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.
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.
Due Paul Montagne’s efforts on the vineyard restoration, the quality of the Grand Vin was finally to be recognised on the creation of the classification of Grands Crus Classés de Graves in 1959.
Bernard Magrez, a passionate wine entrepreneur, 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.
The new barrel cellar
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.
The wine portfolio
CHÂTEAU PAPE CLÉMENT ROUGE Grand Cru Classé de Graves
– First sorting in the vineyard, manual harvest in crates
– Manual destemming berry by berry and use of a sorting table
– Transfer into 30-70 hl wooden vats by gravity flow
– Low temperature pre-fermentation maceration
– Manual punching down
– 30-40 day maceration
– The wine is run off into French oak barrels by gravity flow
– Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels
– Aging for 18 months in oak barrels
56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc.
CHÂTEAU PAPE CLÉMENT BLANC Grand Vin de Graves
– Manual filling into the pneumatic press
– Pressing of the whole berries with slow pressure without crumbling, under inert atmosphere to protect the aromas
– Run off of the juice into oak barrels by gravity flow
– Settling and fermentation in French oak barrels
– Aging on the lees, stirring of the lees
– 15% of the wine is aged in a state-of-the-art egg-shaped concrete tank
– Aging for 16 months in oak barrels
50% Sauvignon blanc, 40% Sémillon, 10% Sauvignon gris.
CLÉMENTIN ROUGE Grand Vin de Graves
– First sorting in the vineyard
– Use of a sorting vibrating table
– Transfer into 25-90 hl vats by gravity flow
– Low temperature pre-fermentation maceration (8°C )
– Manual punching down
– 30-35 days maceration
– The wine is run off into French oak barrels by gravity flow.
– Malolactic fermentation in barrels
– Aging for 16 months in barrels
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
CLÉMENTIN BLANC Grand Vin de Graves
– Manual filling into pneumatic pressing
– Pressing of the entire berries with slow pressure under inert atmosphere
– Running off into oak barrels by gravity flow
– Settling and alcoholic fermentation in French oak barrels
– Aging on fine lees, stirring out of the lees
– Aging for 15 months in 55% new oak barrels, 35% one year-old wine and 10% egg-shaped concrete tanks
75 % Sauvignon blanc, 20 % Sémillon, 5% Muscadelle.