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2020 Château Pape Clément En Primeur

Pape Clément dates back to 1252 and was owned by the same wine-loving pope who made Châteauneuf-du-Pape famous, but it now uses drones and satellite technology in the quest for perfection.  They have very nearly achieved it this year, with a potential 99 point score from Jeb Dunnuck, who describes it as "ranking with the top wines of the vintage". 

We certainly found it one of the most intense and concentrated examples we tasted this year and we loved it.  Neal Martin sums this up perfectly by describing "pure blackberry, cedar, mint and violet aromas, quite discreet but paradoxically intense" (95-97 points).  


Bordeaux En Primeur, landing in spring 2023

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Château Pape Clément, Pessac-Leognan

Producer Profile

Château Pape Clément, Pessac-Leognan

Château Pape Clément is a Grand Cru Classé de Graves estate in the communes of Pessac-Léognan.  The first recorded harvest here was in 1252.  The estate was gifted to Pope Clement V after his accession in 1305 (he had previously been archbishop in Bordeaux and was known for an interest in wine).  Subsequently Clement V moved his court to Avignon, leading to the establishment of Châteauneuf-du-Pape as a wine.  

Pape Clément remained the property of the Arch Bishops of Bordeaux until the late 18th century.  In the 1970s, Bordeaux merchant Bernard Magrez (and owner of Domaine de Chevalier) first bought shares in the estate, taking full ownership in 1980. 

52 hectares are planted with red varieties; 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.  7 hectares are dedicated to white varieties; 48.5% Sémillon, 44.5% Sauvignon Blanc, 5.5% Sauvignon Gris and 1.5% Muscadelle.  In the last decade precision viticulture has been introduced, including drone technology.  


RED 2020 Château Pape Clement 75cl £750 per case of 12 Château Pape Clement
2020 / / 75cl
£750 per case of 12
Tasting Notes“...Dark purplish crimson. Not too heavy on the appetising nose even if a tad sweet on the palate with a rather demandingly drying, tart finish. But I know from experience that everything often falls into place by the time the drinking window comes around. But don't try to broach it before then. Drink 2029 – 2044. 16.5 + points""Powerful in colour, this has the glass staining red and purple colours that Pape Clément does so well. Touches of liquorice and cocoa beans, well handled, this gives power with one hand but takes it away with the other as the austerity and fresh mint leaf comes to the fore. Impressive, a really enjoyable, classically wrought but still full of concentration Pape Clément. Savoury, there is nothing too exuberant in the fruits but it exudes deft confidence. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044. 94 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine------"The 2020 Pape Clément, which I afforded an hour’s aeration, has a very precise bouquet of pure blackberry, cedar, mint and violet aromas, quite discreet but paradoxically intense; these aromas are very seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, lithe tannins framing wonderfully pure black fruit laced with crushed stone and a judicious touch of white pepper. Seamless in texture, this is a sophisticated Pape Clément in the making, an outstanding wine that should age brilliantly in bottle. 95-97 points" Neal Martin,"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Pape Clement comes barreling out of the glass with bold notes of cassis, plum preserves and licorice, giving way to scents of cedar chest, crushed rocks, charcoal and pencil lead. The medium to full-bodied palate is tightly coiled with beautiful tension and a firm, finely grained texture locking in the layers of black fruits and minerals, finishing with great length and energy. The blend this year is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, aging mainly in French oak barriques, 66% new, with about 10% aging in large oak foudres. The wine will spend approximately 18 months in barrels. Drink 2028-2060. 96-98 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown," Superb aromas of blackberries, crushed stones, iodine and graphite. Full-bodied with ultra fine tannins and a balanced finish. Such length and beauty. Very close to the 2019 in quality. 97-98 points""Ranking with the top wines of the vintage, the dense purple-hued 2020 Château Pape Clement offers a sensational bouquet of pure crème de cassis interwoven with notes of liquid violets and classy oak. Possessing flawless balance, full-bodied richness, and ultra-fine tannins, it excels in this vintage and has a pretty, elegant, yet also layered and concentrated profile. It will drink well with just short-term cellaring yet evolve gracefully for 20-30 years. I was able to taste this on multiple occasions, and it always checked in near the upper end of the scale. This is a gorgeous wine in the making. 97-99 points"

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