|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan|
Owner Bernard Magrez has made serious investments here since the late 1990s 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 1980s and before. The 42 hectares are planted with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 55% Merlot.
Superb aromas of blackberries, crushed stones, iodine and graphite. Full-bodied with ultra fine tannins and a balanced finish. Such length and beauty. Very close to the 2019 in quality.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Pape Clement comes barreling out of the glass with bold notes of cassis, plum preserves and licorice, giving way to scents of cedar chest, crushed rocks, charcoal and pencil lead. The medium to full-bodied palate is tightly coiled with beautiful tension and a firm, finely grained texture locking in the layers of black fruits and minerals, finishing with great length and energy. The blend this year is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, aging mainly in French oak barriques, 66% new, with about 10% aging in large oak foudres. The wine will spend approximately 18 months in barrels. Drink: 2028 - 2060
Powerful in colour, this has the glass staining red and purple colours that Pape Clément does so well. Touches of liquorice and cocoa beans, well handled, this gives power with one hand but takes it away with the other as the austerity and fresh mint leaf comes to the fore. Impressive, a really enjoyable, classically wrought but still full of concentration Pape Clément. Savoury, there is nothing too exuberant in the fruits but it exudes deft confidence.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
Full, embossed bottle a completely unnecessary 1,570 g. Cask sample taken 6 April to be tasted before 16 April. Phew … just made it. No more details given.
Dark purplish crimson. Not too heavy on the appetising nose even if a tad sweet on the palate with a rather demandingly drying, tart finish. But I know from experience that everything often falls into place by the time the drinking window comes around. But don't try to broach it before then.
Drink 2029 – 2044
The 2020 is equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, harvested two weeks earlier than usual here. Deep ruby in colour. Sweet and toasty in oak on the nose, there is enough juicy fruit underneath to keep everything in check. The fruit comes through more on the palate, all cassis and cherry, but it still has to compete with flashy, toasty oak. The harmony is there, and there is grippy tannin to add more edge to the wine, but this is a glossy, slick style.
(50% CS, 50% M)
An abundance of ripe black fruit to smell, right on the edge of raisiny; full-bodied, vigorous in acidity, firm in tannin, quite fine but making for a muscular impression and balance; intense flavor, strong and deep within its tannin frame, a light gravel impression behind the mass of fruit, quite long to taste and with good fruit persistence. A very particular style, that of the hot vintage plus fairly extracty winemaking. A solid, powerful, sinewy, low-yield wine. There is clearly a fine fruit core within the substantial framework, but little of the gravel aromas that are often there. This seems a bit old-fashioned in style in today’s winemaking context—none the worse for that, but worth observing. Needs a decade minimum. 2030–50.