2014 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Château Pape Clément 2014 is a blend of 57.5% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot picked from 24 September until 20 October. It is matured in 60% new oak. Strangely, first sniff of the nose whisks you away to the Côtes de Nuits, such is its purity. Small dark cherries, hints of crème de cassis and vanilla; it is beautifully poised and with continued aeration there is just a suggestion of dark chocolate. The palate is full-bodied and dense in the mouth, the oak nicely integrated here and the acidity well judged. It actually possesses the linearity of the La Mission Haut-Brion ’14 tasted on the previous visit. There is no fantail on the finish, but there is plenty of mineralité and tension. Tasted four or five times and never to be under-estimated. (NM)
The 2014 Pape Clément is dark, sensual and alluring, with wonderful contrasts from riper and more savory elements that take shape in the glass. Super-ripe dark cherries, smoke, graphite, incense, tobacco and crushed rocks are pushed forward in a decidedly ripe, voluptuous Pessac endowed with notable personality. A second sample, tasted a day later, was much more mineral-driven and focused, with the fruit pushed to the background. Either way, the 2014 Pape Clément is one of the most overly modern, lush wines being made today in Pessac-Léognan. As such, it will appeal most to readers who like exuberance and opulence. While not exactly my cup of tea, there is no denying the 2014 Pape Clément is fabulous. (AG)
Barrel Sample. This is a ripe, full wine that combines spice from wood aging with rich yellow- and white-fruit tones. It is textured, tight and nervy, and should develop nicely. (RV)
This shows finesse and class of the vintage with pure blackberry and currant character. Full body, fine tannins and a beautiful finish.
Broad and hefty, with a wall of ganache out front, followed by steeped fig and blackberry paste flavors. The dense, loamy finish lets the toast hold sway. Shows more power than purity, but there's density and length here, too. For fans of the style. (JM)