CHÂTEAU PAPE CLÉMENT, PESSAC-LÉOGNAN
BORDEAUX, FRANCE 2018
Since Bernard Magrez took the reins at Château Pape Clément, ten years ago, every vintage has become an event, with everyone from critics to collectors to Sotheby's auctioneers waiting in breathless anticipation.
The 2018 is no exception, and when you factor in a 99-point review from Jeb Dunnuck, well — let's just say that if you think supply chain issues are a pain, you should hear about the litany of challenges we experienced over the past couple of months in finding available bottles.
Fortunately, our buyers' savvy and persistence have paid off, and we were able to procure a modest allocation of this gorgeously expressive, terroir-driven wine, which we fully expect to last for 30+ years.
Château Pape Clément has always had history on its side. Located in the commune of Pessac, southwest of the city of Bordeaux, it is not only the oldest wine estate in all of Bordeaux but also the oldest planted vineyard in the region, dating its existence to 1300. But for the past decade, what we have seen is an estate with the vigor and daring of youth, one that sought to raise its already considerable profile by taking smart risks and gunning for greatness. With the hiring of jet-setting consultant Michel Rolland, Pape Clément has gone back to the future, embracing the slower, more labor-intensive methods of centuries past — de-stemming every bunch of grapes by hand, and replacing chemical fertilization and aeration with horse-drawn ploughing.
The result? Wines with old-school soul.
A blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc, and matured in 60% new French oak, it impressed us immediately with its freshness, vividness, and definition.
Dunnuck was taken with its "stunning crème de cassis and blackberry fruits, as well as kaleidoscope-like notes of graphite, scorched earth, smoke, violets, and spring flowers," and admired the way "it offers full-bodied richness yet stays light on its feet, graceful, and almost ethereal on the palate, with integrated acidity and building yet seamless tannins. The Cabernet Sauvignon really sings at this point, and there's almost a Médoc-like regalness here."
Beautifully put, Jeb. But truly, as evocative as that description is, it doesn't begin to do justice to the experience of sitting with a glass of this, savoring the experience over the course of an hour or more.
As I said, we worked exceptionally hard to land an allocation, even if it's not nearly as many cases as we'd like. This offer will last the week, but we fully expect to run out well before then, so act now!
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Spring 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in MI, NY or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.