The 2015 Pape-Clément has a fragrant bouquet with quite plush, generous but well defined red berry fruit mixed with rose petal and incense, smoke and cigar humidor following later. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin, crisp and focused. A seam of graphite emerges toward the finish. This is linear and correct at the moment. This should develop into a very fine Pessac-Léognan, one full of breed and sophistication. Tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting.
|Score: 95||Neal Martin, vinous.com, July 2019|
The 2015 Pape Clement, a blend of 53% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and a “few” bunches of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, has a very pure and seductive bouquet with cranberry, blackberry, cedar and graphite, plusher than its peers but well defined with a sense of succulence that Pape Clement often conveys in great vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin, finely boned Pessac-Léognan with a complex, lightly spiced finish laced with tobacco and white pepper, a hint of clove on the aftertaste. This is a terrific Pape Clement that is showing much more sophistication and class than say, the 1998 Pape Clement that I tasted alongside. However it deserves a decade in bottle to show what it can really do. Chapeau!
|Score: 96||Neal Martin, -, March 2018|
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.
|Score: 95/97||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016|
The 2015 Pape Clement is blended of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, matured in 80% new and 20% one-year-old French oak barrels for 18 months. Medium to deep garnet-purple, it opens with profound notes of crushed red and black currants, black cherries and cassis with touches of mocha, baking spices, menthol and lavender plus a hint of new leather. Medium-bodied, firm and concentrated with tons of tightly wound black fruit and earth layers, it has a grainy frame and refreshing lift on the long finish. 2022 - 2042
|Score: 96||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim Fe), February 2018|
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.
|Score: 99||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2018|
Shows amazing depth of fruit with fabulous polish and length. Electric acidity. Full body, very integrated and refined tannins. Phenolic finesse shows here. Great finish. It lasts for minutes. Best young Pape Clément I have tasted. Grows in the glass.
|Score: 97/98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016|
One of the stars of the vintage, the 2015 Pape Clément is fabulous. Dark and beautifully resonant, it captures all the natural radiance of the year in the Pape Clément style. Super-ripe black cherry, plum, mocha, chocolate, new leather and spice effortlessly fill out the wine's ample frame. Soft contours and an open-knit, inviting personality are just two of the reasons the Pape Clément is going to be virtually impossible to resist, even in the early going. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Tasted two times. 2022 - 2035
|Score: 96||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, February 2018|
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. Tasted four times.
|Score: 93/96||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016|
Tasted blind. Sweet and round and succulent – a wine that, for once among Graves 2015s, has fruit and lusciousness enough to stand up to the tannins. Really rather glorious.
|Score: 17.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2019|
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.
|Score: 16.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016|
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. (JH) 14.5%
|Score: 17.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, November 2017|
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 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. This year there is more Cabernet in the final blend (60%) with 40% Merlot. Deep and viscous purple in the glass, this wine has a very smoky, toasty, creamy nose of blackcurrants and blackberries. The palate leads with kirsch and barbecued black fruits as the tannins grip the sides of the mouth. This is a blockbuster with lots of power, with the retention of enough acidity and graphite lift to find a smoky balance on the long finish.
|Score: 16.5+||Farr Vintners, March 2016|
As with the white, the 2015 Château Pape Clément is up at the top of the hierarchy and is a tour de force in Red Bordeaux that should be snatched up by readers. Coming from a 50-hectare parcel of the gravelly soils and harvest between September 25th and October 15th, it’s a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc that saw a long maceration (30-40 days) and 18 months in 80% new French oak. With a deep ruby/plum color and awesome notes of currants, black cherries, truffles, chocolate and graphite, this beauty hits the palate with a massive, full-bodied, opulent, sexy, yet never heavy style. With terrific concentration, perfect balance, and ripe tannin, as well as plenty of oak, give bottles 4-5 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades. Tasted three times. 2023 - 2053
|Score: 97||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, November 2017|
Ripe on the nose the palate has a fleshy richness supple in the middle. There is balance with bramble freshness behind the rich ripe black plum and although full and ripe on the back palate the finish is lighter and fresher.
|Score: 90/92||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016|
Massively inky and powerful, but ever so moreish and chewy, this is an example of a potentially over-the-top wine which manages to keep its feet on the ground and capture the essence of the vintage and also its property very accurately.
|Score: 17.5+||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2016|