Chateau Le Pape Pessac-Leognan 2015
Chateau Le Pape is an old property in the heart of the Pessac-Léognan appellation. Robert Wilmers acquired the estate in 2012, and the Haut-Bailly team led by Véronique Sanders and Gabriel Vialard took over the vineyard. The vineyard produces fruit forward, supple wines. This is 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. So soft and fresh.
Decantor 92 points: An easy recommendation; the third vintage under Haut-Bailly ownership. Pesticides had been used previously so they are retraining the roots to go deeper. 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lovely depth, velvety tannins and rich dark fruits. Rich toffee finish helped by 30% new oak.
James Suckling 92 points: Aromas of dark mushrooms and currants with hints of black cherries. Full body, chewy tannins and a savory finish. A rich and structured red. Needs two or three years to soften. Try in 2021.
Wine Advocate 92 points: The 2015 Le Pape is the third vintage made in four years by Haut-Bailly. Véronique Sanders described it as 'a little bomb'. It has a very attractive bouquet with ebullient dark plum, cassis and blueberry scents, quite floral and pure. The palate, built around 75% Merlot (the remainder Cabernet Sauvignon), is well balanced with a powdery texture on the entry. The new oak was quite prominent in my samples, although the final blend will be lower at 30%. With satisfying weight and structure, I would agree with Véronique that it is the best Le Pape...so far.
Vinous 91 points: The 2015 Le Pape is just as seductive and radiant as it was from barrel. Plump, juicy and forward, it will drink well right out of the gate. Dark cherry, plum, tobacco, licorice and dried herbs are all laced together in this attractive midweight wine. It will be interesting to see where Le Pape goes as the Haut-Bailly team gains more familiarity with this site. The blend is 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon.