2012 Pape Clement
By Chateau Pape Clement
2012 Pape Clement from Chateau Pape Clement, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
The esteemed 2012 Pape Clement from Chateau Pape Clement confidently parades its vintage character, distinct from its predecessors. The Pessac-Leognan terroir has once again proven its outstanding capacity to yield wines of complexity and longevity, and the 2012 vintage hews close to the path of grandeur laid out by its lineage.
A Vintage Shaped by Contrast
The year 2012 was marked by contrasts that have sculpted this vintage into a wonder. A challenging start to the growing season gave way to a more harmonious summer that ushered in optimal conditions for ripening the grapes. This interplay between adversity and opportunity is echoed in the layers of this wine's character.
The Artful Dance of Elements
In the glass, the 2012 Pape Clement reveals itself through a deep and inviting ruby hue that hints at maturity without suggestion of fatigue. Its bouquet is an artful dance of dark fruit aromas interspersed with smoky whispers, reflective of a restrained wood influence, and laced with tertiary notes that suggest leather and earth—a tapestry woven from its environmental fabric.
The palate does not disappoint, offering consistency with the nose; it features confident tannins that herald excellent ageing potential, all tempered by a vibrant acidity which underpins the wine's vitality. The flavours are those of ripe blackcurrants and plums married to a svelte smoky oak, creating a harmonious mélange culminating in a long and satisfying finish.
Savouring the Investment Potential
This compelling Pessac-Leognan expression undeniably captures the essence of its vintage. The 2012 Pape Clement provides a palatable investment opportunity for connoisseurs seeking to enrich their portfolios with a testament to climatic resilience and vinicultural finesse. It holds a promise for those patient enough to see it evolve further; although approachable now, it bears the hallmark of longevity that merits patience.
To encapsulate, this iteration from Chateau Pape Clement is poised gracefully on the cusp of its maturity. It affirms the estate’s mastery of crafting a nuanced orchestra of grape varietals that respond artfully to year-on-year atmospheric variations. The 2012 Pape Clement stands as confirmation that even in years where nature flexes her capricious muscles, true vinous artistry can capture and tame these elements into a storied bottle worth investment.
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Scores and tasting notes
The 2012 Pape Clement is one of the stars of the vintage, which is not surprising given this estate's performances over the last 10-15 years. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, it exhibits an opaque ruby/purple color along with a beautifully sweet, graphite-scented nose with hints of black currants, Asian plum sauce, soy and forest floor. Impressively built with medium to full-bodied flavors, it has more layers than many wines from this vintage, an appealing density and a velvety texture. Yields were a modest 37 hectoliters per hectare and the wine finished at 13.5% natural alcohol. This 132-acre estate has once again produced a prodigious wine in a challenging vintage. Bravo to proprietor Bernard Magrez!
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #206
This is already a gorgeous wine with spices, berries, dark chocolate and walnuts. Full body, soft and silky. Beauty. Better than 2011.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com, April 4th 2013
Tasted from a barrel sample at en primeur. The Grand Vin is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon that was cropped between 4th and 18th October at 37hl/ha. There is a lot of oak to be absorbed on the nose, although there appears to be plenty of brambly dark berry fruit to soak it up. It is slightly broody compared to the 2011 last year and will hopefully open up after bottling. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy, plump, ripe tannins and crisp acidity. It is harmonious and focused, good volume here, with a strict finish that displays good tension, although there is a slight dryness coming through on the aftertaste. Tasted April 2013.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2013