Robert Parker 94
The 2019 Pape Clement has turned out well in bottle, delivering a rich bouquet of cherries, blackcurrants, plum liqueur and blackberries mingled with notions of burning embers, licorice and a nicely integrated framing of new oak. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it’s a layered, fleshy wine, with a deep core of ripe but lively fruit, plenty of powdery tannin and a long, expansive, discreetly heady finish. This is a powerful, dramatic Pessac with a transatlantic accent and will drink well with only a few years’ bottle age.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2049
Black core and inky rim. Intense, sweet aroma of damson and black cherry. Dark, rich and also sweet/sour. The tannins are thick and a little furry. Full-flavoured and surprisingly fresh but needs time to become more elegant and shed the powerfully thick tannin texture. (JH)
Anticipated maturity: 2030-2045
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
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.