Château Pape Clément Pessac

Europe France
Château Pape Clément Pessac
Château Pape Clément Pessac
Château Pape Clément Pessac
Château Pape Clément Pessac
Château Pape Clément Pessac
Château Pape Clément Pessac
Château Pape Clément Pessac
Château Pape Clément Pessac
Château Pape Clément Pessac
Château Pape Clément Pessac

The first harvest took place in 1252. For more than 750 years, therefore, Château Pape Clément has been producing fine wines on the same terroir. At this time, it was called Domaine de la Mothe. ​It was purchased at the end of December 1299 by Gaillard de Goth, son of a famous family from the south of Bordeaux.

This purchase was made at the request of Bertrand de Goth, who had just been appointed Archbishop of Bordeaux, and for this reason could not accede to the property. ​Bertrand de Goth became bishop of Saint-Bertrand de Comminges, then archbishop of Bordeaux in 1299

On being named Pope in 1305 (with the support of Philip IV, King of France), Bertrand De Goth took the name Pope Clement V. In 1306, a few days before the death of Gaillard de Goth, Clement V was given the Pessac estate by his dying brother, thus giving his name to the Château.

​Bertrand de Goth liked vine-growing and greatly concerned himself with the vineyard of la Mothe. When he became Pope, he considerably contributed to the development of viticulture, particularly in the Rhône Valley and all around Avignon.

It is partly thanks to him that certain growths in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Beaumes-de-Venise could and still can rival the best wines of Bordeaux.

On 30 August 1306, Pope Clement V was struck with a high fever. He was in Bordeaux at the time and wanted to stay at his vineyard of la Mothe. Until mid November, his state of health remained so poor that there were fears for his life.

Throughout his convalescence, the pontiff remained at his property in Pessac. The numerous letters exchanged between the King of France, Philip IV, and Pope Clement V mention Pessac on the postal seal.

From 1305 to 1309, the Pope continued to manage his vineyard with all his accustomed care. In December 1309, his pontifical workload no longer allowed him to continue this task, and he decided to donate the estate to the archdiocese of Bordeaux, which made Pape Clément a model property.

​The Pope died in 1314, and the archdiocese of Bordeaux remained owner until the French Revolution in 1789. The revolutionaries confiscated the property, selling it at auction in 1791.

Jean-Baptiste Clerc was one of the owners who marked the history of the estate. He was behind the existing Château, in the neo-Gothic style dating from 1864.

Under his aegis, more than 30 hectares was replanted and this same year, the property received the grand ministerial medal awarded in the competition for the most outstanding vineyard. ​Under Clerc’s management, Château Pape Clément soon became one of the best-known growths in the Gironde.

On 8 June 1937, a violent hail storm destroyed almost all the vineyards of Château Pape Clément and it was in 1939 that it was bought by Paul Montagne, who decided to restore the vineyard and the cellar to return them to the status they deserved.

​The culmination of his efforts and the quality of the Grand Vin were finally to be recognised on the creation of the classification of Grands Crus Classés de Graves in 1959.

Following a painful episode of hail in 1937, which damaged the vineyard, the land was bought in 1939 by the agricultural engineer Paul Montagne, who signalled the rebirth of the estate by replanting the vines and renovating the cellars.

As early as 1953, successful vintages flourished again, but once again, from 1975 onwards, a lack of investment detracted from quality for a period of around ten years. ​At the turn of the 1980s, Bernard Magrez, a passionate wine entrepreneur, took the reins at the Château and was to give this grand cru classé an unprecedented international aura.

In 1985, he marked the definitive return to high-level production, by now further enhanced by the talents of the famous consulting oenologist, Michel Rolland.

​Bernard Magrez put in place vinification by plot, a guarantee of complexity and refinement in the wine: the grapes from different plots are vinified in separate tanks, to allow them to fully express their specific characteristics before blending.

In 2003, the new barrel cellar opened its doors, followed in 2007 by the renovation of the cellar with its prestigious oak vats. ​Bernard Magrez made every effort to allow the exceptional terroir of Château Pape Clément to stand the test of time and express the finesse that had made the reputation of its wines.

It was in 2009 that these efforts were rewarded with the mythical score of 100 from the critic Robert Parker for Château Pape Clément white, and then the same score for Château Pape Clément red the following year.

​Thanks to hard work, constant questioning, the alliance of tradition and innovation and a remarkable terroir, Château Pape Clément, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, continues each year to amaze wine lovers with its exceptional quality.

“With their smoky and spicy bouquet, the red wines are of an admirable quality and a very characteristic softness. The wine is both concentrated, fine and harmonious, with an aromatic palette as wide as it is precise. The depth and length in the mouth are exceptional. Quality of the terroir, sustained efforts and dynamism have borne fruit bringing Pape Clément to a level very close to that of the premiers crus.” – Figaro Vin

“Among the best dry whites of Bordeaux and of Pessac Léognan, this wine combines richness, concentration and finesse. Like for the reds, the aromatic palette is both precise and full, with notes of citrus, green fruit, minerality and fine oak. On the palate, the concentration and length are exceptional. Its potential for long ageing should be used to draw out all its quintessence.” – Figaro Vin

“An intense, refined wine with a wide and rich bouquet, structured tannins and the complexity of its appellation. We note, in the 2008, the discreet presence of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. All the wines age very well.”- Figaro Vin

“Produced with the same care and the same methods as the grand vin, Le Clémentin de Pape Clément is one of those second wines which are near-firsts, having acquired a status in their own right, as shown by the tasting notes and the high prices they command.” – Figaro Vin

The estate of Château Pape Clément is part of the Pessac-Léognan appellation situated in the Graves viticultural area. Based on a soil with exceptional components, the 60 hectares of this vineyard are devoted to the meeting of passion and work.

​The Château terroir is situated on the oldest of the alluvial terraces, called the “Pyrenean gravel layer”. The originality of the Pape Clément site lies in the presence of a thin film of more recent Garonne gravel, deposited a million and a half years ago.

The diversity of the terroir of Pape Clément allows for the ripening of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot for the production of our red wine and Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Sémillon and Muscadelle for the production of our white wine.

Through its history, its character and its rooting in the terroir, the Château has developed a tradition making it possible to achieve excellence. This is the central point of the vineyard management as well as the major choices that have been made.

Manual work in the vineyard, Guyot-Poussard pruning, animal traction, manual destemming, natural fermentation (indigenous yeasts), vinification in terracotta jars are some of the ancestral practices that let us reflect the best of our terroir.

​Nevertheless, in order to continuously improve our practices to achieve excellence, innovation is a real driving force. The drone, the Green-Seeker, genodics, electric tractors, eco-confined spraying, self-steering tractors allow us to reconcile progress in technical, agronomic and environmental matters, and above all in quality.

Investments have been made and the Château has been equipped with the most precise tools available to ensure the excellence of our practices. Château Pape Clément is one of the only examples of such total enclosure in the Bordeaux conurbation.

The particular characteristics of the urban environment have been mapped and explain today the strategic choices made at the Château. Ploughing by horse, electric tractors, biodynamic trials, eco-confined spraying for the most-sensitive plots; these are some of the advances in the protection of our terroir.

Château Pape Clément is part of the very small circle of châteaux certified as being of High Environmental Value. This HVE 3 certification is, according to the French state, the highest environmental distinction.

Always seeking to deepen its responsible approach, continuous improvement with Terra Vitis allows the Château to identify points requiring attention and to provide solutions.

The grapes are harvested by hand, into crates of 10 to 12 kg. Our team of trained pickers performs an initial sorting on the vine, by selecting only the best bunches. The crop is then manually sorted in the cellar, on our sorting tables, to select only the grapes at optimal ripeness.

About 5% of our best, freshly picked bunches are destemmed by hand. The individual berries are delicately detached from the bunch, without damaging their skin. The separated berries are then sorted by hand, put back in the crates, and taken to the vat room.

Our vat room was redesigned in 2007. Here the vineyard is reproduced in the vats: there are 28 vats, each corresponding to plots of different ages and planted with different grape varieties.

This reproduction of the vineyard in the vats is called “parcellisation”. It is all the more precise in our case, because the acquired knowledge of our vineyard allows us to blend or to separate the plots, to best respect the complexity of their micro-terroir.

Château Pape Clément red ages in the calm of our cellars for 18 months, in 70% new barrels. Le Clémentin is aged for 12 months with a proportion of 30% new barrels. During this time, our teams take the greatest care of the wine during our rackings and up to bottling. We work with several coopers, adding even more complexity to our wines.

Bernard Magrez acquired the prestigious Château Pape Clément in the 1980s. It was his very first vineyard. Now owner of three other Grands Crus Classés in the Bordeaux region, La Tour Carnet (Haut Médoc) Château Fombrauge (Saint-Emilion) and Clos Haut Peyraguey (Sauternes), Bernard Magrez is today an important Bordeaux businessman in the wine sector, owner of 42 great international estates.

Stay at the Château Pape Clément and discover the French Art de Vivre. The Château Pape Clément opens its doors. Book your night in one of its 5 exceptional suites and enjoy the intimacy and diversity of their historic charm.

You will be able to appreciate the French elegance and benefit from an anthology of high-end services declined according to your sensitivity, organized to measure by your butler. Delicate cares and absolute quality: Welcome to your home.

If you are adventurous and passionate, Mon Seul Rêve is a true world within a world. The décor evokes far-off lands, while rare artefacts from Bernard Magrez’s private collection create an exotic and refined landscape.

1H00 – Discover the 7 centuries of history of a legendary Cru Classé of Graves. Visit the gardens of the estate with a digital tablet that will tell you in 8 languages ​​the history of this Cru Classé and its techniques.

1H30 – Between secrets of stones and of great men, the majestic history of Château Pape Clément will be recounted. At the foot of our vineyards, in our impressive wooden vat-house and in the tranquility of the barrel cellar, discover our unique know-how. In the tasting room, enjoy Château Pape Clément red as well as two other great wines by Bernard Magrez. An authentic experience.

2H00 – After a detailed explanation of the various works within the vineyard throughout the year, discover the wooden vat-house used for the vinification of red wine, let yourself be told its winemaking secrets.

Finally visit the barrel cellar where our wine aged for 18 months and discover the subtleties of successful aging. End your visit with a tasting of 5 wines including rosé, dry white, red and sweet on different terroirs including Château Pape Clément red wine.

2H00 – From delicate sensations to whirlwinds feelings, let you guide during a sensory journey. At first, you wil taste two of monowines which will allow you to understand the aromas and the contributions of each.

To perfect this experience, your taste is put to the test during a blind tasting. And at the end, you are transported in various sound contexts, to understand how they can influence your judgement of wine…

2H00 – This tour is dedicated to collectors, who are demanding and constantly in search of extraordinary new sensations. The sommelier accompanies you on a private tour of Château Pape Clément.

A tasting of the four Bernard Magrez’s Grand Cru Classé will take place after the visit.

  • Château Fombrauge, Grand Cru Classé Saint-Emilion
  • Château La Tour Carnet, Grand Cru Classé Médoc 1855
  • Château Pape Clément, Grand Cru Classé de Graves
  • Clos Haut-Peyraguey, Premier Grand Cru Classé Sauternes 1855

2H00 – After a detailed explanation of the various works within the vineyard throughout the year, discover the wooden vat-house used for the vinification of red wine and the barrel cellar, let yourself be told its winemaking secrets.

​Then understand the characteristics of Bordeaux wines, between classification, appellation and laws. Tasting of 4 wines (1 dry white wine, 2 red wines, 1 very sweet wine)

2H00 – Visit Château Pape Clément estate before to discover the secrets of tasting in 3 fundamental stages with 8 great wines from exceptional “terroirs”. The course is led by our sommeliers. Take home your own tasting booklet!

2H00 – Discover the 7 centuries of history of Château Pape Clément. Discover its exceptional terroir as well as the vat-house, and barrel cellar.

After this visit, our sommelier will give you all the main rules of wine pouring, its conservation and its agreements. You will become a wise host. Tasting of 8 wines: a rosé, three whites, three reds and a sweet wine.

2H00 – Enjoy the visit of a Cru Classé. The sommelier of Château Pape Clément guides you through the discovery and learning of 8 exceptional wines and cheeses. From light and fruity red wine to fatty white wine, find the best pairing and become a connoisseur host during your next family reunion!

2H00 – After a historical and technical tour of Château Pape Clément, our sommelier will present you with a surprising marriage of land and sea, pointing out all the similarities between exceptional caviar and wine, from production to tasting. You will taste three Sturia caviars, matched with an original selection of three Bernard Magrez wines.

2H00 – Always dreamed of creating our own personalized bottle of wine? Visit the winery, mix and taste your own wine blend and take home your personal bottle!

Enjoy an introduction to the characteristics of our varietals. Create and taste your own wine blend to choose the one you like and take it home in a personal souvenir bottle to share with your family or your friends!

2H00 – Come with us as we guide you through seven centuries of heritage, and a single watchword in wine production: quality. After a historical and technical tour led by the Sommelier, you will have a chance to taste five vintages of red Pape Clément (a “vertical” tasting) and experience the privilege of tasting our most treasured gem, the Château Pape Clément white wine.

10H00, training on a day and half – Discover the 7 centuries of history of Château Pape Clément. Understand its exceptional terroir as well as the vat-house, and the barrel cellar. Improve your wine knowledge with the explanations of our sommelier.

Learn the vocabulary of tasting, discover the processes used to make wines from our French and foreign vineyards … This learning will be done around a tasting of 30 wines.

Rooms: 5
Price: from 216 EUR per night


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