Chateau Pape Clement: Revolutionary Advancements in Winemaking Since 1299
With a history dating back to medieval times, Chateau Pape Clement deserves a Luxist nominee in the best international red wine category based on history alone.
The chateau's roots trace back to 1299, when its namesake – first known as Bertrand de Goth – received a vineyard as a gift upon becoming the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Six years later, Bertrand ascended to the papacy, taking the name Clement V. For years, he governed as a wine-growing pope until finally passing control of the estate to his successor as archbishop.
Chateau Pape Clement is credited with a few of the revolutionary advancements in winemaking over the years, most notably aligning vines to make it easier for laborers to harvest the grapes. The chateau changed hands a number of times over the years and was nearly destroyed by a violent hailstorm in 1937, but survived under the leadership of Paul Montagne.
Gallery: Chateau Pape Clement
Today, Chateau Pape Clement produces four wines – three red, one white. The reds are 60% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot; grapes are grown on 30 year-old vines. In recent years, the Grand Cru Classe de Graves has been lauded especially for its award-winning 2000 and 2001 vintages, both of which were rated a near-perfect 95 or higher by Robert Parker. Somewhere, Pope Clement is smiling.
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