I certainly underrated the 2010 Pape Clement from barrel, rating it only 93-95+. (Thank God I put a "plus" there!) Having tasted it four times in Bordeaux, and rating it perfect three times and 99 the fourth time, this final blend of 51% Merlot, 47.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1.5% Petit Verdot is perfection in a bottle. Tipping the scales at 14.5% natural alcohol, there are 8,000 cases of it. Its sublime elegance, the power, the medium to full-bodied texture, the silky tannins, the subtle notes of smoke, lead pencil shavings, black currants, charcoal, camphor, blueberry and cassis fruit are all remarkable. It is a rich, full-throttle wine, but the elegance and the great terroir of Pape Clement come through in abundance. It is slightly more developed and evolved than the 2005 was at a similar point in its evolution, but it certainly needs another 5-7 years to develop further nuances, which it surely will. This wine will last 30-40+ years.
Kudos to proprietor Bernard Magrez, who has built an empire based on high quality more than any other characteristic
|Score: 100||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (205), March 2013|
Bernard Magrez's flagship estate continues to produce consistently beautiful wines and that includes his sensational 2010. The fruit was harvested between September 24 and October 20, and the result is an opaque purple-colored blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that achieved 13.5% alcohol naturally. Subtle notions of smoke, graphite, oak, black cherries and blackberries jump from the glass of this impressively perfumed claret. Medium to full-bodied, strikingly elegant and less thick and intense than a structured vintage such as 2005, the 2010 possesses remarkably sweet tannin (sweeter than the 2005) as well as a full-bodied, long finish. It should be drinkable at an early age and keep for 20-25 years.
|Score: 93/95+||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011|
Tasted at the UGC in London and then at the chateau. The Grand Vin is a blend of 51% Merlot, 47.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1.5% Petit Verdot and bottled after 18 months in barrel (80% new oak) without fining or filtration. It has a relatively understated, again quite "classic" bouquet that is very "Graves" in style - a little earthy with hints of tobacco and cedar. The aromatics gain some momentum in the glass, offering a black olive tapenade. The palate is medium-bodied with a very supple entry. Again, I appreciate the acidity to this Pape Clement that binds those dusky, earthy black fruit together and then it builds nicely towards the peppery finish. This Pape Clement effortlessly conveys its terroir - excellent. Tasted November 2012.
|Score: 95||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2013|
Tasted at the Union de Grand Cru in London. The nose is very pure with blackberry, blueberry, crushed stone and a touch of dried flowers. Good definition. There is a slight sorbet note coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fully ripe tannins, firm grip and layers of sweet black, liquorice and spice infused fruit. A little oaky on the finish but that is to be expected. Very rounded and sensual, but I prefer the tension demonstrated by the nascent 2010. Tasted October 2011.
|Score: 93||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, December 2011|
Tasted three times, the Pape-Clement '10 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, this has a surprisingly conservative bouquet but with very fine delineation and clarity. Blackberry and a touch of briary. The palate is very well balanced, very fine tannins and superb tension, the acidity lending this great poise and freshness. Good grip on the finish, this is an outstanding Pape-Clement. Tasted March 2011.
|Score: 94/96||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2011|
Intense blueberry nose with great precision and expression. Full and vibrant on the palate with a minty note. Vanilla. Wonderful structure. Firm but ripe tannins and very long. Needs time to soften. Great potential. Try in 2016.
|Score: 96||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2013|
Very chewy, with wonderful blueberry and mineral character. Hints of mint too. Full and super classy. Love the texture of the tannins. Hyper-refined in texture
|Score: 96/97||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2011|
Very dark with even a hint of brown. Direct and leathery on the nose. Then very sweet - almost right-bank sweetness - but then it returns to acidity and fine tannin. A dramatic even if not-that-comfortable wine. Almost too drying on the finish but it works in the end. Slightly tarry finish. Not the most succulent.
|Score: 16.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2011|
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. Prices are moving up at Pape Clément but so is the quality, which bears no relation at all to the weedy wines of the early 1980's and before. The 42 hectares were harvested at 32 hl/ha and this is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. The nose is wonderfully smoky and tarry with lots of sexy new oak. There is masses of black cherry fruit on the palate with creme de cassis and vanilla notes. Big, plush and plump, this Pape Clement is ripe and modern but it's classically Graves in style too. Opulent and complex. It certainly packs a punch.
|Score: 17.5||Farr Vintners, April 2011|
The fruit on the nose is very concentrated with the fleshy sweetness slightly overpowered by the tannins. Black cherry and sloe enrich the middle but behind are tough slightly aggressive tannins that give a bitter dusty dry feel on the finish. It seems to be lacking a bit of balance and harmony.
|Score: 88/93||Derek Smedley MW, April 2011|
Superb concentration of ripe Cabernet fruit, slightly smoky, potentially very complex, wonderful presence and richness on the palate, ripeness and tannins in complete harmony, very good indeed and a great future. Drink 2015-30.
|Score: 18.5||Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2011|