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.
'A prodigious effort from Pape Clement, this wine is smokin'! It boasts a dense ruby/purple color in addition to a terrific nose of charcoal, blackberries, cassis, tobacco, minerals, and spice. This brilliantly-focused, medium to full-bodied 1998 already reveals a boatload of complexity as well as a remarkably long finish. A large-sized effort for this estate, it exhibits a sweet mid-palate and ripe tannin. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2025. Bravo!' 93 pts, Robert Parker, eRobertParker.com.