Château Pape Clément
Pape Clement - named for Clement V, the heresiarch pope who moved the papacy to Avignon during the great schism in the Catholic Church in 1309. Rome's loss was Bordeaux' gain as the Pope took an active interest and made wines of impressive quality. Fast forward to the modern era and Pape Clement is now the jewel in the crown of Bernard Magrez, one of France's most successful vineyard owners (he has just shy of 40 around the world at last count) and also something of an iconoclast to some. Michel Rolland consults for all his properties and this has led to wines which are never short of extraction or oak however the best vintages (and the chateau is increasingly consistent) have a depth of ripe, spicy fruit that covers the structure well. A hefty Merlot percentage (sometimes more than 50% of the blend) ensures the wine is one of the more hedonistic and lushly textured of the Left Bank.