Wine Words & Video Tape

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Bordeaux 2017: Château Pape Clément

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Château Pape Clément was badly affected in volume terms by the damage wrought by the April frost in 2017. At the property, in Bordeaux’s suburbs in Pessac, production for the red was sixty percent down and fifty percent for the whites. Other properties elsewhere in Bordeaux owned by Bernard Magrez were affected even more significantly. Château La Tour Carnet in the Haut-Médoc, for example, lost 70% of production. At Pape Clément, despite the considerably reduced crop, and the knock-on effects in terms of blending options, the quality is excellent. The white is very exciting. It is full and deep but not overblown. The Pape Clément red is typically layered and lush, with lots of black fruits.

The following wines were tasted during primeurs in 2018.

Clementine de Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan, 2017

Pale gold; some lychees; exotic notes; candied fruits; some salty tang too; full on the entry; some breadth to the wine; full flavoured; saline finish. Tangy. Made from 7 ha of vines in the Pape Clément vineyards on the eastern side of the property. Clementin is the second wine. [60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Sémillon.]. Tasted April 2018. Drink 2020-2024. 90-91

Château Pape Clément Blanc, Pessac-Léognan, 2017

Full and direct; some grapefruit and passionfruit notes; some sea salt too; attractive. Has nice race; full, real breadth; works well. Nicely balanced. Grapefruit and citrus tones; some lychee notes; but not overblown; works very well. [55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Sémillon, 65% new oak, ageing in 15 in egg shaped containers, rest one-year old barrels]. Tasted April 2018. Drink 2023-2030.

Clementin de Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan, 2017

Deep and saturated; tight to the rim; nice purity; velvety quality; lush and fruit forward with some lift; plum and cassis notes; nice entry; some earth; little more elegance in the mid palate; dips a fraction and then returns but will doubtless fill out. Terroir comes through. [60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, will spend 16 months in oak]. Tasted April 2018. Drink 2022-2027. 89-91

Château Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan, 2017

Deep and saturated; inky; opaque at centre; tight to edge; ripe and deep; nice savoury, earthy Cabernet overlain with velvet Merlot; dark fruit and black chocolate; some espresso notes too; really full aromatically; some fruitcake spices; like this; sweet entry; lashings of fruit; typically lush and layered on the palate; really jam packed with black fruits. Finishes well. Production 60% down owing to the frost. Impressive given this. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot]. Tasted April 2018. Drink 2025-2040. 94-95

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