Château Pape, Clement Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, 2016
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Overview of the Wine
Chateau Pape Clément owes its name to its most illustrious owner. A man of the cloth born in 1264, Bertrand de Goth became Bishop of Comminges, in the Pyrenees Mountains, at the age of 31; he later became Archbishop of Bordeaux in 1299.
He then received as a gift the property in Pessac, the Vineyard de La Mothe. Taken by a passion for the vine, he continually took part personally in equipping, organizing and managing the domain in accordance with the most modern and rational practices. Nevertheless, on 5 June 1305 the cardinals met in a conclave in Pérouse and appointed him to succeed Pope Benedict XI, who had passed away prematurely after only eleven months of reign. Bertrand de Goth took the name of Clement V.
Supported by Philip IV, it was he who decided in 1309 to move the papal court to Avignon, thus breaking with Rome and its battles of influence. During this same period, the weight of his responsibilities led him to relinquish his property, giving it to the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Henceforward, the vineyard was to be known to posterity under the name of this enlightened pope.
Grape / Blend
55% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Semillon
Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
This great wine has a nose that pops with notes of honeydew, honey, flowers, candied lemon, and sweet tropical fruit on the palate. It is a beautiful and complex wine with the harmonious expression of a classic white Bordeaux wine from the Pessac leognan appellation.
98 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Among the whites of the vintage, the 2016 Château Pape Clément Blanc is one of the most concentrated, deep, and full-bodied whites out there, offering up a red wine-like structure to go with beautiful notes of white grapefruit, Meyer lemon, crushed rocks, and exotic flowers. A blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 36% Sémillon, 9% Sauvignon Gris, and 5% Muscadelle, all from deep gravelly soils and brought up in 55% new French oak, this incredibly textured, pure, balanced white needs 3-4 years of bottle age and will keep for two decades or more.
95 Points - James Suckling
A solid and four-square white with lemon-rind and dried-apple character. Pears, too. Full and dense with layers of fruit and phenolic character. Red wine texture in a white. One for aging.
94 Points - Wine Enthusiast
While herbal flavors are present, this wine is more about lush yellow fruits layered with wood and spice. The texture is generous and full-bodied, giving the wine spaciousness as well as a crisp texture.
94 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Pape Clement Blanc is a blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Sémillon that was cropped at 45 hectoliters per hectare between 12-27 September. It has quite an understated bouquet, stony and a little distant at first but then opening up with lime flower, kiwi fruit and a touch of limestone. The palate is fresh on the entry, the Sauvignon Blanc driving this Pape Clement along, perhaps less flamboyant and viscous in style than previous vintages, but I appreciate the tautness and delineation here, the persistent and slightly saline finish. This is excellent.
91 Points - Decanter
Oak is still a big part of the story with Pape Clément's white wine, but the change comes in the introduction of a variety of barrel sizes and origins, including an increase in Burgundian barrels. They have wisely kept the signature round, citrus notes that long term fans of Pape Clément will be looking for, but as with the reds the overall feel is of a more sculpted, fragrant wine than in some previous vintages. To be honest, 2016 was not an easy vintage to dial things back, as the mid-palate can feel a touch hollow due to lacking the gripping minerality of the best vintages. But they have delivered an extremely successful wine, with rose and honeysuckle touches adding layers of complexity to the soft citrus flavours. Enjoyable.
Product size: 750ml