|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc|
Ripe and dense fruit nose with lots of oak, a touch of cake. Spicy and rich - but for once not over the top, it as though the vintage has made them rein back, and this could make a really hedonistic wine if the oak is absorbed. Good ripe volume, very spherical. Rating: 92 L&S (Apr 2013)
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The Grand Vin is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon that was cropped between 4th and 18th October at 37hl/ha. There is a lot of oak to be absorbed on the nose, although there appears to be plenty of brambly dark berry fruit to soak it up. It is slightly broody compared to the 2011 last year and will hopefully open up after bottling. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy, plump, ripe tannins and crisp acidity. It is harmonious and focused, good volume here, with a strict finish that displays good tension, although there is a slight dryness coming through on the aftertaste. Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(May 2013)
The 2012 Pape Clement is one of the stars of the vintage, which is not surprising given this estate's performances over the last 10-15 years. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, it exhibits an opaque ruby/purple color along with a beautifully sweet, graphite-scented nose with hints of black currants, Asian plum sauce, soy and forest floor. Impressively built with medium to full-bodied flavors, it has more layers than many wines from this vintage, an appealing density and a velvety texture. Yields were a modest 37 hectoliters per hectare and the wine finished at 13.5% natural alcohol. This 132-acre estate has once again produced a prodigious wine in a challenging vintage. Bravo to proprietor Bernard Magrez Rating: 92-95 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Apr 2013)
A wine to admire rather than drink, at least in my view, this is super oaky, super dense and slightly cakey on the palate, with a hint of over-ripeness, even in a year like 2012. It’s a very serious, inky blend with lots of concentration, but I can’t help thinking it would taste better if it had been picked a few days earlier. Drink: 2020-30. Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2013)
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