2010 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I certainly underrated the 2010 Pape Clement from barrel, rating it only 93-95+. (Thank God I put a “plus” there!) Having tasted it four times in Bordeaux, and rating it perfect three times and 99 the fourth time, this final blend of 51% Merlot, 47.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1.5% Petit Verdot is perfection in a bottle. Tipping the scales at 14.5% natural alcohol, there are 8,000 cases of it. Its sublime elegance, the power, the medium to full-bodied texture, the silky tannins, the subtle notes of smoke, lead pencil shavings, black currants, charcoal, camphor, blueberry and cassis fruit are all remarkable. It is a rich, full-throttle wine, but the elegance and the great terroir of Pape Clement come through in abundance. It is slightly more developed and evolved than the 2005 was at a similar point in its evolution, but it certainly needs another 5-7 years to develop further nuances, which it surely will. This wine will last 30-40+ years. Kudos to proprietor Bernard Magrez, who has built an empire based on high quality more than any other characteristic.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(62% cabernet sauvignon, 37% merlot and 1% cabernet franc; 14.4% alcohol) Deep ruby-purple. Perfumed aromas of strawberry, spicy plum and black cherry. Enters fresh, dense and juicy, with lovely balance to the sweet, syrupy black fruit flavors and lively acidity that extend the rich aftertaste. The long, clean finish features lingering notes of violet and blackcurrant and extremely polished tannins. A great wine and one of the stars of the vintage in 2010: I can't recall a better Pape Clement at a similar stage of development. I've taken issue with this wine in the past for overextraction, but this struck me as by far the most balanced Pape-Clement I've ever tasted. Michel Rolland consults here.
Intense blueberry nose with great precision and expression. Full and vibrant on the palate with a minty note. Vanilla. Wonderful structure. Firm but ripe tannins and very long. Needs time to soften. Great potential. Try in 2016.
A smooth, dense wine, ripe and polished. It brings out a modern view of Bordeaux, dark and concentrated, hinting at the new-wood aging. At the same time, the wine has a serious edge that promises proper aging.
Nicely toasty, with a lovely broad stroke of mocha and ganache spread over the velvety core of plum sauce, blackberry coulis and steeped currant fruit. The long, polished finish keeps a tarry thread running along with the fruit, adding length and range. Not shy on style. Best from 2018 through 2035.
Some smoky oak on the nose and more sweet oak on the palate - lots of chocolate though there's pure rich fruit too. Tight and dry on the finish, even a bit hard.