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The 2021 Pape Clément exhibits notions of sweet berries and cherries mingled with rich aromas of espresso roast, black truffles, toasty new oak and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, deep and quite extracted in style, it's a rich, fleshy wine that gained in integration and harmony over the the three weeks I spent in Bordeaux. Tasted three times.
William Kelley, April 2022
The 2021 Pape Clément was picked from 28 September until 14 October matured for a planned 18 months in 90% French oak and 10% in the foudres introduced in 2018. It is a completely diametrically opposite style to the previous vintages, partly a result of Michel Rolland handing the reins over to his right-hand man, Julien Vilaud, who has always had a different winemaking philosophy. On the nose: blackberry, sous-bois and cedar, not austere yet certainly a more reserved style. The palate is framed by quite gritty tannins, fine acidity, fresh and saline with modest depth on the finish that feels a little austere. Tasted several times, this is a fascinating, perhaps divisive Pape-Clément that might throw a few accustomed to its style of yore. One you have to get to really understand.
Neal Martin, Vinous, May 2022
Pape made a very finely crafted and elegant wine this vintage, with plenty of berry, spice and earth character. Medium-bodied. Savory and lightly spicy on the finish. Creamy tannins.
James Suckling, May 2022
The 2021 Pape Clément is a tightly wound, reticent wine. A core of bright red-toned fruit lies behind a wall of tannin and acids that is pretty impenetrable at this stage. I imagine the 2021 will come around at some point, but it is pretty austere in the early going. Tasted four times.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous, May 2022
Confident extraction, pushing the vintage a little more than most have done, but Pape Clement is on warm soils close to the centre of Bordeaux, and got more natural ripeness. It will still stand out as savoury in future vertical of the property, but this has tannic weight along with juicy and delicious damson, blueberry, slate, pencil lead and liqourice flavours. Has a sense of careful progression and build through the palate. Tasted twice.
Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux, May 2022