I have found that Magrez estates have done exceptionally well in 2017, pretty much across the board, but here I feel a reach towards the barrel that is just the slightest bit out of step with the ripeness of the fruit. The tannins are flexible and in control, but it just lacks a touch of the opulence in the black fruits that was so abundant in 2015 and 2016. There is no doubt that it has been very well constructed, and it will age confidently in the medium to long term.
This is very dense for the vintage on the center palate and then rolls out on the palate. Full-bodied, tight and tannic. Very polished and refined at the end. Precise. A little more cabernet sauvignon in the blend gives this the tension.
The current blend of the 2017 Pape Clement is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it sings of crushed black cherries, black raspberries and mulberries with hints of lilacs and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied with a firm, grainy frame and wonderful freshness, it possesses great elegance and effortless intensity with a mineral-tinged finish.
The 2017 Pape Clément was not touched by the frost and was picked from 15 September to 3 October, manually de-stemmed berry by berry with some of the ripe stems added back into the blend (like Les Carmes Haut-Brion down the road). Malolactic is done in barrel where it aged for 18 months. It offers intense black cherry, raspberry, fig and sous-bois scents on the nose, tightly coiled at the moment with just a hint of cedar and tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, a mixture of red and black fruit, touches of cedar and white pepper, leading to a structured and fresh finish that leaves a spicy aftertaste. Classic in style, this Pape Clément will benefit from several years in bottle.