Pape Clément 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 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 55% Merlot.

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Tasting Notes

The 2017 Pape-Clément was tasted twice, firstly in September when it showed a lot of new oak. Returning in December 2019, I was pleased that some of that new wood has been subsumed into the blackberry, cedar and tobacco scents, rendering it quite classic in style relative to the nascent 2018. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, well judged acidity, and gentle grip with a poised finish. This is clearly improving in bottle and is turning into a very fine Pessac-Léognan that will give 20 years of drinking pleasure. Excellent. Drink 2023-2045.

Score: 94Neal Martin,, February 2020

The 2017 Pape Clément was not touched by the frost and was picked from 15 September to 3 October, manually de-stemmed berry by berry with some of the ripe stems added back into the blend (like Les Carmes Haut-Brion down the road). Malolactic is done in barrel where it aged for 18 months. It offers intense black cherry, raspberry, fig and sous-bois scents on the nose, tightly coiled at the moment with just a hint of cedar and tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, a mixture of red and black fruit, touches of cedar and white pepper, leading to a structured and fresh finish that leaves a spicy aftertaste. Classic in style, this Pape Clément will benefit from several years in bottle. Drink 2022 - 2045.

Score: 92/94Neal Martin,, May 2018

The current blend of the 2017 Pape Clement is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it sings of crushed black cherries, black raspberries and mulberries with hints of lilacs and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied with a firm, grainy frame and wonderful freshness, it possesses great elegance and effortless intensity with a mineral-tinged finish.

Score: 92/94Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

Beautiful spice, tobacco, wet earth and blackcurrants with some raspberries. Aromatic and complex. Full-bodied, refined and layered with wonderful length and power. Yet, there’s always class and pretty length here. Seamless. Drink after 2022.

Score: 96James Suckling, (June 2019), January 2020

This is very dense for the vintage on the center palate and then rolls out on the palate. Full-bodied, tight and tannic. Very polished and refined at the end. Precise. A little more cabernet sauvignon in the blend gives this the tension.

Score: 95/96James Suckling,, April 2018

The 2017 Pape Clément is fabulous. One of the rare 2017s with a real sense of structure, Pape Clément possesses dazzling intensity from start to finish. A rush of dark cherry, plum, chocolate and grilled herb notes hits the palate as this majestic, towering wine shows off its personality. Time in the glass brings out a brighter and more floral set of flavors. The 2017 is the first vintage made with a portion of whole clusters, an inspiration Bernard Magrez takes from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where he recently bought a small property. Quite simply, the 2017 Pape Clément is a magnificent wine by any measure. Don't miss it. The only problem with the 2017 is that yields are down 40% because of frost.

Score: 94/97Antonio Galloni,, April 2018

Black with purple core. Dark and savoury on the nose. Pretty oaky but there's more freshness here and less dense extraction than I remember.
Drink 2024-2034

Score: 16.5Julia Harding MW,, April 2018

Only half the production of a normal vintage because of the April frost. 55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. A deep colour, with wood smoke and rich cassis and baked plum on the nose. The palate is rubost and firm with plentiful tannins and toasty new wood. The fruits are a mixture of red and black but slightly subsumed beneath the wood and tannin for now, only truly revealing their power on the finish. This should improve in time, but for now the winemaking rests a little heavy for the intensity of fruit.

Score: 15.5Farr Vintners, April 2018

The nose is firm and fresh the palate richer and sweeter with ripe black cherry in the middle. Black plums the fleshy richness is backed by bramble a mix of flavours and although fresher at the back the finish has an opulent richness. 2027-42

Score: 89/92Derek Smedley MW,, April 2018

I have found that Magrez estates have done exceptionally well in 2017, pretty much across the board, but here I feel a reach towards the barrel that is just the slightest bit out of step with the ripeness of the fruit. The tannins are flexible and in control, but it just lacks a touch of the opulence in the black fruits that was so abundant in 2015 and 2016. There is no doubt that it has been very well constructed, and it will age confidently in the medium to long term.
Drinking Window 2025 - 2038

Score: 92Jane Anson,, April 2018

The oak is incredibly dense here and the power and extraction of the fruit is equally impressive and forthright. The only problem is that the tannins are monstrous and they take over the entire back of the palate. I imagine that they will subside, but there is likely to be a residual austerity here which will forever haunt the finish on this wine.

Score: 17.5+Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.