Chateau Pape Clement 2012

Chateau Pape Clement 2012

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• Domaine: Château Pape Clement
• Appellation: Pessac-Léognan
• Classification: Grand Cru Classé de Graves 1959
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar

Château Pape Clément is from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, ranked among the Grands Crus Classés in the Classification of Graves wine of 1959. With vines initially planted in 1252, it is argued by some to be the oldest wine estate in Bordeaux. The estate was presented to Bertrand de Goth, a member of a local noble family, upon his appointment as archbishop of Bordeaux, by his brother. In 1305, Bertrand de Goth was elected Pope (he was one of seventeen popes with French ancestry) and took up his papal name, Clement V. In French, pope is called “pape”, meaning the spiritual father. Pape Clement left his estate to the successor archbishop of Bordeaux, who renamed the property to demonstrate the papal linkage. Bertrand would later move the papacy to Avignon, which led to the development of the famed wine region known as Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pope’s New Castle in English) today.

As the story of many Church-affiliated estates, Château Pape Clément remained in the possession of archbishops of Bordeaux until the French Revolution, when it was nationalized and sold. By the middle of the 19th century, the estate was widely regarded to be second only to Chateau Haut-Brion. Some regard Château Pape Clément as the most important vineyard of Pessac-Léognan behind Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion.

Tasting Notes

"The iconic 2012 Pape Clement is a candidate for near-perfection as well as one of the wines of the vintage. From proprietor Bernard Magrez, this is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. This extraordinary vineyard (a few miles to the west of Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion) has hit all the highlights of this vintage. Interestingly, the quality of the Pomerols and Graves wines in 2012 is closer to what one would consider a great vintage than the general image of 2012. This is truly great wine and not far off their magnificent 2005 and 2010. Full-bodied, with rich cassis, subtle burning embers and spice followed by velvety, well-integrated tannins, the wine is lush, expansive, savory and profound. This is a remarkable wine that could be drunk at a reasonably young age, but should cellar brilliantly for a quarter-century. Yields were modest at 37 hectoliters per hectare from this 132-acre estate. The alcohol level came in at 13.5%." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (4/29/2015, Issue 218), Ratings: 97, Drink: 2015-2040

Effective October 18, 2019, the US Trade Representative's Office imposed a new 25% value-added tax (i.e., import tariffs) on a wide range of European products (including French wine, Italian cheese and single malt Scotch whisky) to penalize EU subsidies for Airbus.  EU has made counter-claims agains the US subsidies for Boeing.  A ruling by WTO on EU's counter-claims is expected in the spring of 2020.

For any Futures (en primeur) and Pre-Arrival items, our current prices are shown before taxes and tariffs.  Prior to shipment, we may have to collect any tariffs levied by the US government at the time. Tariffs will be based on the date of importation and the rate of US tariffs in place at the time.  Current rules exempt wines with alcohol content above 14.5% from the newly imposed 25% tariffs. We will offer free storage in our professional wine cellar in Bordeaux in the event of any delay in importation caused by the uncertainties created by tariffs.

If you believe these tariffs are NOT in the best interest of US consumers like yourself, please consider writing to your congressional representatives to let them hear your voice.  You can find out how to contact your representatives here using this directory provided by the US Congress.


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