One of the oldest Grand Crus of Bordeaux and on the property of a former Pope, Château Pape Clément has integrated the traditional wine making process (e.g usage of animals traction and handpicking of grapes) with modern technology(e.g drones to monitor the health of the vines) to ensure a consistent supply a great tasting wines that never fails to impress. I recommend you to visit the winery if you are ever in Bordeaux to experience it yourself.
Today, we taste the 2nd wine of Château Pape Clément, which is Le Clémentin du Pape Clément (Le Clementin). Before I go on to the tasting notes, let me explain a bit on the difference between a first wine and a second wine. Only the 1st wine of a Chateau carries the Chateau's name and its award (e.g. Grand Cru Classe), while the 2nd and 3rd wines usually have some form of the Chateau's name in it. 2nd wines are usually very good value for money as the wine making process and personnel making both the wines are the same, therefore you can be sure of their expertise.
The biggest difference is that the 2nd wines are usually made from the younger grape vines and aged in barrels for a shorter period of time than the 1st wine. However, the difference in taste is not significant enough to warrant the premium of the first wine. (1st wines are usually 2-3 times the price of the 2nd wines). Therefore I urge everyone to try the 2nd wines first and if you really like it (and can afford it) to try the 1st wine.
Le Clementin is a blend of 50% Cabernet Savignon, 47% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. What are all these grapes you may ask? Don't worry, I will cover them in another post soon. =)
Now to the tasting! On opening the bottle and decanting for 1 hour, one can smell rich bouquet of dark cherries, strawberries and even clementines (oranges). There are also milder notes of spice and smoke from 16 months aging in oak barrels. Dark ruby colour and medium bodied, one can continue swirling and smell the aromas for sometime before taking the first sip.
The taste in the mouth is nothing short of elegant and velvety. Black berries and chocolate comes to mind. Strong but structured tannins leaves a lingering finish in the mouth that continues to unravel even after you finish the wine. Medium acidity keeps you wanting to have the next sip.
An excellent wine to pair with red meats, cooked meats for a romantic dinner or a cosy gathering where you never want the night to end. (or at least I didn't)
Retailing at S$85 dollars. It is a great example of a value for money classic Bordeaux Red for any special occasion.
Drink, be merry and have a Happy New Year everyone!
P.S. Below are some of the pictures we took at the Chateau for your viewing pleasure.
The Grand Barrel Room
The Vintage Bottle "Cemetery"
And last but not least, the wine itself.