Château Pape Clément

Château Pape Clément Rouge Grand Cru Classé des Graves

France, Bordeaux


Château Pape Clément Rouge Grand Cru Classé des Graves

The historic vineyard of Château Pape Clément dates back 774 years; it’s hard to believe grapes have been harvested from this Grand Cru Classé site ever since. The wine maintains its heritage; this is classic Pessac Léognan - enticing, captivating, stunning - as adorable with food as with a cigar.

WBSS24 Château Pape Clément Rouge Grand Cru Classé des Graves 2015

A Legacy of Centuries: The Story of Château Pape Clément

This ancient vineyard site dates back to 1250 with the first harvest noted in 1252. For more than 770 years, Château Pape Clément has been producing great wines from this terroir.

The Origins: 13th Century Beginnings

At that time, the vineyard was known as la Mothe and belonged to the Goth family. Madame Goth had several children, including Bertrand de Goth (born in Villandraut in 1264). Bertrand de Goth became bishop and his family offered him la Mothe vineyard. Then, in 1299, Bertrand was appointed Archbishop of Bordeaux.

The Rise of Pope Clément V: A Vineyard's Journey

Upon his appointment as Pope in 1305 (with the support of Philip the Fair, King of France) he took the name of Pope Clément V. In 1306, a few days before the death of Gaillard de Got, Clément V was given the domain of Pessac by his dying brother. From then on, he developed a passion for vines and he never stopped getting involved in equipping, organizing and managing the estate according to the most modern and rational rules.

Contributions to Viticulture: Legacy and Impact

He was notably the first to plant vines in rege (rows of trellised vines) in order to facilitate ploughing. After becoming Pope, he contributed considerably to the development of vine cultivation in Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley and around Avignon. It is partly, thanks to him, why certain wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Beaumes-de-Venise have been able to compete with some of the best Bordeaux wines. Clément V was also the founder of several castles, one in Roquetaillade, one in Villandraut and one in Fargues.


Legacy and Transition: Ownership Evolution

On 30 August 1306, a high fever struck down Pope Clément V. He was in Bordeaux and wanted to settle in his vineyard of la Mothe. Many letters between the King of France, Philippe le Bel, and Pope Clément V mention Pessac on the postal seal. The Pope died in 1314 and bequeathed this wine estate to the Archbishopric of Bordeaux; the Church remained the owner until the French Revolution in 1789. The revolutionaries confiscated the property until, in 1791, it was sold at auction. Since then, five private owners have succeeded one another. In 1939, the Château was purchased by the Montagne family and in the 1980s, Bernard Magrez became the owner.

Continuing Tradition: Bernard Magrez's Stewardship

He is the only owner to own 4 Grands Crus classified in four different AOCs: Pape Clément in Pessac, Fombrauge in St-Emilion, La Tour Carnet in St-Laurent-Médoc and Clos Haut Peyraguey in Sauternes.


Deeply coloured, very opulent with an enticing and captivating nose packed with concentrated fruit and black liquorice. Subtle black tea and pencil shavings add to the complexity. Beautiful savoury quality on the palate; lapsang souchong tea and a hint of bacon add intricacy and interest. The alcohol is extremely well integrated and leads to a long persistent finish. A great example from an extraordinary vintage.


This wine would pair nicely, first and foremost, with a cigar. Those tobacco and leather notes would instantly match the mood. As for food, a dish with a slightly sweeter glaze may work well, including a brown sugar glazed roasted pork belly, or perhaps a Filipino Lechon, a whole roasted pig on a spit brushed with soy sauce while the skin roasts to a crisp and the inside is cooked to perfection with various herbs including thyme and garlic.


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WBSS24 Château Pape Clément Rouge Grand Cru Classé des Graves 2015

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