Peter Maude Fine Wines
2020, Château Le Pape, PESSAC-LEOGNAN, Grand Vin de Bordeaux
Bordeaux Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2020 Le Pape, which was bottled in the spring, has an attractive nose with blackberry, briary, crushed stone and light floral scents. Curiously, not a million miles away from a Burgundy if I had it blind. The palate is medium-bodied with crushed black fruit. Modest weight, nicely focused, quite saline, this is chalkier on the finish than I expect, a tad more austere vis-à-vis the 2019. Moderate length, this is still an attractive and quite cerebral Le Pape. 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.
The 2020 Le Pape is generous, dark, rich and inviting. Black cherry, very elegant, nuanced and charming. Dark cherry, lavender, spice, menthol, licorice and dried herbs are nicely delineated. Le Pape is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. In this vintage it is especially refined and vibrant. I loved it. 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.
A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Merlot for the 2020 Le Pape was harvested from the 9th, 11th and 15th of September, and the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on the 25th of September. Deep garnet-purple coloured, it wafts sensuously from the glass with beautiful floral notes of lilacs and lavender, giving way to a core of kirsch, fresh blackberries and black cherries, plus hints of menthol and pencil lead. The medium-bodied palate is soft, refreshing and delicately flavoured, delivering a compelling mineral-laced finish. 89-91 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate.
Velvety richness and concentration to the plum fruits on the first nose. There is some clear tightness to the fruit, with a pencil lead and crushed stone edge, but the fruits are gourmet and round as they open. A vintage that has firm tannins emphasised by clear liquorice and fresh acidities. Slightly later ripening than Haut-Bailly as a cooler spot. A yield of 37hl/ha. They really have done a great job of making Le Pape one of the 'insider wines' of Pessac-Léognan, with plenty of Haut-Bailly house signature (to the point that it is very much worth looking at instead of HBII, particularly if the price is less). 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.
Aromatically expressive with crushed peppercorns, cocoa nibs, baked cherries and raspberries and dried flowers. Juicy and alive in the mouth with softly grainy tannins that have a clear graphite and liquorice tang to them. Wide and deep but no excess weight. Well framed with dark black fruit, chocolate powder and dried herbs. This has tension, focus and persistency with a lovely energy throughout. 92 Georgina Hindle, Decanter.
Drinking Window: 2026 - 2046