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CHÂTEAU PAPE CLEMENT

2015 Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan

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

As usual here, there's no shortage of extract. Dark colour, sweetly round and very smooth, very ripe, seems pure and driven, but the overall impression is of a startlingly dry finish which grips hard. Does it have the fruit to match this in time? Rating: 91-92 L&S (Apr 2016)

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The clarity to this wine is impressive. Wealth of dark-plum and black-fruit essence not to mention orange citrus. Everything is dialed up to the limit here but then dialed in on the palate. Such impressive depth and suave, ripe, fluid tannins that deliver impressive length. Great wine. Such polish. Superb. Try from 2022. Drinking range: 2022 - Rating: 99-99 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Feb 2018)

Deepish crimson. Seductively ripe damson fruit. Rich and chewy, full-bodied and firmly structured for the long term. Much better balance than some previous vintages I have tasted. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 17.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Nov 2017)

Very dark. Sweet yet fresh - very beguiling initially but maybe a little overdone. Intense and almost as though concentrated. Rather dry on the end. Hard work on the end. Drinking range: 2024 - 2034 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2016)

Rating: 88 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2016)

The assemblage is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, picked between September 25th and October 15th. A beautifully perfumed nose, the real essence of Graves, with a lightly quartzy gravel freshness, and a rose-petal and peony fragrance, draped over a little dusty blackcurrant and cherry fruit. A really charming and elegant structure on the palate, poised and precise, with beautifully framed fruit, black cherry, with liquorice and cocoa bean tinges. The tannins are so ripe, very elegant, present but not distracting, showing only in the middle and finish but adding to the harmony of the composition. An impressive barrel sample, tasted twice, with evident consistency. Rating: 17.5-18.5/20 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2016)

Clear reductive environment, saving the best nose for the consumer and not for en primeur. A lovely richly textured wine –really velvety with gorgeous purity to the damson and black cherry fruits. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2016)

The 2015 Pape Clement is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. It was cropped at 40 hl/ha between 25 September and 15 October with berry by berry destemming. It has a drop-dead gorgeous bouquet that continues the ever greater finesse that has been imparted into this Pape-Clément in recent years. It is extremely precise, almost crystalline. The palate is underpinned by fine tannin, pitch-perfect acidity, a sense of cohesion and harmony that is outstanding. There is not a hair out of place on this barrel sample and it will doubtless evolve into one of the best wines this state has produced since the 14th century, when Bertrand de Goth was planting its first vines. This comes highly recommended - a Pape-Clément that will reward those who can resist temptation and cellar this wine for 10+ years. Tasted on four separate occasions. Drinking range: 2025 - 2060 Rating: 95-97 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2016)

The 2015 Pape Clément is stunningly beautiful. Rich, ample and powerful, the 2015 exudes richness. As always, Pape Clément is one of the most overt wines in Pessac, but the move towards picking a bit earlier gives the wine more energy than was the norm a decade ago without fundamentally altering the style Bernard Magrez and Michel Rolland favor. Dark red cherry, plum, menthol, licorice, blood orange and exotic spices are all very much alive. The purity of the fruit here is striking. This is one of the best recent vintages of Pape Clément I have tasted. The 2015 is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, done in about 80% new oak. Rating: 93-96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2016)

Big, broad and overt in style, with a thick frame of espresso and roasted apple wood around a core of dense plum paste and cassis flavors. Strides along authoritatively, as melted licorice and fruitcake notes fill in on the hefty finish. Shows more style than terroir, but pulls it off. Rating: 93—96 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2016)

Château Pape Clement

Pape Clement stakes a good claim to being the oldest vineyard in Bordeaux. On his accession to post of Archbishop of Bordeaux in 1299, Bernard de Groth was gifted the land by his brother and planted a vineyard. Five years later Bernard was elected Pope Clement V, from which title the estate takes its name. Too busy with Papal business, the estate was handed over to the Archbishops of Bordeaux who owned it until the Revolution.

The common malaise of 20th Century wars, depression and general decline saw Pape Clement in the doldrums by the 1970's. However, under the ownership of the Montagne family and the stewardship of Bernard Magrez, Château Pape Clement has become one of the leading estates in Pessac-Léognan.

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