Chateau Pape Clement 2018 Pessac-Leognan Cru Classe Bordeaux France

99
Jeb Dunnuck

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99 Points Jeb Dunnuck - Coming from 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak, the 2018 Château Pape Clement from Bernard Magrez is a gorgeous wine that's performing even better from bottle than barrel, which is always a good sign. Deep ruby/purple, with stunning crème de cassis and blackberry fruits as well as kaleidoscope-like notes of graphite, scorched earth, smoke, violets, and spring flowers, it offers full-bodied richness yet stays light on its feet, graceful, and almost ethereal on the palate, with integrated acidity and building yet seamless tannins. The Cabernet Sauvignon really sings at this point, and there's almost a Médoc-like regalness here. Reminding me of a slightly more elegant 2005 (it also has similarities to the 2016), it will benefit from 4-6 years in the cellar and keep for 30+ years.

97 Points James Suckling - Aromas of wild blackberries, blueberries, dried lavender, cloves and eucalyptus with gravel and cocoa butter. It’s full-bodied with firm, powdery tannins. Polished and creamy with a core of ripe fruit that evolves to herbs, spices and chocolate. Fantastic concentration and seamless integration. Try from 2024.

96 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - The 2018 Pape Clement is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, aged for approximately 18 months in oak barriques, 60% new. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it rolls out of the glass with vibrant notes of crushed black cherries, stewed black plums and black raspberries, followed by suggestions of violets, star anise, cardamom and camphor with a waft of iron ore. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers exhilarating energy, offering crunchy black berry and exotic spice layers with a solid frame of ripe, grainy tannins and loads of freshness, finishing long and mineral tinged. Still very primary, it will need a good 5 years in bottle to deliver that next-level experience and will drink over the next 30+ years.

96 Points Vinous - The 2018 Pape Clément is such a beautiful and inviting wine. Silky, perfumed and layered, the 2018 shows the more restrained, vibrant style that has become the norm here in recent years. Red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal and spice are front and center, while the oak - in the past so strong here - is really dialed back. The 2018 is going to be a fascinating wine to follow in the cellar over the next several decades. The purity of the flavors is just striking.

96 Points Wine Enthusiast - An oasis of green, this grand estate within the Bordeaux suburbs has produced a powerful, massively textured wine. It also has the fruit richness to partner the structure along with a fresher streak of acidity. The wine will age, so drink from 2026. *Cellar Selection*

96 Points Wine Spectator - A warm mocha note drapes elegantly over a prodigious core of steeped red and black currant and blackberry fruit while waves of black tea, anise, fruitcake and applewood fill in on the finish. Structure is serious and well-imbedded. Really well put together. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

94 Points Decanter - This is excellent, as it was en primeur. Dense, dark fruits and deep cocoa pod. These are ripe fruits but they are balanced and it has an attractive mint leaf finish. A yield of 37hl/ha. Two-thirds new oak.

 

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