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Château Le Pape, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France, 2016

Regular price $39.95 Sale price $45.00
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Overview of the Wine
Chateau Le Pape has a history that dates back to the 1700s when the estate was founded by Pierre Bobineau. The background for Pierre Bobineau was not in the wine trade. In fact, he was known as one of the best makers of sails for boats that sailed in and out of Bordeaux.

In 1805, he built the original chateau and continued planting the vineyard. At some point that started during the 1960s, and continued through the 1980s, and for most of the 1990s as well, the vineyard was leased to the Perrin family that owned neighboring Chateau Carbonnieux.

The 9-hectare vineyard of Chateau Le Pape is planted to 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Many of the vines are old, at close to 50 years of age.

However, the majority of the vineyard needs to be replanted. At the time of the purchase, the vineyard was only planted to 2,600 vines per hectare, which is well below the AOC rules for the appellation, which requires a minimum of 6,500 vines per hectare.

The terroir is gravel with sand and clay-based soils that is in a single block of vines. All vineyard management techniques are conducted using only self-sustaining viticultural techniques.

Grape / Blend
80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Paussac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
With seven hectares of vines in a single block, Château Le Pape has a superb terroir in the heart of the Pessac-Léognan appelation. The average age of the vines is 28 years old. The terroir consists largely of gravel on sand and clay, and a soil survey done in 2012 showed the remarkable potential of each plot.

The 2016 Le Pape is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon picked from 3-4 September and on 14 October respectively. It is matured in 30% new oak. It offers plenty of raspberry coulis and crushed strawberry aromas on the nose, the new oak nicely integrated, quite generous and almost opulent in the context of the vintage. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, a splash of soy on the entry, a keen line of acidity. There is a touch of austerity towards the saline finish, but that will abate by the time it is bottled. 

93 Points - Decanter
So elegant, right from the first nose. The fourth vintage under Haut-Bailly ownership (because they declassified the 2013), this has appealing rich caramel and coffee bean edges and is beautifully elegant. It has soft, elongated tannins, and concentrated violet and fern notes, that seem to float through the palate. This property is really starting to show exactly what it can achieve. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

93 Points - James Suckling
Lots of walnut and berry character. Medium-to full-bodied, round and silky with a lovely chocolate undertone. Very polished and juicy. So fine and racy.

92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
From same ownership as Château Haut-Bailly, this wine has a firm structure to go with the dense black fruits and rich tannins. It offers concentration and layers of dark fruitiness freshened by the acidity. The wine needs to age, so drink from 2023.

Product size: 750ml

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