The 2021 Pape Clément Blanc was picked from 8-23 September and offers fragrant white flowers and peach skin on the nose, more minerality than the Clementin, gaining intensity with aeration. The palate is well balanced, perhaps tauter than recent vintages with a fine spine of acidity, a dab of stem ginger and lemongrass towards the finish. The 30% Sémillon just lends a bit of umami here, and it should age well in bottle.
Drink 2024 - 2039
Neal Martin, vinous.com, (May 2022)
This is delicious, one to share, with ripe white peach and pear flavours with waves of gentle frangipane and soft almond adding complexity. Has concentration through the palate, fresh acidities that are harnessed for a mouthwatering finish, plenty to enjoy, impressive.
Drink 2023 - 2036
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2022)
The 2021 Pape Clément Blanc shows the tension and cut that this vintage could bring to dry white Bordeaux. Exhibiting aromas of gooseberries, nectarine, confit citrus and pastry cream, it's medium to full-bodied, fleshy but incisive, with a textural attack and a bright, saline finish. It's a blend of 72% Sauvignon Blanc, only 22% Sémillon, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 1% Muscadelle.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Apr 2022)
Bottle not so ridiculously heavy as the red. Grapefruit-peel sensation on the nose. Mouth-filling, fully ripe fruit. Long. Very much more of a success than the 2021 red from this estate. Sleek and lively. With an appetisingly dry finish.
Drink 2023 - 2030
James Lawther, jancisrobinson.com (May 2022)
Serious and refined with dried lemon, pineapple, green apple, almond, gun flint and some aniseed. Bright and tight. Medium to full body. Fresh and alluring. Wait and see.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (May 2022)
About this WINE
Chateau Pape Clement
Château Pape Clément is a Cru Classé Graves property that has one of the oldest documented histories of any Bordeaux vineyard, having been planted in 1300 by Bernard de Groth, the future Pope Clément V. In 1939 the estate was bought by the Montagne family and is now owned and run by Léo Montagne.
Pape Clément is located in the Bordeaux suburb of Pessac and consists of a chai and 32 hectares of vineyards, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (40%) and small amounts of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle.
The quality of the wines at Pape Clément slipped in the 1960s and 70s, largely because of under-investment. Bernard Magrez was appointed as general manager in 1985 and he turned Pape Clément's fortunes around. He introduced more rigorous selection in the vineyards, as well as installing stainless steel vats and raising the percentage of new oak casks used in the maturation process.
Pape Clément now produces one of the finest clarets in Pessac-Léognan.
In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux, based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.
Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.
The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.
Sauvignon Blanc & Sémillon
The blend used for White Graves and Sauternes and rarely encountered outside France. In the great dry whites of Graves, Sauvignon Blanc tends to predominate in the blend, although properties such as Smith Haut Lafite use 100% Sauvignon Blanc while others such as Laville Haut Brion have as much as 60% Sémillon in their final blends. Sauvignon Blanc wines can lose their freshness and fruit after a couple of years in bottle - if blended with Sémillon, then the latter bolsters the wine when the initial fruit from the Sauvignon fades. Ultimately Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine its aroma and raciness while Sémillon gives it backbone and longevity.
In Sauternes, Sémillon is dominant, with Sauvignon Blanc playing a supporting role - it is generally harvested about 10 days before Sémillon and the botrytis concentrates its sweetness and dampens Sauvignon Blanc`s naturally pungent aroma. It contributes acidity, zip and freshness to Sauternes and is an important component of the blend.