The 2019 Pape-Clément was a real show-stopper from barrel. Now in bottle since summer 2021, it has a more refined nose that I feel is perhaps just a little closed in as it approaches its first winter. Aeration reveals some lovely rose petal and incense aromas (there’s something almost Burgundian, Morey-Saint-Denis–like about its purity). The palate is extremely well balanced with velvety tannins and perfectly judged acidity. The oak (65% new, in the form of 400-liter barrels that have been employed since 2018) are beautifully integrated. This fans out wonderfully on the finish. One of the finest releases from Pape-Clément in recent years.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2060
Robert Parker 96-98
Composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, the 2019 Pape Clement was harvested from the 18th of September to the 11th of October. Ninety-three percent is aging in French oak barriques, 66% new, and 7% is aging in large foudres. Deep garnet-purple in color, it hits the ground running with bold, expressive notes of warm cassis, boysenberries and black cherries with an undercurrent of clove oil, fertile loam, cedar chest and tar. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers a rock-solid foundation of firm, ripe grainy tannins and tons of freshness supporting the densely packed black fruit and earthy layers, finishing very long and mineral laced.
Jane Anson 96
Raspberry puree, concentrated loganberry and black cherry alongside peony and rosebud flowers, still extremely concentrated with knitted-together tannins. Great quality and potential, a little more severe and austere than the 2018 at this point, needs a good five years in bottle. Harvest September 17 to Ocotber 10, A (one point) upscore from En Primeur.
Anticipated maturity: 2027-2048
James Suckling 97
Crushed-stone and berry aromas with some blackberry and black-tea character. Just a touch of smokiness. Sweet fruit, too. This is so refined, subtle, and beautiful for Pape with full body, ultra-fine tannins and a succulent finish. The center-palate is dense and complete. Goes on for minutes. So subtle and refined, focused and classy. Try after 2026.