I love watching how Pape Clement is evolving with every vintage. There's still a bit of Venice Beach in its muscles but it has let some juice in between the firm tannins and it's all the better for it. There are ripples of freshness here too, with lots of fleshy fruit, and a slatey mineral finish that sits against chocolate and smoked cedar notes. It's clearly been carefully extracted yet still has the serious ageing ability and sense of confidence that is the signature of the property. 37hl/ha yield in 2018. Two-thirds new oak. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
James Molesworth - This is really well put together, with waves of steeped plum, currant and raspberry fruit, bolts of licorice and tar and a long apple wood accent on the sappy finish
66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc; 65% new oak. Barrel sample. Black core, purple rim. Plenty of lively black fruit on the nose, then really thick and chewy on the palate. The alcohol, high generally in this vintage, shows here. Dense, chewy and a bit monolithic. Tough finish at the moment. For lovers of power rather than elegance, though I think it would be too much for the table. (JH) Drink 2028-2036
Lisa Perrotti-Brown. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Pape Clément is a little closed, slowly unfurling to reveal fragant earth, crushed rocks, iron ore and tabacco notions over a core of crushed red and black currants plus kirsch, red roses and Ceylon tea. Full-bodied and wonderfully vivacious, it offers a solid line of firm and fine-grained tannins and amazing freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced
This is a very driven Pape Clément with fantastic density and finesse at the same time. Linear and driven, the finish goes on for minutes with incredible tension and focus. More cabernet. Refinement with power.