“With their smoky and spicy bouquet, the red wines are of an admirable quality and a very characteristic softness. The wine is both concentrated, fine and harmonious, with an aromatic palette as wide as it is precise. The depth and length in the mouth are exceptional. Quality of the terroir, sustained efforts and dynamism have borne fruit bringing Pape Clément to a level very close to that of the premiers crus.” - Figaro Vin
AG 95: The 2020 Pape Clément Rouge has an incredibly intense bouquet with multi-layered blackberry and bilberry fruit, cedar and black olive compote aromas. Hints of vanilla pod and black truffle emerge with time. The palate is medium-bodied with firm and quite assertive tannins that frame a huge weight of fruit (more than Domaine de Chevalier or Malartic-Lagravière tasted alongside). It's not a subtle Pessac-Léognan for sure, but there is adequate freshness and a sense of mineralité and tension on the finish. It will require at least a decade in bottle but long-term, this will be magnificent.
WA 94+: Aromas of rich cherries, cassis, burning embers, violets and dark chocolate introduce the 2020 Pape Clément, a medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy wine that's ripe, layered and generously extracted but also a touch deeper and more reserved than the flashy 2019. While it would be an exaggeration to say that this estate's red wines are making much of a shift in the direction of restraint, the style is certainly less aspirational than it was a decade ago.
JS 98: Lots of blackberry, iodine and crushed stone here. Some black pepper and graphite, too. Full body and medium, fine tannins that have a powdery texture and open in the mouth. So much going on. Iodine and iron undertones with some raw mushroom bring you back for more. Muscular. This is for the cellar. Drink after 2027.
WA 94: The 2014 Pape Clement has quite a potent bouquet with lavish red cherry, kirsch, iodine and pastille-like scents, the oak probably needing another couple of years to fully integrate. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine line of acidity, quite refined and focused with appreciable tension towards the finish that comes laden with succulent, tobacco-infused blackberry fruit. This is a sumptuous and yet refined Pape-Clement that demonstrated the most matière or substance out of all the Pessac-Léognan 2014s that I tasted, except for the Haut-Brion. It is certainly a wine destined for a long future.
JS 96: Intense blackberry and blueberry aromas as well as mushroom undertones. Violets, too. Sweet tobacco. Full-bodied and layered with polished tannins. Very long and beautiful. Give it two or three years to show what it has but already a beauty.