Monday, September 30, 2013

An Afternoon at Château Pape-Clément (in 2013), Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Pictures: Annette Schiller and Christian Schiller at Château Pape-Clément during the 2013 Bordeaux Wine Tour by ombiasy

Château Pape-Clément is a Cru Classé de Graves. The winery and vineyards are located in the commune of Pessac, in the larger Bordeaux City area. Château Pape-Clément belongs to the wine imperium of Bernard Magrez, which now covers about 40 estates in Bordeaux and other parts of France as well as in the rest of the world.

Earlier this year (in September) I toured Château Pape-Clément with Winemaker Arnaud Lasisz. This was the first stop of Annette Schiller’s 2013 Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy.

See here for more on the 2013 Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy:
Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy

Château Pape-Clément and the City of Bordeaux

The outskirts of the city of Bordeaux are the birthplace of the phenomenal Bordeaux wine boom. It was here – in the Graves - that the region first gained its reputation, as early as the 14th century – hundreds of years before Dutch wine merchants and producers drained the marshes of the Medoc. In the Middle Ages, much of the Claret - as red Bordeaux is called in the United Kingdom - shipped to London was grown within in easy distance to the Quai de Chartrons in Bordeaux.

Pictures: Greeting Arnaud Lasisz at Château Pape-Clément

For centuries, Graves encompassed all the vineyards south of the border with the Medoc, in a great sweep around the city of Bordeaux with the exception of the sweet wine appellations of Sauternes, Cerons and Barsac, which are nestled within the boundaries of the Graves, but are independently recognized because of their outstanding noble-sweet white wines. But in 1987, the Pessac-Leognan appellation was carved out of the northern end of the Graves, encompassing Graves’ most respected producers. The four key producers in Pessac-Leognan are Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion (both in American hands), Laville Haut-Brion and Pape-Clement

Interestingly, these chateaux are within the city limits of Bordeaux and well within the Bordeaux beltway. This is the most urban wine area I have seen in Bordeaux and perhaps in the whole world. Indeed, the vineyards of Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion, Laville Haut-Brion and Pape Clement are surrounded by suburban development.

See also:
In the Wine Capital of the World: the City of Bordeaux, France

Pictures: In the Vineyards of Château Pape-Clément

Bernard Magrez

Bernard Magrez is a self-made man who made his fortune as the founder of the William Pitters spirits company and the low-cost red Bordeaux brand. But for the past 20 years or so, he has been involved in quite a different, more upmarket side of the business: he has acquired prestigious vineyards and wineries, first of all in Bordeaux, then in other parts of France and more recently around the world. The total count at the moment is about 40 wine estates.

See also:
Château Pape Clément in Pessac-Léognan and the World Wide Wine Empire of Bernard Magrez, France

Pictures: In the Cellar of Château Pape-Clément

Château Pape Clément

Pape-Clément has one of the longest and best documented histories of all Bordeaux châteaux. The vineyards were planted in 1300 by Bernard de Groth, who later became Pope Clément V and moved the papacy to Avignon.

Pictures: At Château Pape-Clément

The noble de Groth family was based in Sauternes. In 1299, Bernard de Groth became Archbishop of Bordeaux. His brother (who was Archbishop of Lyon) gave him as a gift what later would become Chateau Pape Clement to be used as private residence as Archbishop of Bordeaux. Bernard de Groth lived there for 6 years. In 1305, Bernhard de Groth became Pope Clement V and felt that he should donate the property to the church.

In the hands of the church, the Pessac estate continued as a site of viticulture for many centuries, right up until the Revolution when it was confiscated and sold off as a bien national. In 1939 the estate was bought by the Montagne family; they appointed Bernard Magrez as General Manager in 1985. It is now owned and run by Bernard Magrez.

Pictures: Château Pape-Clément

The vineyard area consists of 32.5 hectares, 30 of which are planted with red grapes varieties (60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot). The remaining plots are cultivated with white varieties of 45% Sauvignon blanc, 45% Sémillon and 10% Muscadelle.

Production of the Grand Vin - Pape Clément – is: 7,000 cases of red wine and 350 cases of dry white wine. Additionally, there are 2 second wines - Le Clémentin du Pape Clément and Le Prélat du Pape Clément.

Pictures: Tasting including the 2010 Pape-Clément, which got 100 points by Robert Parker

Wine Searcher Average Prices (in US$)

Here are the current average prices and those of 12 months ago in brackets.

2012 76
2011 90 (85)
2010 224 (205)
2009 171 (166)
2008 134 (125)
2007 142 (126)
2006 159 (154)
2005 221 (214)
2004 119 (111)
2003 137 (135)
2002 142 (132)

schiller-wine: Related Posting

Bordeaux Trip September 2012, France

Ombiasy Wine Tours: Bordeaux Trip Coming up in September 2013

Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics

The Saint Emilion 2012–2022 Classification, Bordeaux

Bordeaux - En Primeur, Negociants, Courtiers, the Quai de Chartons and the Place de Bordeaux – A Short Introduction

In the Wine Capital of the World: the City of Bordeaux, France

Plateau des Fruits de Mer and a Pessac-Leognan Wine in Bordeaux City, France

Château Pape Clément in Pessac-Léognan and the World Wide Wine Empire of Bernard Magrez, France

An Afternoon at Château Pape-Clément, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux (2012)

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