1988 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #110087 94 points Wine Spectator

 Aromas of iodine, pipe tobacco and red fruits follow through to a full body, with soft and silky tannins and intense flavors of tar, berry, and licorice. Beautiful texture too. Long and seductive. Really excellent. —'88/'98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). (JS, Web-2009)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A gorgeous wine and one of the vintage’s most successful efforts, Pape Clement's dark plum/purple-colored 1988 has a nose of roasted herbs, sweet tobacco smoke, red as well as black currants, and scorched earth. The wine still has a deep ruby color, with only a hint of lightening at the rim. The wine is medium to full-bodied, with sweet but high tannin and a lot of smoke, earth, and asphalt notes. This is a chewy, very complex, aromatic, and authoritatively flavorful wine that has reached its plateau of maturity. (RP)  (1/2003)

K&L Notes

90 points, Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "The 1988 Pape-Clement has a striking, youthful, minty nose without the complexity of either the 1989 or 1990, without the same level of aromatic delineation. The palate is full-bodied with rather burly tannins, good density and structure here, quite dry and masculine but with sufficient fruit concentration to keep it in balance, with notes of black olive, pain grille, a touch of mushroom, smoke and cigar box. Good length and vivacity. It will not improve any further, but one has to admire the solidity and unashamed conservatism of this wine. Drink now-2017+ Tasted July 2010."

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Price: $169.99

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


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Specific Appellation:


- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.