The 2018 Pape Clément was picked 20 September to 12 October. It has an intense bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, fig and crushed flowers, quite a showy and extrovert Pape Clément comparative to other vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins, fine acidity, very smooth in texture with a seductive black olive and cassis tinged finish that is very persistent. It is a bold wine with ambition, although I wager that the 2016 Pape Clément will ultimately turn out to be the better wine. 2024-2050
|Score: 93/95||Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019|
This wine is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc to be aged for approximately 18 months in oak barriques, 60% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Pape Clement is a little closed, slowly unfurling to reveal fragrant earth, crushed rocks, iron ore and tobacco notions over a core of crushed red and black currants plus kirsch, red roses and Ceylon tea. Full-bodied and wonderfully vivacious, it offers a solid line of firm and fine-grained tannins and amazing freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced.
|Score: 96/98||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
This is a very driven Pape Clément with fantastic density and finesse at the same time. Linear and driven, the finish goes on for minutes with incredible tension and focus. More cabernet. Refinement with power.
|Score: 97/98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 Pape Clément is dense, powerful, and brooding. In most vintages, Pape Clément is much more showy and inviting, but the 2018 is in no mood to show all of its cards. Instead, we find a Pape Clément that explodes with vertical intensity and lift. Captivating scents of gravel, smoke, leather, tobacco, chocolate and incense add layers of complexity. I can't wait to see how the 2018 ages. Today, it is super expressive. The blend is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. New oak is 45%. Tasted four times.
|Score: 93/96||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
Black core, purple rim. Plenty of lively black fruit on the nose, then really thick and chewy on the palate. The alcohol, high generally in this vintage, shows here. Dense, chewy and a bit monolithic. Tough finish at the moment. For lovers of power rather than elegance, though I think it would be too much for the table.
|Score: 16.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
Deep ruby in colour with an explosive nose of clove, mint, black cherry and almond. The palate is silky smooth, with opulent, creamy vanilla and ripe blackcurrant. The tannins are supple but mouthcoating, framing the fruit and adding a savoury crunch. The toastiness builds through the mid-palate to leave quite a smoky finish. However, the depth of fruit more than copes with this, leaving an impressively long and harmonious - if hedonistic - impression.
|Score: 17+||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
From Bernard Magrez’s flagship estate, the 2018 Château Pape Clément checks in as a tentative blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that will spend 18 months in 60% new French oak. This ripe, full-bodied, opulent beauty knocks it out of the park and boasts a saturated purple color to go with a monster bouquet of cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with notes of smoked earth, graphite, spicy oak, and spring flowers. Possessing ripe, silky tannins (and plenty of them), remarkable purity of fruit, a stacked mid-palate, and a great, great finish, it ranks in the top tier in the vintage, and despite having the fruit to drink nicely in its youth, it’s going to age effortlessly. It might very well be the finest wine from this estate in the past decade or more. Tasted on three separate occasions.
|Score: 95/97||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019|
This is really well put together, with waves of steeped plum, currant and raspberry fruit, bolts of licorice and tar and a long apple wood accent on the sappy finish.
|Score: 95/98||James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019|
I love watching how Pape Clement is evolving with every vintage. There's still a bit of Venice Beach in its muscles but it has let some juice in between the firm tannins and it's all the better for it. There are ripples of freshness here too, with lots of fleshy fruit, and a slatey mineral finish that sits against chocolate and smoked cedar notes. It's clearly been carefully extracted yet still has the serious ageing ability and sense of confidence that is the signature of the property. 37hl/ha yield in 2018. Two-thirds new oak.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
|Score: 95||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019|
Dry and powerful, the style of wine here is certainly long-lived and yet while the tannins are huge and there is powerful astringency on the finish, the fruit manages to control these two elements well because it is so rich and deep. You would have to like oaky wines to be able to appreciate this, and, it is right at the extremities for me, but I think that this is a grand wine and it will age for an eternity, too.
|Score: 17.5+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|