The week has started with the release of Ch Pape Clement Rouge, a notable success story in 2016. Bernard Magrez’s trademark flamboyance and drive are tempered with great elegance. The result is a beautifully classic wine with both glorious intensity and exquisite balance.
The critics’ sores and comments speak for themselves, including a massive 95-97 points from Neal Martin. Antonio Galloni describes this as “one of the raciest, silkiest wines I have ever tasted here” while James Suckling describes it as “phenomenal” and “truly great”, awarding 97-98 points.
Ch Pape Clément Grand Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan 2016
£395.00 per 6 bottles IB
£400.00 per 3 magnums IB
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot. This was one of the more complete wines at the Union des Grands Crus tasting and showed well at the château too. Although it leans towards the austere tendency often seen in the appellation, it nevertheless has very well judged fruit. The nose is perfumed with the spice of cracked black pepper and a touch of Cabernet leafiness. The fine tannins have both grip and flow. With a robust richness, this should cellar well. Drink 2023-2036. 93-95 points, Goedhuis & Co
The first bottle that I tasted with Bernard Magrez and his team felt a little overdone, but I had a strong suspicion that it was not a representative bottle. A second bottle was more restrained on the nose with blackberries, red plum, a touch of cloves and a light iodine influence. I love the delineation and detail here. The palate is medium-bodied with a graphite-infused entry, plenty of black fruit, saline in the mouth with great depth and cohesion on the long and tender finish. It continues Pape-Clement/Bernard Magrez’ move towards a more classic style compared to the previous decade. Tasted four times, once as I mentioned, unnecessarily richer in style, but the other three consistent. 95-97 points, Neal Martin
This is phenomenal with a density and finesse that are hard to remember for this wine. Full-bodied, tight and polished. Seamless texture and salty undertones. Goes on for minutes. Truly great. What a barrel sample.97-98 points, James Suckling
The 2016 Pape Clément exudes class and is one of the raciest, silkiest wines I have ever tasted here. The purity and intensity of the flavors is striking. Dark cherry, chocolate, spice and leather open up first. The full range of aromatics has not developed yet – that will come with time. Today, it is the wine’s balance that is most remarkable. 93-96 points, Antonio Galloni
Stunning and bold with delicious fruit and masses of sweet oak. The tannins are mouth-watering and the finish is stunning. This is a very flamboyant wine and it clearly loves the spotlight. 18+ points, Matthew Jukes
Pape Clément retains its customary oak and black fruit impact on the nose in 2016, but without doubt they have sculpted the body. This has thrillingly bright dark berry fruits and a sharp shot of vitality that takes you through from beginning to end. Beautiful touches of minerality on the powerful palate, wrought into an elegant style without losing its texture and sense of depth. This is a step-change in many ways from the vintages where Pape Clément went all-out for power. 94 points, Jane Anson, Decanter