The 1970 Pape Clement was...shocking...in terms of its precocity. This bottle was acquired in Bordeaux and the level was as good as you could expect given that it was 46 years old. Quite deep in color, the bouquet is just wonderful with smudged black fruit, warm gravel, clove and bay leaf. It exudes Graves-like aromas and conveys superb vigor. The palate shot well above my expectations: very well balanced and laden with black fruit. There is real weight and presence here, touches of sandalwood, clove and a subtle pine needle note emerging with time. It seems undiminished with age, a 1970 Graves that is doubtlessly overlooked by cognoscenti. Well, I am here to tell you that this is actually superior to the 1970 Haut Brion and ranks alongside the outstanding 1970 Domaine de Chevalier. Go seek. Tasted July 2016. (NM)
The 1970 Pape Clément is a lovely example of the vintage that is now at its apogee and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The wine offers up a classic bouquet of cassis, dried cherries, cigar ash, gravelly soil tones, coffee, tobacco leaf, fresh herb tones and a lovely, smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and velvety, with no rough edges, melting tannins, lovely focus and balance and a long, complex and beautifully refined finish. This particular bottle is a bit more vigorous than the last one I crossed paths with and still has plenty of life ahead of it. A classic Graves. (Drink between 2011-2025)
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