The 2008 Pape Clément has a perfumed bouquet with blackberry, boysenberry, pencil lead and black olive scents, just a subtle estuarine element coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, a fine bead of acidity, quite dense and muscular but retaining delineation. My one quibble is that the oak just feels a little too conspicuous towards the finish, so give it another 4 to 5 years. (Tasted at the château and at BI Wine & Spirit’s annual vertical tasting.)
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2035
Robert Parker 95
One of the top successes of the vintage, this blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot was harvested between October 8 and 24. The late harvest ensured perfect ripeness as evidenced by the sweet bouquet of black cherries, lead pencil shavings, cassis and subtle barbecue smoke. Well-balanced with good acidity, ripe tannins, medium to full body and a layered mouthfeel, this excellent 2008 can be drunk now and over the next 15+ years.
Anticipated maturity: 2011-2026