Robert Parker 95P
Although the 2009 Pape Clement may not be as sublime as the 2005 or 2000, but it is very close to those two efforts, and it will be fascinating to compare them (as well as the 2008 and 2010) over the following three decades. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc with a modest 13.5% alcohol, the 2009 reveals considerable structure and tannin along with tell-tale notes of burning embers, scorched earth, graphite, blueberries, blackberries and toasty vanillin, and a full-bodied mouthfeel. This rich, full offering is surprisingly backward. This cuvee should drink well in 5-6 years as one rarely has to wait a decade or more to enjoy Pape Clement. It should age for three decades or more.
This 13th century vineyard situated in the suburbs of Pessac is owned by one of Bordeaux’s most interesting visionaries, Bernard Magrez. He has done a remarkable job in turning around this once moribund property that made a bevy of undrinkable wines into one of the superstars of Bordeaux.
The 2005 Pape Clément is a fabulous contrast to the Haut-Brion. The former represents modernism at its best, while the latter is one of the archetypes of classicism. Both are striking. Compelling and seductive from the outset, the 2005 Pape Clément races out of the glass with notable opulence and ripeness. Soft contours and heady aromatics make the 2005 a real joy to taste today. Just beginning to show the first signs of aromatic complexity, the 2005 Pape Clément looks like it won't be as long-lived as some of the other wines in this tasting, but it is extraordinarily beautiful today. The style is unapologetically flamboyant, yet all the elements are in the right place. When it comes to pure hedonistic pleasure, it's hard to match the 2005 Pape Clément.