Deep colour. Fresh dark plum, mocha espresso aromas. Richly textured and plush with ripe dark berry, praline flavours, dense chocolaty almost velvety tannins and plentiful cedar vanilla oak. Finishes chocolaty firm with plenty of length. Bitter notes and fresh acid line give the wine vinosity and life. Tasted at the Union des Grand Crus.
The 2016 Pape Clement is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon this year, picked from 30 September until 19 October at 48 hectoliters per hectare. The first bottle that I tasted with Bernard Magrez and his team felt a little overdone, but I had a strong suspicion that it was not a representative bottle. A second bottle was more restrained on the nose with blackberries, red plum, a touch of cloves and a light iodine influence. I love the delineation and detail here. The palate is medium-bodied with a graphite-infused entry, plenty of black fruit, saline in the mouth with great depth and cohesion on the long and tender finish. It continues Pape-Clement/Bernard Magrez' move towards a more classic style compared to the previous decade. Tasted four times, once as I mentioned, unnecessarily richer in style, but the other three consistent.
The 2016 Pape Clément exudes class and is one of the raciest, silkiest wines I have ever tasted here. The purity and intensity of the flavors is striking. Dark cherry, chocolate, spice and leather open up first. The full range of aromatics has not developed yet - that will come with time. Today, it is the wine's balance that is most remarkable.
Very luscious nose with enormous opulence. Then on the palate there is no great sweetness but drying tannins on the finish. Something not quite fully ripe phenolically on the palate. Hint of greenness. Falls away on the end. It’s definitely front-loaded!
This is phenomenal with a density and finesse that are hard to remember for this wine. Full-bodied, tight and polished. Seamless texture and salty undertones. Goes on for minutes. Truly great. What a barrel sample.
Though wine has been made in Pessac-Léognan since ancient Roman times, it was only in 1987 that the neighbouring villages of Pessac and Léognan were singled out from the surrounding Graves region and given their own appellation. The designation acknowledges that Pessac-Léognan is home to the most acclaimed properties of Bordeaux’s Graves region, such as the Premier Cru Château Haut-Brion.
The vineyards of Pessac-Léognan, just south of the city of Bordeaux, are crowded by suburban sprawl. About 3,000 acres are dedicated mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grown for red wines, with a small portion devoted to Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and other grapes for white wines. Pessac-Léognan red wines are elegant and concentrated, with medium to full body. They offer distinct aromas and flavours of mineral and earth, and can have lush fruit or smoky tobacco character. Pessac-Léognan white wines are dry, unlike the famous sweet white wines from nearby Sauternes. They are generally crisp and minerally with citrus notes, often with rich character from oak aging and capable of improving with additional age.