Château Pape Clemant
Classification: Grand Cru (Graves Classification 1959)
Château Pape Clemant is the oldest wine estate in Bordeaux and is also one of the finest clarets, harvesting its 700th vintage in 2006. The Château takes its name from Pope Clement V (Bertrand de Goth) who was presented with the estate in the 1300s upon his appointment as archbishop of Bordeaux, by his brother Berald. It received its name from Bertrand's papal name, Clement V; on his election to Pope in 1306 he gave the estate to his successor as archbishop, Cardinal Arnaud de Canteloup. Bertrand, who would later move the papacy to Avignon near Chateauneuf du Pape. The vineyard remained in the possession of archbishops of Bordeaux until the French Revolution.
Château Pape Clemant was bought by Paul Montagne, a vigneron and poet, in 1939 and he engaged Emile Peynaud as oenologist to raise the quality of his wines. Today Paul's son Léo has joint-ownership of the estate and his partner Bernard Magrez who also owns Château La Tour Carnet.
The vineyards of Château Pape Clemant cover 80 acres and lie on 3 distinct soils: a limestone bedrock. All of the vineyards have the gravels that typify the region as a whole but the vineyards to the west are more sandy, with a deep seam of gravel, whereas as those to the east have more clay and those to the north of the estate are thin and poor. Both red and white grape varieties are planted - the red vines are 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot and the white vines are 45% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Semillon and 10% Muscadelle.
The red wines of Château Pape Clemant are concentrated, elegant and have a purity of style. They have flavours of smoky ripe plum, tobacco, earthy coffee and chocolate. The wines are full bodied, well structured and smooth.
Owner: Léo Montagne/ Bernard Magrez
Château Website: www.pape-clement.com
Oenologist: Michel Rolland