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Pessac-Leognan. Probably the greatest Pape-Clement ever made, the dense purple-colored 2005 (a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon) exhibits sumptuous notes of smoky scorched earth, graphite, melted licorice, and blackberries. Once past the exquisite perfume, the wine reveals full body, extraordinary concentration, plenty of chocolate, smoke, cassis, and blackberry flavors, and that unmistakable volcanic ash-like earthiness that comes from this appellation. The tannins are slightly sweeter than those found in most northern Medocs, but this is still a backward, large-scaled effort that requires 7-8 years of cellaring. It should last for 30-35 years. Wine Advocate # 176; Apr 2008 Robert Parker 98 Drink: 2015 - 2043

The possible perfection of this effort is not surprising given the way proprietor Bernard Magrez has been upgrading all of his estates, especially his flagship property, Pape-Clement. Over the last decade there has been a succession of brilliant wines from this terroir that is essentially sandwiched in a suburb of Bordeaux. The quintessential Pape-Clement, the 2005 is a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped at 38 hectoliters per hectare. Its dense plum/purple color is followed by a seductive perfume of crushed rocks, blueberries, raspberries, cedar, graphite, licorice, and smoke. Full-bodied and layered, it possesses blockbuster richness yet an ethereal delicacy and finesse that often seem incompatible, but the fresh acids, high tannins, and marvelous extract of the 2005 Bordeaux have all come together to produce something special, but that will require patience. This wine has some of the more supple, sweeter tannins of Bordeaux, but then again, it is a Pessac-Leognan, not a Medoc, and the percentage of Merlot is high for the vintage. I would anticipate this 2005 to be approachable around 2012, and last for 30+ years. Wine Advocate # 170 Apr 2007 Robert Parker (96-100) Drink: 2012 - 2037

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