|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.
The 2022 Pape Clément was picked 7-27 September at 35hL/ha, aged in 60% new oak. It has quite an open and expressive bouquet at this stage, with blackcurrant and bilberry scents. A more sensual Pape Clément perhaps, the oak is neatly integrated. Black olives emerge with time, hints of sea spray - this is certainly a wine you have to stay with. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. Layers of black fruit laced with graphite and cedar, rending this 2022 quite Pauillac-like in style. Nicely controlled on the finish, this is a Pape Clément with breeding. Tasted four times. 2030-2065
Revealing aromas of blueberries, cassis, spring flowers and toasty new oak, the 2022 Pape Clément is full-bodied, broad and textural, with a rich, layered core of super-ripe fruit framed by liberally extracted tannins that assert themselves on the firm, lavishly oaky finish. This is a flamboyant, unabashedly modern-styled Pape Clément that will need several years in the cellar to blossom. It's a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Kirsch, confit fruits and jam on the nose here, together with a heavy wood char. The palate has a little coarse tannin, the extraction full and rich. The fruit is heady and the alcohol a little warming. The wood smoke overlays the fruit in the middle, but underneath there is some polished cassis. Opulent and bonfire-like to the finish, this is a wine that conveys the heat of the vintage.
This is a very structured 2022 with powerful tannins that run the length of the wine. Yet it’s perfumed and fresh with flowers and subtle undertones of stone. Pure. It’s full but not heavy with backbone and structure. Lots of crushed stone and currants. One of the most transparent you Pape’s I have tasted. 60% merlot and 40% cabernet sauvignon.
The 2022 Pape Clement Blanc is a blend of 63% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Semillon, and 2% Muscadelle with a yield of 35 hl/ha. It bursts with bold notes of apricots, poached pears, and lemon tart, plus wafts of honeysuckle, cedar, and dill seed. The medium-bodied palate is packed with vibrant apricot and pear flavors, with a racy backbone leading to a long, spicy finish.
Deep and intense, but not the full on ink colour that I might have expected. Cocoa bean, fig, rosemary, kirsch, cigar box, black pepper, mint leaf, this ripples with the exuberance of the vintage but the tannins are firm, musuclar and hold things firmly in place, ensuring a sense of proportion. This walks the line, it is a big wine that absolutely delivers estate signature, and has a clear sense of future potential, with plenty of complexity. Rises to meet the vintage, not overpowered by it. Will age well.
Cask sample. Quite a change from the excessively concentrated wines of the past, in a vintage that naturally offers concentration! Deep purplish crimson. Rich, ripe nose and then some unintegrated acidity imposes itself. Decidedly unknit at the moment with acidity dominating tannins that are evident only on the very end. Sandy finish. A curious wine that is fresher and less exaggerated than earlier vintages. An attempt to lighten up perhaps?
Drink 2029– 2040
The 2022 Pape Clement is composed of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon with a yield of 35 hl/ha. Deep garnet-purple in color, it is a little subdued to begin, soon unfurling to offer evocative notes of baked blackberries, boysenberry preserves, and plum pudding, followed by wafts of cassis, violets, cedar chest, and cumin seed. The full-bodied palate is rich and impactful, delivering layers of bright black cherries and baking spices with a lively backbone and fine-grained tannins, finishing long and energetic. pH 3.70.