Chateau Pape Clement Rouge Pessac Leognan 1995 - 750ml

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91pts John Gilman

It had been several years since I last tasted the 1995 Pape Clément and the wine is showing lovely potential and is now only a few years away from primetime drinking. The deep, soil-driven nose offers up scents of roasted cassis, road tar, cigar smoke, herb tones, a lovely base of soil and a nice touch of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and just a touch rustic in terms of structure, with a lovely gloss of pure fruit on the attack, a very good core and still a fair bit of firm tannins perking up the long and still fairly youthful finish. This is an old school Pape Clément that fully needs its requisite two decades in the cellar before it starts to really drink at its potential. (Drink between 2015-2045) 91+   (10/2012)

90pts Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Saturated ruby-red. Expressive nose combines raspberry, hot stones, tobacco, and smoky oak. Rich, sweet and mouthfilling, with a softer structure than the '96. Enticing fruit is accessible already. Complicating notes of smoke, leather and tar. Builds slowly on the sweet finish, which features fine, dusty tannins. But can't quite match the '96 for grip. (ST)   (5/1998)

90pts Wine Spectator

Aromas of blackberry, tobacco and black licorice follow through to a full-bodied palate, with lots of ripe fruit and a chewy, slightly hot finish. Big, muscular wine. Needs time.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008. (JS, Web Only-2007)  

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

  Deep ruby/purple, with a tight but promising nose of herb-tinged black currants, graphite, vanilla, and smoke, this medium-bodied wine is elegant, with very pure, concentrated fruit, moderate extract, and a long finish. The wine is reaching its adolescence and is certainly accessible, although far from full maturity. (RP)   (12/2002)

Winemaker Notes

Like many ancient châteaux, Château Pape-Clément has undergone significant upgrading and modernization since the 1980s, and is now in quality the equivalent of a Médoc second growth. An excellent choice for its classic rich, earthy Graves bouquet of black fruits, minerals, and "cigar box" tobacco, Château Pape-Clément is drinkable at an earlier age than many red Bordeaux. With its relatively high proportion of 30% Merlot, it is usually ready to drink by five years after the vintage, but in better years easily improves for over twenty years -- a smooth, supple, even opulent wine at all ages.