Chateau Pape Clement, Pessac Leognan 2012
A massive, full-bodied, opulent, sexy wine with terrific concentration, perfect balance, and ripe tannin. A Keeper
Out of stock
Top Rated, Women in Wine
Bordeaux Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Other Varietals
Indulgence, Icon & Invest
Bordeaux, Bordeaux – Left Bank
|Critics Top Rating
Château Pape Clément is a Cru Classé Graves property that has one of the oldest documented histories of any Bordeaux vineyard, having been planted in 1300 by Bernard de Groth, the future Pope Clément V. In 1939 the estate was bought by the Montagne family and is now owned and run by Léo Montagne.
Pape Clément is located in the Bordeaux suburb of Pessac and consists of a chai and 32 hectares of vineyards.
The quality of the wines at Pape Clément slipped in the 1960s and 70s, largely because of under-investment. Bernard Magrez was appointed as general manager in 1985 and he turned Pape Clément’s fortunes around. He introduced more rigorous selection in the vineyards, as well as installing stainless steel vats and raising the percentage of new oak casks used in the maturation process.
Pape Clément now produces again one of the finest wines in Pessac-Léognan.
Soil – Clay gravels dating back to the end of the Pliocene epoch and the Quaternary period.
Vineyard management – Parcel based management- Grass grown between the grass, ploughing between vine rows-Integrated pest management, vigor control-Debudding, removal of side shoots,green harvesting-Manual harvest in small crates-Tillage with animal traction – Terra Vitis Label and HVE3 Label (high environmental value 3th level)
Blend – 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
Vinification – First sorting in the vineyard, manual harvest in crates. Manual destemming berry by berry and use of a sorting table. Transfer into 30-70 hl wooden vats by gravity flow. Low temperature pre-fermentation maceration. Manual punching down. 30-40 day maceration. The wine is run off into French oak barrels by gravity flow. Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels.
Aging – for 18 months in oak barrels.
Sight – A wine of good density ruby red, with brown, mahogany, biscuit hints. It has maintained its luster and clarity. The rim is fairly thick. The tears are fine, clear, abundant and regular.
Smell – At once expressive, forthright and complex. There are notes of all families of fragrance: fruit, flowers, and spices.
Taste – The attack is forthright, round and suave, soothing even. The intense aromas initially recall the complexity of the nose. There is leather and lightly charred wood, and roasted notes. The beauty of the vintage is revealed by its elegance rather than its full-flavor. The wine has an attractive aromatic range with a finish of remarkable elegance.
James Suckling- 93 points
This is rich and decadent with lots of wet earth, tobacco, berries and hints of cedar. Full body, round and velvety tannins and a long, long finish.
Jeb Dunnuck – 94 points
Offering perfumed notes of spice box, dried red and black currants, cigar wrapper, toasted bread and leather, the 2012 Pape Clement is medium to full-bodied, silky, elegant, and beautifully pure on the palate, with no hard edges, a seamless, voluptuous texture and a classy finish. It’s already approachable, but it should evolve nicely on its overall balance.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate- 97 points
The iconic 2012 Pape Clement is a candidate for near-perfection as well as one of the wines of the vintage. From proprietor Bernard Magrez, this is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. This extraordinary vineyard (a few miles to the west of Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion) has hit all the highlights of this vintage. Interestingly, the quality of the Pomerols and Graves wines in 2012 is closer to what one would consider a great vintage than the general image of 2012. This is truly great wine and not far off their magnificent 2005 and 2010. Full-bodied, with rich cassis, subtle burning embers and spice followed by velvety, well-integrated tannins, the wine is lush, expansive, savory and profound. This is a remarkable wine that could be drunk at a reasonably young age, but should cellar brilliantly for a quarter-century. Yields were modest at 37 hectoliters per hectare from this 132-acre estate
Vinous- 94 points
The 2012 Pape Clement is one of the racier, more voluptuous wines of the year. Deep, supple and flamboyant, the 2012 is laced with expressive dark stone fruit, game, cured meats and dried flowers. This is one of the more extroverted wines of the year. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. This is another strong 2012 from proprietor Bernard Magrez and Michel Rolland.
Wine Enthusiast- 93 points
Concentrated and rich, this has fine tannins that are integrated into the big plum fruits. It’s a black-fruited wine that has both the fruit and the structure to allow it to age well.
Wine Spectator- 94 points
Densely packed, with lots of dark steeped currant, fig and blackberry fruit, slowly melding with muscular licorice snap, bramble, singed bay and ganache notes. The long, dark, ganache-coated finish isn’t shy, but an enticing rusticity keeps this honest. A large-scaled wine that has really powered up since the barrel tasting.
Jancis Robinson – 17.5/20 points
Slightly soupy crimson. Lovely balance. Tightrope stuff but it fills the palate and finishes dry. Exceptionally appetizing and interesting with lots of tannin and fruit for the future. Some authentic (not ersatz) spice.