This complex, dark garnet/plum-tinged wine reveals some bricking at the edge, and its beautiful, smoky, meaty nose exhibits notions of sweet currants, black cherries, and licorice. Medium to full-bodied and fleshy with low acidity, sweet tannin, and an expansive mouthfeel with no hard edges, it is a fully mature 1990 that should drink well for another decade. In my opinion, the Pape Clement vintages from 1998 onward are even more impressive and deeper. Moreover, they possess greater longevity. (RP)
I still have the better part of a case of the 1990 Pape Clément in my cellar, and though I have been dipping in to check on its evolution every couple of years over the last decade, I still find this excellent wine a bit too young for primetime drinking. It is one of the most structured vintages of Pape Clément that I have tasted from this golden era at the estate, and a few more years in the cellar to allow more tannins to fall away still seems merited. The bouquet today is pure, complex and utterly classic, offering up a smoky blend of black cherries, cigar wrapper, gravelly soil tones, a bit of iron filings, a discreet touch of toasty oak, a bit of Graves medicinal overtones and hints of red fruit to come in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and beautifully soil-driven, with an excellent core, very good purity for the vintage and still a surprising bit of chewy, youthful tannin perking up the long and complex finish. It is certainly approachable today, but it seems to have gotten a bit sleepy again and closed down a bit more and I would now let it rest comfortably in the cellar for another few years before starting to look for it at its plateau of maturity. (Drink between 2023-2060)
Very dark ruby color. Raspberry, floral and mineral jump out of the glass on the nose. Full-bodied, with firm tannins, serious fruit and a medium finish. Muscular Pape. (JS)
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