Chateau-Pape-Clément Pessac Leognan 2012
Wine AdvocateThe iconic 2012 Pape Clement is a candidate for near-perfection as well as one of the wines of the vintage. From proprietor Bernard Magrez, this is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. This extraordinary vineyard (a few miles to the west of Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion) has hit all the highlights of this vintage. Interestingly, the quality of the Pomerols and Graves wines in 2012 is closer to what one would consider a great vintage than the general image of 2012. This is truly great wine and not far off their magnificent 2005 and 2010. Full-bodied, with rich cassis, subtle burning embers and spice followed by velvety, well-integrated tannins, the wine is lush, expansive, savory and profound. This is a remarkable wine that could be drunk at a reasonably young age, but should cellar brilliantly for a quarter-century. Yields were modest at 37 hectoliters per hectare from this 132-acre estate. The alcohol level came in at 13.5%.
Wine SpectatorDensely packed, with lots of dark steeped currant, fig and blackberry fruit, slowly melding with muscular licorice snap, bramble, singed bay and ganache notes. The long, dark, ganache-coated finish isn't shy, but an enticing rusticity keeps this honest. A large-scaled wine that has really powered up since the barrel tasting. Best from 2018 through 2027. 12,500 cases made.
Wine Enthusiast92-94. Barrel sample. A very dry and tannic wine, this is hard edged, showing distinct minerality and a dry, gravelly feel. It has herbal notes, followed by rich spice and dark, brooding fruits. A powerful wine with a sense of extraction.