dark colour, powerful high-toast oak nose. Thick weight, fine, tugging tannins, coal-black, drying, then chocolatey on the finish. It's a style, not necessarily my favourite. Rating: 89+ L&S (Apr 2012)

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I had the 2011 Pape Clement on four separate occasions and there was a slight sample variation, but this seems to be a fair estimate of its potential. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and the rest tiny proportions of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2011 offers notes of lead pencil shavings, charcoal, barbecue meat, black cherries, black currants and plum sauce. This is a medium to full-bodied, dense as well as strikingly elegant and precise wine. The purity, palate presence and potentially complex aromatics always stand out in a Pape Clement. This example should drink well for 15-24 years. 2012 - 2036 Rating: 92-94 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 2012)

The 2011 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot cropped between 16th September and 7th October. It has a very refined bouquet with ripe blackberry, briary, crushed stone and graphite, almost Pauillac in style with impressive delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannins, good acidity and much more substance than I was expecting. It is a Pape Clement whose byword is: panache. It is supremely well put together, very harmonious with a seamless finish that slips down the throat. Unashamedly modern in style as one would expect, but it is very well crafted. Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, 2012)

A rare vinosity for this vintage, a future classic. (Les Echos, April 2012) Rating: 17.5 – 18 TAST, Bettane & Desseauve(Apr 2012)

Deep smudgy black cherry colour. Ripe red fruit, bright and juicy on the palate too even though the tannins are firm and deep. Some savoury graphite and spice notes so not a simple fruit wine – though there is plenty of that. Full flavoured and full in the mouth. Deep-pile tannins. Generous rather than elegant. 2018-2028 Rating: 16.5+ Julia Harding MW, 2012)

Cabernet Sauvignon 50%, Merlot 45%, Cabernet Franc 3% and Petit Verdot 2%. Dark and backward fruit on the nose, smoky, with a lot of toasted oak elements suggestive of charred embers coming in. The fruit though feels ripe and sweet. The palate is rich, bold, with the fruit playing second fiddle to some structural elements here, The tannins are unsurprisingly very rich, chewy and dominate the finish. I also detected a little whiff of heat on my first taste, although I didn't find it on subsequent encounters and I suspect it was a sample issue. A typically bold style from Magrez that will no doubt see a lot of oak and come out of it a bruiser. Rating: 15.5-16.5 Chris Kissack, 2012)

Fragrant and lifted black summer fruits, very good natural ripeness and rather tough tannins that need time to show elegance and polish for the long term. Drink 2017-2035. Rating: 17 2012)

Nothing is reined in here, with lots of roasted apple wood and mesquite aromas that lead to dark, plush blackberry and plum paste notes. Rich and broad, but well-detailed, this pounds its chest a bit, but it's impressively done. Rating: 92-95 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2012)

Typical of the style preferred by Bernard Magrez, this is big, extracted, oaky and a little four square. For me, it’s a little dry and lacking in finesse, but there’s no denying the concentration or ambition of the wine. 10+ years. Rating: 92 Tim Atkin MW, 2012)

The nose of violets, warm stone and blueberries is very impressive. Full body, with chewy tannins and a firm finish. Outstanding but like to see a little more fruit in the mid-palate. Chewy. Rating: 90-91 James Suckling, 2012)

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