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A Bastille Day Special - Discover 700 Years of Pedigree and the Greatest Value in Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux?
July 14, 2020

A Bastille Day Special - Discover the Greatest Value in Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux? With A History Dating Back 700+ Years, the House of the Pope Delivers Its Finest Expression To Date.

In honor of France’s Independence Day, and to celebrate the symbolic storming of the Bastille (or medieval fortress) on July 14, 1789, we could not think of a more appropriate wine and estate to celebrate this important day. We are talking about one of France’s most symbolic winemaking properties and what are arguably the finest expressions from the fabled estate in more than 700 years of winemaking.
That is correct, with more than seven centuries of viticulture, the fabled Château Pape Clément continues to produce what are easily some of the great historic collector values in all of wine. In fact, the eponymous wines come from what may just be the oldest planted vineyards in all of Bordeaux. These wines are not coming from the more fashionable areas of Pauillac, St. Julien, Margaux or Pomerol. They are rather the rich, savory, and earthy expressions of the ancient gravelly soils of the Graves region and the sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan.

Here,at the former residence, or “House of the Pope,” (Château Pape-Clément), the estate takes its name after Pope Clement V. Before moving to what would become known as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Pope Clement was known for his love of wine and interests in winemaking. Fast forward to the modern era and it is Bernard Magrez who has restored the estate to its former glories, and in the past two decades the estate has delivered some of its finest expressions in its long and storied past.

What IWM appreciates here is the price, especially for the standout vintage of 2019. At under $83, this former home to the Pope, with a history dating back 700 years, delivers a pinnacle expression that once again should be considered and certainly challenges the twin Haut-Brion patriarchs of the region with its value at one quarter of the price. For those keeping score, it is not often you get to secure a near perfect expression under one hundred dollars with the 2019 Pape-Clément. But it does not end there, we are including the selections from 2016, 2015, and the prized 2009.

Featured Wines: Value and Pedigree from Château Pape Clement (Click to Order)

Additional Notes and Reviews:

2019 Pape Clement
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “In tasting this wine from barrel, we thought this was one of the more restrained Pape Clement expressions we had tasted over the past five years during en primeur. You really taste the prized terroir through the generosity of the vintage with salinity and minerality. There is mouthwatering acidity here to complement the concentrated and coiled black/blue fruit core. Expect additional nuances of tobacco, smoke, tar, and cedar. I agree with Neal Martin on this one, this is a serious Pape Clement to get excited about that will require more time than the 2015 and 2016. With its pedigree, this is one of the best collectible values from 2019 and Bordeaux as a whole.”

Jeb Dunnuck: “I loved the 2019 Château Pape Clément. This beautiful terroir in the heart of Pessac has produced a magical 2019. Stunning notes of crème de cassis, spring flowers, violets, crushed stone, and lead pencil and flow to a full-bodied, flawlessly balanced, elegant effort with great tannins and a rock star of a finish. It's a rich, powerful wine, yet it's the level of purity and elegance that sets it apart. Bravo! Tasted twice.”

2016 Pape Clement
Neal Martin, Vinous: “The 2016 Pape Clément bursts out of the glass, offering ripe blackberry, raspberry coulis, fresh mint and hints of licorice on the well-defined nose. It is perhaps a little more opulent than its peers, but unlike in the past, I don’t find it excessive. The palate is well balanced with supple tannin. There is a killer line of acidity and real panache toward a velvety, almost Pauillac-like finish armed with shimmering black fruit laced with graphite. Superb.”

2015 Pape Clement
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Yes, it is a young wine, but there is an immediate appeal to the 2015 Pape Clement that cannot be denied. This is a Bordeaux that pleases right from the gate with its rich, opulent, silky-smooth presentation. But there is more to this decadent beauty than texture, there is real depth here. A classy clean feel, you can expect nuances of black berries, black cherries, creme de cassis, wild herbs, a touch of truffle and scorched earth, graphite, and a stony minerality. Underneath the texture is grip and persistence. It is one of those Bordeaux that can please the claret fan, but also those that have an affinity towards Super Tuscans and a more classic side to Napa."

Antonio Galloni, Vinous: “One of the stars of the vintage, the 2015 Pape Clément is fabulous. Dark and beautifully resonant, it captures all the natural radiance of the year in the Pape Clément style. Super-ripe black cherry, plum, mocha, chocolate, new leather and spice effortlessly fill out the wine's ample frame. Soft contours and an open-knit, inviting personality are just two of the reasons the Pape Clément is going to be virtually impossible to resist, even in the early going. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.”

2009 Pape Clement
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Our Easter wine was the perfect pairing for roasted lamb. With its 10 year birthday, this is an absolute crowd pleaser for today. It’s a style that can win over the Napa enthusiasts and satisfy the old world claret collector. One can see why critics like Parker and Lisa Perotti Brown have rerated this with perfection and near perfection recently. The wine immediately screams from the decanter, and the intoxicating nose grabs you by the hairs and pulls you in. This is a modern minded Bordeaux with instant gratification appeal that can transition the Napa enthusiasts over to Bordeaux while satisfying the Rolland neyser. Expect nuances of blackberries, black cherries, cassis, plums, coffee, smoke and leather. But there is more here, there is acidity and stony minerality gives some lift to support the creamy, tongue staining fruit. Decant four hours and this is a wine to enjoy today. It is a wine that challenges many top growths at a fraction of the price.”

This is an email ONLY offer! If you would like to take advantage of this offer, we are asking that you email orders back to me at, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation and some restrictions may apply.

All my best,