Chateau Pape Clement Blanc (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
Blend: 48% Sauvignon Blanc, 39% Semillon, 7% Sauvignon Gris, 6% Muscadelle
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2017 Chateau Pape Clement Blanc showed spectacularly well and is one of the wines (if not the wine) of the vintage. Based on 55% Sauvignon and 45% Semillon aged 14 months in barrel, it offers powerful notes of honeyed melon, tart pineapple, green figs, and floral notes as well as a terrific sense of minerality. Concentrated, medium to full-bodied, with rocking levels of acidity, give it 2-4 years and enjoy over the following 15 years or more.
Aromas of pineapple, peaches and apple pie with stone. Deep and intense, yet always subtle in the nose. Full-bodied, layered and very flavorful. However, it stays focused and precise in the mouth and at the finish. Serious length. Still needs three or four years to come together. Better after 2022.
This features a beeswax frame around a large-scaled core of wet straw, creamed white peach, yellow apple and fennel flavors, while a racy quinine thread runs underneath. Shows a flash of brioche on the finish, with the beeswax element lingering. Needs a little time, but this is distinctive and beautiful. Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle. Best from 2021 through 2029.
The Pape Clement 2017 Blanc (composed of 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Sémillon) has loads of exotic fruit—pineapple, green guava and passion fruit—with crushed stones, fragrant herbs and mandarin peel hints. The palate is medium-bodied, intense and racy with a long, pure, exotic fruit finish. Rating: 94+
Barrel Sample: 92-94
Taut, steely and textured, this is a cool, crisp wine. With acidity and minerality all in play, the wine’s long-term future is balanced by its immediate fruitiness. Drink this well-structured wine from 2021.
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.