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The Story

Château Pape Clément's red wines are vinified in oak casks. This favors uniform fermentation, unlike steel vats which are prone to temperature variations. Maintained between 29 and 30°C during fermentation, then between 27 and 29°C during maceration after fermentation, moderate temperatures allow for gentle extraction of tannins and color. Before the wine is drawn off, fermentation varies between 20 and 35 days depending on the evolution of taste in each vat.Hand harvested in small crates with initial sorting in the vineyard. Grapes hand-picked from clusters. Aged for 18 months in new French-oak barrels.



Wine Information

1949 Château Pape Clément (Graves)

Unlabelled, otherwise good looking château-bottled. Level by neck. Decanted 1 hour before tasting. Excellent Graves.
Although Pape-Clement is more drinkable at an earlier age than many other Bordeaux, it can easily last as well as the best of them. This 1949 is one of the best examples to demonstrate it.

During the 40s almost the complete vineyard was replanted, and many other renovations were made at the property. With this magnificent 1949, we can get the first impression of that celebrated future, which truly started at the Château with the vintage 1953.

Medium-dark, bright and youthful colour. Wide-open bouquet of minerals, black fruits and a hint of tobacco – a very appealing combination. Mature, soft and lovely wine. Very much like vintage 1947, but with extra complexity and length. A bit moderate, but long aftertaste. Most enjoyable. Should hold easily for five more years. Tasted seven times with comparable notes.


Vintage 1949

In Bordeaux, the decade culminated in the hot year of 1949, when Bordeaux was hit by an unprecedented period of drought. Cold, rainy weather had hampered germination, resulting in an exceptionally uneven distribution of pollen. This, in turn, led to a record harvest. With the arrival of summer, Bordeaux was subjected to a heatwave like it had never seen before. Temperatures of up to 43°C have been recorded in Médoc. Early September brought massive thunderstorms followed by a period of ideal weather, which lasted until harvest at the end of the month. The already small harvest was made even smaller, but it produced an incredibly juicy wine that was extremely delicious even at a young age. The wines themselves have more backbone and are more elegant than the 1947 vintage. Indeed, these lack the concentration found in the 1945. Mouton-Rothschild, however, is a capable challenger even of the best 1945 and 1947, with its ample body and balance. The dry white wines produced were also exceptional, although no longer very drinkable. Conversely, the Sauternes grapes picked at the end of a record dry October produced unique and noble wines.

By Tb




Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux
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