Château Pape Clément
216, avenue du Dr N Pénard
Telephone: +33 (0)5 57 26 38 38
Visits: By appointment only
Details: Grand Cru Classé de Graves (red only), Pessac-Léognan, 32.5ha, gravelly-sand & clay
Vineyards: Red: Cabernet Sauvignon 60%, Merlot Noir 40%. White: Savignon Blanc 45%, Sémillon 45%, Muscadelle 10%
The estate really is named after a pope, Pape Clément V, who not only had the papal court moved to Avignon in the early 14th century but was once – as Archbishop of Bordeaux – the passionately involved owner of the vineyard. When his papal duties forced him to give up the property, it was passed down through successive Bordeaux Archbishops right up until the French Revolution. During the 19th century, the estate reached a peak under the far-sighted management of Jean-Baptiste Clerc, yet it was a severely battered property Paul Montagne acquired in 1939, two years after the great frost. It is he and today’s owners, descendants Léo Montagne and Bernard Magrez, who must take credit for its reputation today.