Pape Clement 2016

Graves, Grand Cru Classé

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Tasting Notes

The 2016 Pape Clément bursts out of the glass, offering ripe blackberry, raspberry coulis, fresh mint and hints of licorice on the well-defined nose. It is perhaps a little more opulent than its peers, but unlike in the past, I don’t find it excessive. The palate is well balanced with supple tannin. There is a killer line of acidity and real panache toward a velvety, almost Pauillac-like finish armed with shimmering black fruit laced with graphite. Superb.

Score: 96

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2050 01 January 2019

The 2016 Pape Clement is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon this year, picked from 30 September until 19 October at 48 hectoliters per hectare. 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.

Score: 95 - 97

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2024-2050 28 April 2017

The 2016 Pape Clément is fabulous. Racy and sumptuous in the glass, the 2016 captures the style that now characterizes Bernard Magrez's wines from his estate in Pessac. Specifically, the 2016 is wonderfully deep in the glass, and yet retains terrific freshness as well. A rush of dark cherry, plum, smoke, scorched earth, grilled herb, leather and menthol builds as the 2016 shows off its compelling, inviting personality. I would prefer to give the 2016 at least a few years in bottle to allow its full breadth of aromatics to develop. Even so, there is so much to like. Pliant, supple and super-expressive, Pape Clément is gorgeous in 2016. Tasted two times.

Score: 96

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2022-2036 01 January 2019

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.

Score: 93 - 96

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com 25 April 2017

Blended of 60% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Pape Clement has a deep garnet-purple color and quite a serious, earthy nose with truffles, tilled soil, underbrush and smoked meats over a cassis, baked plums and redcurrants core plus a touch of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, firm and grainy, the palate is built like a brick house, supporting muscular black fruit and earthy notions and finishing very long and mineral laced.

Score: 96

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2022-2042 30 November 2018

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.

Score: 94

Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050 25 April 2017

Very luscious nose with enormous opulence. Then on the palate there is no great sweetness but drying tannins on the finish. Something not quite fully ripe phenolically on the palate. Hint of greenness. Falls away on the end. It’s definitely front-loaded!

Score: 16 - 17

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2040 21 April 2017

Intense, with vivacious cassis, blueberry and boysenberry confiture notes, while tar, anise and warm fruitcake flavors pulse underneath. Offers seriously flashy toast at the end, but has the density to soak it up. A big wine.

Score: 94 - 97

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 06 April 2017

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.

Score: 97 - 98

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 24 March 2017