Château Pape Clement Blanc 2020
• Domaine: Château Pape Clement
• Appellation: Pessac-Léognan
• Classification: Grand Cru Classé de Graves 1959
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
This expression of Bordeaux Blanc by Château Pape Clement is a rare find indeed, with production under 10,000 bottles a year. With its richly graveled soils filled with excellent nutrients and great drainage, the estate is able to produce a truly stunning white wine that exemplifies its unique terroir. It is a known fact that the Péssac-Léognan appellation yields a distinctly unique soil, perfect for cultivating both quality red and white varietals and Château Pape Clement is one of the gems of this appellation.
Château Pape Clement has neighbors like First Growth and critically acclaimed darling, Château Haut-Brion. If one is fortunate enough to visit the Château Pape Clement, set foot upon the grounds, walk next to its resident peacock, and take in the striking gothic architecture, they will find it readily apparent that the estate is significantly older than a lot of the other properties in the Médoc. Château Pape Clement had its first recorded grape harvest in 1252, and the estate was named after none other than Pope Clement V. The Pope was quite the oenophile, and he managed the estate using the some of the most sophisticated techniques of his day. Eventually, Pope Clement V set his sights on the Rhône Valley and moved to Avignon and the legendary wine appellation, Châteauneuf de Pape, derives its name from him. Château Pape Clement was passed on to the Archbishop of Bordeaux who managed the estate for quite some time. The property was then sold to Paul Montagne, whose heirs kept steadily rising the quality of the wines. Château Pape Clement survived the terrible frosts of the 1950s and was eventually managed by Bernard Margrez who became a négociant and the sole owner if the vineyards. Magrez hired the legendary Michel Rolland as consultant in 1993, and Château Pape Clement garnered the affections of critics such as Robert Parker.
The estate has a hefty sixty hectares of vines, with 53 hectares for red vines and 7 hectares for white. Château Pape Clement is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, and Muscadelle. It is significantly cooler here than at some of the surrounding properties, and though Château Pape Clement is not far from the urban center of Pessac-Léognan, the estate still has to harvest later. The viticultural process here is comprised of a mixture of tradition and technological innovation. Since 2013, Château Pape Clement has used solar powered drones to assess the vines for peak ripeness and pick the optimum time to harvest them. More traditional practices include using oxen to plough the vineyards.
Château Pape Clement Blanc has a unique vinification process, and the wine is aged in Burgundy barrels and a mixture of egg-shaped concrete vats for added lees contact. This gives the final wine a creamy and rich mouthfeel. For those who love their wine with ripe, tropical fruit aromas bursting forth from the glass, intermingled with a rich weighty density, Château Pape Clement Blanc is nothing short of an elegant classic.
"Pape Clement's 2020 Blanc leaps from the glass with gregarious notions of fresh pink grapefruit, Bosc pears and lime blossoms with hints of coriander seed, yuzu zest and white pepper. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers fantastically intense citrus and pear flavors with a racy backbone and silky texture, finishing long and fragrant. The blend this year is 67% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sémillon and 3% Sauvignon Gris, with anticipated bottling projected to be taking place on December 14 and 15, 2021. The alcohol is 13.5%." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (5/20/2021), Ratings: (94-96), Drink: 2024-2037
|Brand||Château Pape Clement|