Pape Clement 2017
Tasting Notes Pape Clement 2017
This is very dense for the vintage on the center palate and then rolls out on the palate. Full-bodied, tight and tannic. Very polished and refined at the end. Precise. A little more cabernet sauvignon in the blend gives this the tension.
The 2017 Pape Clément is fabulous. One of the rare 2017s with a real sense of structure, Pape Clément possesses dazzling intensity from start to finish. A rush of dark cherry, plum, chocolate and grilled herb notes hits the palate as this majestic, towering wine shows off its personality. Time in the glass brings out a brighter and more floral set of flavors. The 2017 is the first vintage made with a portion of whole clusters, an inspiration Bernard Magrez takes from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where he recently bought a small property. Quite simply, the 2017 Pape Clément is a magnificent wine by any measure. Don't miss it. The only problem with the 2017 is that yields are down 40% because of frost.
The 2017 Pape Clément was not touched by the frost and was picked from 15 September to 3 October, manually de-stemmed berry by berry with some of the ripe stems added back into the blend (like Les Carmes Haut-Brion down the road). Malolactic is done in barrel where it aged for 18 months. It offers intense black cherry, raspberry, fig and sous-bois scents on the nose, tightly coiled at the moment with just a hint of cedar and tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, a mixture of red and black fruit, touches of cedar and white pepper, leading to a structured and fresh finish that leaves a spicy aftertaste. Classic in style, this Pape Clément will benefit from several years in bottle.
The current blend of the 2017 Pape Clement is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it sings of crushed black cherries, black raspberries and mulberries with hints of lilacs and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied with a firm, grainy frame and wonderful freshness, it possesses great elegance and effortless intensity with a mineral-tinged finish.
This has solid ripeness, with plum and cassis notes flowing through, along with an ambitious oak regimen that results in ample toasted vanilla hints. This clamps down a touch on the finish, but there’s good purity and freshness, with fresh acidity buried within, leaving me optimistic.—J.M.