Chateau Pape Clement, Pessac-Leognan 2016
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98 James Suckling - Stunning concentration of perfectly ripe blackcurrants here with a delicate whiff of vanilla oak and extremely fine tannins that are almost perfectly integrated on the seductive and delicate palate, right through the almost literally breathtaking, super-long and very polished finish. Try from 2022.
97 Jeb Dunnuck - Tasted on two separate occasions, the 2016 Château Pape Clément never failed to disappoint, offering a huge, powerful, full-bodied personality as well as beautiful notes of cassis, graphite, high-class cigar tobacco, asphalt, and graphite. About as sexy as it gets in the vintage, with silky tannins and loads of fruit, it’s perfectly balanced and has a great finish. The 2016 is a blend of 60% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, all raised in 60% new barrels.
96 Wine Spectator - This takes a slightly different tack than many of its Pessac colleagues, relying less on bramble and tar and more on alluring toast, with mocha, anise, wood spice and black tea notes draped liberally over the core of sappy kirsch and cherry preserve flavors. Plush and suave through the finish, though this needs a bit of time for the wood elements to be fully integrated with the fruit. For fans of the flashier, cashmere-textured style. Best from 2023 through 2037.
96 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 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.
95 Wine Enthusiast - This rich, warm wine offers tannins cushioned within layers of black fruits. It is dense with structure and fruit while also having the freshness and acidity typical of this vintage. The wine will age for several years, becoming richer and more opulent. Drink from 2025.
95 Decanter - An extremely attractive Pape Clement, with its own style and the feeling of the fruit being layered over a silky, seductive line of dark chocolate and tarry oak – and it works. This is big but has good balance, not over the top. It's enjoyable, silky and richly textured, and will age well. The tannins start to build on the finish, with a chewy quality that speaks of the extraction. There’s a lot to enjoy here.