2004 Pape Clement
By Chateau Pape Clement
2004 Pape Clement from Chateau Pape Clement, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
In the pantheon of Bordeaux's venerated chateaux, there exists an inimitable gem — Chateau Pape Clement. Nestled in the notable Graves region, this estate's capability for crafting evocative wines is supremely manifest in the 2004 Pape Clement. The 2004 vintage possessed a calm assurance, a result of an Atlantic-influenced growing season which seesawed between hot and cool periods – a testament to the terroir’s resilience and adaptability.
Graves’ Gift: A Study in Composure
The 2004 vintage of the Left Bank was artfully spun amidst varying weather patterns, yet emerged with a sophistication that truly delineates this exceptional harvest from others. Tastings reveal that the 2004 Pape Clement intimates mature notes which are more forthright than in other vintages, suggesting an early plateau of its expressive arc.
Underpinning its narrative is a blend where Merlot indisputably plays a significant role alongside the nobility of Cabernet Sauvignon. Earthy truffle tones dance with dark berry richness; this combination lays down an opulent texture reminiscent of the finest velvets, while nuances of smoked cedar wood intertwine with hints of graphite to provide a proverbial backbone of strength and complexity. The fine-grained tannins are resolving gracefully, signposting the elegant ageing potential still inherent within this profound claret.
An Oenophile’s Asset
For the discerning collector or investor, the 2004 Pape Clement from Chateau Pape Clement emerges as one of singular character and considerable merit. The Graves region has imbued this wine with its hallmark minerality and depth, yielding a beautifully poised expression of the estate’s philosophy that is not only delightful to savour but insightful to hold as part of any well-considered wine portfolio.
Vintage evaluation is invariably an intricate tapestry – and when it concerns the 2004 Pape Clement, it reveals an embroidery rich with maturity and finesse. Within the landscape of wine investment opportunities, it is certainly one whose eloquence will resonate unabatedly across cellars and collections.
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Scores and tasting notes
This brilliant blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon and 46% Merlot (which was harvested very late) reveals complex aromas of lead pencil shavings, burning embers, black currants, cherries, and blackberries as well as a subtle smoky charcoal component. Medium to full-bodied and spicy with sweet tannin and an opulent, fleshy personality, it is a terrific effort from this great Pessac-Leognan vineyard. Consume it now and over the next 15+ years.
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #171
The 2004 Pape-Clement has an upfront, almost exotic nose with layers of glycerine: scents of plum, damson and blueberry with violets blossoming with time in the glass. The thick strata of new oak that gets in the way rather. The full-bodied palate has a touch of sur-maturite, with hints of pain grille and tinned prune inflecting the viscous black fruits. As I suggested in the past, it is simply rather ostentatious without the necessary breeding and personality. Drink 2013-2020. Tasted November 2008.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal Mar 2009