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Chateau Pape Clement 2015

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750ML / 14.5% ABV
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4.4 10 Ratings
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4.4 10 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A wine of good density ruby red, with brown, mahogany, biscuit hints. It has maintained its luster and clarity. The rim is fairly thick. The tears are fine, clear, abundant and regular. At once expressive, forthright and complex. There are notes of all families of fragrance: fruit, flowers, and spices. Taste: The attack is forthright, round and suave, soothing even. The intense aromas initially recall the complexity of the nose. There is leather and lightly charred wood, and roasted notes. The beauty of the vintage is revealed by its elegance rather than its full-flavor. The wine has an attractive aromatic range with a finish of remarkable elegance.
Blend: 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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JS 99
James Suckling
The clarity to this wine is impressive. Wealth of dark-plum and black-fruit essence not to mention orange citrus. Everything is dialed up to the limit here but then dialed in on the palate. Such impressive depth and suave, ripe, fluid tannins that deliver impressive length. Great wine. Such polish. Superb. Try from 2022.
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
As with the white, the 2015 Château Pape Clément is up at the top of the hierarchy and is a tour de force in Red Bordeaux that should be snatched up by readers. Coming from a 50-hectare parcel of the gravelly soils and harvest between September 25th and October 15th, it’s a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc that saw a long maceration (30-40 days) and 18 months in 80% new French oak. With a deep ruby/plum color and awesome notes of currants, black cherries, truffles, chocolate and graphite, this beauty hits the palate with a massive, full-bodied, opulent, sexy, yet never heavy style. With terrific concentration, perfect balance, and ripe tannin, as well as plenty of oak, give bottles 4-5 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades. Tasted three times.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Pape Clement is blended of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, matured in 80% new and 20% one-year-old French oak barrels for 18 months. Medium to deep garnet-purple, it opens with profound notes of crushed red and black currants, black cherries and cassis with touches of mocha, baking spices, menthol and lavender plus a hint of new leather. Medium-bodied, firm and concentrated with tons of tightly wound black fruit and earth layers, it has a grainy frame and refreshing lift on the long finish.
D 95
Decanter
Clear reductive environment, saving the best nose for the consumer and not for en primeur. A lovely richly textured wine –really velvety with gorgeous purity to the damson and black cherry fruits.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Dense and concentrated, this wine is fully structured and also has great fruit. It is dense, showing the ripeness of both tannins and fruit in this vintage. It will power through its development to be a very fine wine from 2025.
Cellar Selection
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Ripe and lush, with flashy anise, apple wood and mocha notes forming the frame and ample cassis, cherry paste and plum sauce flavors at the core for balance. Shows lots of sweet spice details through the finish, with the apple wood edge holding sway for now. A bold, glossy version that will please fans of the style after some time. Best from 2022 through 2035.
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Chateau Pape Clement

Chateau Pape Clement

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Chateau Pape Clement, France
Video of winery
Origins
Chateau 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, Chateau 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 Chateau Pape Clément wines continue to delight the wine-lovers of today and tomorrow.

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Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BLF157785_2015 Item# 157785