Chateau Pape Clement, 1986, Grand Cru Classe De Graves, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, Red wine from France

8 points

Chateau Pape Clement, named after Pope Clement V (1305 – 1324), is one of the oldest Grands Crus de BordeClément_V_Rome_bibliothèque_Palatineaux. Clement V’s real name was Bertrand de Goth, from Bordeaux – thus the connection. You may immediately think of Chateauneuf du Pape when you first see a bottle of Chateau Pape Clement, since a pontifical insignia gilds the label, but Pape Clement is indeed another wine, belonging among the top Bordeaux wines.

It does not belong to the pope anymore, but to someone whom you might call the pope of French wine: Bernard Magrez. Magrez was born in 1936 and built an impressive, vast wine empire. Have a look at his narcissistic website – it can easily take you an hour to discover how many different wineries he owns – not only in France but also in Spain, Latin America and USA. Please see here:

1471227_10153774897291040_5092223162333465106_nThe location of Chateau Pape Clement nowadays isn’t so impressive, as compared to many others. Due to the expansion of Bordeaux, Pessac became visually a part of the suburbs of Bordeaux and I do wonder how they could keep the vineyards there.

All of this doesn’t really matter since this wine is excellent. 1986 is considered to be quite a good vintage. Since I haven’t been able to try any other vintage, I only can assume it was a particularly good one. Perhaps now is the right time to drink it: it is surprisingly vibrant and fresh. The smell is sweeter than the taste: black currants and vanilla, earthy notes. Cedar and a little tobacco as well. Not too smooth, and a very long and impressive finish. You would never believe that this wine is 30 years old, as vital and refreshing as it still is. Really remarkable, really big, really extraordinary.

This is Bordeaux at its top level – incomparable with anything from any other part of the world. Graceful, classic and elegant. Whenever you want to experience the singularity of Bordeaux, this wine is truly exemplary.

I am not sure if you can even still buy this wine. Perhaps at auction or at one of Bernard Magrez’s wine shops.

Bernard Magrez – born in 1936, this wine was produced in 1986 and drank in 2016.