2019 Chateau Pape Clement
- 3 or more S$161.99
Region: Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux
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.
Blend: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc
98 points Jeb Dunnuck
As to the Grand Vin 2019 Château Pape Clement, it reveals a dense purple hue to go with stunning aromatics of crème de cassis, graphite, lead pencil shavings, scorched earth, and tobacco. Beautifully balanced, with flawless tannins, this full-bodied Pessac has that rare mix of elegance and power, a great mid-palate, and again, perfect balance. It's one of the gems of the vintage and has some accessibility today given its purity and balance, yet deserves 4-5 years of bottle age and will cruise for 20-25 years or more in cold cellars. The blend is equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, brought up in two-thirds new French oak.
97 points James Suckling
Crushed-stone and berry aromas with some blackberry and black-tea character. Just a touch of smokiness. Sweet fruit, too. This is so refined, subtle, and beautiful for Pape with full body, ultra-fine tannins and a succulent finish. The center-palate is dense and complete. Goes on for minutes. So subtle and refined, focused and classy. Try after 2026.
97 points Vinous
The 2019 Pape Clément is just as impressive as it was en primeur. It shows all of the textural richness that is so typical of Bernard Magrez's wines, but with an extra kick of freshness that provides energy as well as a sense of proportion. A wine of stature, the 2019 is so classy. Succulent black cherry, plum, mocha, new leather and licorice are all beautifully delineated. But more than anything else, I find the wine's energy really impressive. This is a fabulous vintage for Pape Clément. Tasted two times.