- Nick's Import
2017 Chateau Pape Clement
Named after its most famous owner, Pope Clement V, Chateau Pape Clement in Pessac Leognan makes both red and white wine from their 32.5 hectare vineyard. Vineyards for the red wine is planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, while the soils here are a complex mix of gravel and clay over a base of clay, limestone and sandstone. Maturation takes place in 100% new French oak, and while Bernard Magrez has refined the style since taking over winemaking duties the wines are still rich and lush in style with a concentration of ripe fruit.
The current blend of the 2017 Pape Clement is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it sings of crushed black cherries, black raspberries and mulberries with hints of lilacs and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied with a firm, grainy frame and wonderful freshness, it possesses great elegance and effortless intensity with a mineral-tinged finish.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - Wine Advocate #236 (April 2018)
This has solid ripeness, with plum and cassis notes flowing through, along with an ambitious oak regimen that results in ample toasted vanilla hints. This clamps down a touch on the finish, but there’s good purity and freshness, with fresh acidity buried within, leaving me optimistic.—J.M.
This is very dense for the vintage on the center palate and then rolls out on the palate. Full-bodied, tight and tannic. Very polished and refined at the end. Precise. A little more cabernet sauvignon in the blend gives this the tension.
This is a hugely dense, extracted wine, possibly too much so, displaying a hard edge that smothers the ripe fruit. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, it certainly will not be drinkable before 2024.
The 2017 Pape Clément was not touched by the frost and was picked from 15 September to 3 October, manually de-stemmed berry by berry with some of the ripe stems added back into the blend (like Les Carmes Haut-Brion down the road). Malolactic is done in barrel where it aged for 18 months. It offers intense black cherry, raspberry, fig and sous-bois scents on the nose, tightly coiled at the moment with just a hint of cedar and tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, a mixture of red and black fruit, touches of cedar and white pepper, leading to a structured and fresh finish that leaves a spicy aftertaste. Classic in style, this Pape Clément will benefit from several years in bottle.
Neal Martin - Vinous
The 2017 Pape Clément is fabulous. One of the rare 2017s with a real sense of structure, Pape Clément possesses dazzling intensity from start to finish. A rush of dark cherry, plum, chocolate and grilled herb notes hits the palate as this majestic, towering wine shows off its personality. Time in the glass brings out a brighter and more floral set of flavors. The 2017 is the first vintage made with a portion of whole clusters, an inspiration Bernard Magrez takes from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where he recently bought a small property. Quite simply, the 2017 Pape Clément is a magnificent wine by any measure. Don't miss it. The only problem with the 2017 is that yields are down 40% because of frost.
Antonio Galloni - Vinous
The Grand Vin 2017 Château Pape Clément is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot still aging in 60% new French oak. Harvest ran from the 15th of September to the 3rd of October, and I was able to taste this beauty on three separate occasions. Its deep purple color is followed by a blockbuster bouquet of ripe black cherries, blackberries, blueberries, graphite, and licorice. One of the more powerful, concentrated wines in the vintage, this medium to full-bodied effort has terrific purity of fruit, a mouthfilling texture, and present, ripe tannin. Too many 2017s lack excitement, but that’s not the case here. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 15+ years.