The 2020 Pape Clément is so impressive. Red cherry, plum, cedar, mint, tobacco, blood orange and rose petal all build as the 2020 opens in the glass. Vibrant and beautifully delineated, the 2020 has a ton to offer. The 2020 exudes purity, energy and breathtaking balance. It is one of the finest recent vintages I can remember tasting.
(95-97) points, Vinous (June 2021)
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.
(96-97) points, JamesSuckling.com (April 2021)
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.
(96-98) points, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
The 2020 Pape Clément, which I afforded an hour’s aeration, has a very precise bouquet of pure blackberry, cedar, mint and violet aromas, quite discreet but paradoxically intense; these aromas are very seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, lithe tannins framing wonderfully pure black fruit laced with crushed stone and a judicious touch of white pepper. Seamless in texture, this is a sophisticated Pape Clément in the making, an outstanding wine that should age brilliantly in bottle.
(95-97) points, Vinous (May 2021)
Ranking with the top wines of the vintage, the dense purple-hued 2020 Château Pape Clement offers a sensational bouquet of pure crème de cassis interwoven with notes of liquid violets and classy oak. Possessing flawless balance, full-bodied richness, and ultra-fine tannins, it excels in this vintage and has a pretty, elegant, yet also layered and concentrated profile. It will drink well with just short-term cellaring yet evolve gracefully for 20-30 years. I was able to taste this on multiple occasions, and it always checked in near the upper end of the scale. This is a gorgeous wine in the making.
(97-99) points, JebDunnuck.com (May 2021)
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.