Chateau Pape Clement 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-purple. Vibrant blackcurrant, blackberry and smoke aromas show noteworthy depth and purity. Big and ripe on the palate, but with lovely balance to its black fruit and smoke flavors. The very long, pure finish features a lingering mineral streak and very fine tannins. This exceptional vintage of Pape Clement packs an amazing amount of concentration on a seemingly weightless frame. More important still, although it pushes the ripeness envelope as most of the wines of Bernard Magrez do, it manages to come across as refined and graceful, even though it's almost brutally powerful.
Barrel Sample: 93-96 Points"
Wine Spectator - "Rich and muscular, with exotic roasted spice, braised fig and warm raspberry confiture notes that are supported by a broad baseline of dark cocoa, tar and freshly brewed espresso. Not shy about its modernity, but everything is in place. Just needs to settle in with cellaring. Best from 2015 through 2030."
The Wine Advocate - "Although the 2009 Pape Clement may not be as sublime as the 2005 or 2000, but it is very close to those two efforts, and it will be fascinating to compare them (as well as the 2008 and 2010) over the following three decades. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc with a modest 13.5% alcohol, the 2009 reveals considerable structure and tannin along with tell-tale notes of burning embers, scorched earth, graphite, blueberries, blackberries and toasty vanillin, and a full-bodied mouthfeel. This rich, full offering is surprisingly backward. This cuvee should drink well in 5-6 years as one rarely has to wait a decade or more to enjoy Pape Clement. It should age for three decades or more. "
Wine Enthusiast - "Spiced pears in red wine, an exotic range of sweet berry fruits and nutmeg, along with a solid core of structure. Intriguing wine.
Barrel Sample: 92-94 Points"
James Suckling - "A nose of sweet tobacco and wet earth with lots of ripe fruit. Plenty of blueberry character. Also lots of licorice. Full bodied, with super silky tannins and a long, long finish. Chewy now. Muscular. Best in 2020.
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Chateau Pape Clement Winery
Château Pape Clément owes its name to its most illustrious owner. A man of the cloth born in 1264, Bertrand de Goth became Bishop of Comminges, in the Pyrenees Mountains, at the age of 31; he later became Archbishop of Bordeaux in 1299.
He then received as a gift the property in Pessac, the Vineyard de La Mothe. Taken by a passion for the vine, he continually took part personally in equipping, organizing and managing the domain in accordance with the most modern and rational practices. Nevertheless, on 5 June 1305 the cardinals met in a conclave in Pérouse and appointed him to succeed Pope Benedict XI, who had passed away prematurely after only eleven months of reign. Bertrand de Goth took the name of Clement V.
Supported by Philip IV, it was he who decided in 1309 to move the papal court to Avignon, thus breaking with Rome and its battles of influence. During this same period, the weight of his responsibilities led him to relinquish his property, giving it to the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Henceforward, the vineyard was to be known to posterity under the name of this enlightened pope.
The early period
Management under the clergy brings modernity The grateful Church perpetuated Pope Clement's work. Each archbishop in turn turned to modernity and technical progress, to the point of the wine estate becoming a model vineyard. In addition to especially early harvests, which remain one of its special characteristics, Château Pape Clément is without a doubt the first vineyard in France to align vine stock to facilitate labour.
After the Revolution
At the end of the 18th century, the Archbishop of Bordeaux was dispossessed of his property. The papal vineyard became part of the public domain.
The 20th century
8 June 1937 was a dark day in the vineyard's history, when a violent hailstorm destroyed virtually the entirety of the estate. Two years later, Paul Montagne bought it and gradually brought it back to life. Thanks to his efforts, the vineyard returned to its former rank and stood up to the surge in urbanization. His descendents, Léo Montagne and Bernard Magrez, perpetuate this secular tradition so that Château Pape Clément wines continue to delight the wine-lovers of today and tomorrow. View all Chateau Pape Clement Wines
About Pessac-LeognanView a map of Pessac-Leognan wineries (PEH-sak lay-ohn-yawn)
One of the top appellations within Graves, Pessac-Léognan is home to the only Graves chateau listed as a first growth in the 1855 Médoc classification – Chateau Haut-Brion. In fact, praise for the chateau dates back to the days of Thomas Jefferson, when, upon visiting the chateau in 1787, he bought 125 bottles for his cellar in Virginia.
The majority of wines made here are red, but Pessac-Léognan is also known for producing some of the finest dry white wines of Bordeaux. Many of the top chateau, like Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Mission Haut Brion, produce top-quality whites alongside their red. Other Chateaux, like Smith Haut Lafite and Carbonnieux, are better known for their distinguished white wines than reds. Both colors of wine from this region have the specific tastes of the gravelly soil where it's grown.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.