Chateau Le Pape Pessac Leognan Bordeaux, Complete Guide

Le Pape Chateau

Learn everything about Chateau Le Pape Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, and information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Le Pape History, Overview

Chateau Le Pape has a history that dates back to the 1700s when the estate was founded by Pierre Bobineau. The background for Pierre Bobineau was not in the wine trade. In fact, he was known as one of the best makers of sails for boats that sailed in and out of Bordeaux.

In 1805, he built the original chateau and continued planting the vineyard. At some point that started during the 1960s, and continued through the 1980s, and for most of the 1990s as well, the vineyard was leased to the Perrin family that owned neighboring Chateau Carbonnieux.

In late 2011, Patrick Monjanel sold Chateau Le Pape to Bob Wilmers, the American owner of the neighboring estate, Chateau Haut Bailly, also located in the Pessac Leognan appellation.

The first thing Bob Wilmers did after purchasing Chateau Le Pape was to bring in Veronique Sanders to manage the estate. Veronique Sanders was already the director of Chateau Haut Bailly, so of course, this was a natural fit.

The next step was a complete renovation of the chateau, the wine-making facilities, cellars, and gardens. Everything was completely modernized and redesigned, including the label, which was changed from the older, original type font and design to a more streamlined design that is similar to that which is used on the labels for Chateau Haut Bailly.

The size of the vineyard has since been increased as well, going from 7 hectares to 9 hectares of vines starting with the 2018 vintage.

After the passing of Bob Wilmers, the estate is now owned and managed by his son Chris Wilmers.

Chateau Le Pape Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 9-hectare vineyard of Chateau Le Pape is planted to 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Many of the vines are old, at close to 50 years of age.

However, the majority of the vineyard needs to be replanted. At the time of the purchase, the vineyard was only planted to 2,600 vines per hectare, which is well below the AOC rules for the appellation, which requires a minimum of 6,500 vines per hectare.

The terroir is gravel with sand and clay-based soils that is in a single block of vines. All vineyard management techniques are conducted using only self-sustaining viticultural techniques.

To produce the wine of Chateau Le Pape, the wine is vinified in temperature-controlled cement tanks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in vat. The wine is aged in 30% new, French oak barrels for between 12 to 15 months, depending on the character and quality of the vintage.

The same team that is responsible for producing the wine at Chateau Haut Bailly is now in charge of making the wine at Chateau Le Pape.

The average annual production for Chateau Le Pape is close to 3,500 cases per year. With the team headed by Veronique Sanders, and the spare no expense attitude of Bob Wilmers to produce the best wine possible, this is an estate to watch.

The Best Vintages of Chateau Le Pape are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014.

In September 2015, Chateau Le Pape announced they were entering the oenotourisme field. For wine lovers looking to experience life in the vineyards accompanied by great meals and stunning wines, it was now possible to stay at a real chateau.

Chateau Le Pape offers rooms and suites that provide guests with the true atmosphere of Bordeaux, along with all the comforts of a luxury hotel. To learn more about the hotel, please visit the website of Chateau Le Pape.

When to Drink Chateau Le Pape, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Le Pape can be enjoyed on the young side with decanting. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 1 hour to 90 minutes, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

Chateau Le Pape is usually better with at least 5-7 years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Le Pape offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 6-15 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Le Pape, with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chateau Le Pape is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. The red wine of Chateau Le Pape is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes.

Chateau Le Pape is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta as well as cheese.

Château Le Pape Wine Tasting Notes

7 Vintages 17,022 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2020 Château Le Pape  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Fresh red berries and savory herbs create the aromatic profile. Elegant, medium-bodied, fresh, pure, clean, soft and unadorned, the wine leaves you with the essence of ripe, cherries and refined textures on the palate and in the finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. 90-92 Pts

1,317 Views   Tasted
2019 Château Le Pape  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Elegant, medium-bodied, finesse driven, floral, silky and accessible, the wine is going to be beautiful on release, with all its ripe sweet raspberry and even sweeter cherries. 2019 marks their 8th vintage here, and the wine has never been better! The wine was produced from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. 90-92 Pts

2,870 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Le Pape  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

Medium-bodied, with a core of fresh, ripe, elegant red fruits, the wine is soft, sweet, refined and energetic. Forward in style, the finish shows off its savory ripe, red berries, dark chocolate, spice, herbs and tobacco leaf with ease. The wine blends 80% Merlot with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. 92 Points

800 Views   Tasted

Flowery with deep, dark red fruits, what you really notice here is the silky texture. Medium bodied with an elegant, refined character, the cherries show their sweetness, the soft, slightly dusty tannins are polished and the finish is fresh and juicy with just a hint of cocoa in the end note. 2018 marks their 7th vintage here, and things are really coming together now. The wine was produced from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. 90-92 Pts

1,360 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Le Pape  (Pessac-Léognan) 89

An herb garden overflowing with thyme, the last bite of a cherry griotte and a thin veil of smoke excite the nose. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, gentle, fresh and elegant, leaning toward the red fruit side of the style range. There is sparkle and charm here but not much length. The wine was produced from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. 89 Points

1,590 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Le Pape  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Licorice, black cherries, wet earth and caramel scents come easily to the front. On the palate, the wine balances between the fresh fruit and ripe tannins. The finish leaves you with spicy, plums. The wine was produced from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 13.8% alcohol with pH of 3.7. 91 Points

2,498 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Le Pape  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

Smoke, licorice, caramel, sweet cherries and spice, this wine is medium-bodied, soft, fresh and forward with an elegant appeal. Produced from a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 13.8% alcohol. 89 - 91 Pts

2,997 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Le Pape  (Pessac-Léognan) 89

Soft, silky, open and already quite easy to drink, the wine is medium-bodied with a nice smoky, tobacco, cedar, leaf and red pit fruit character. This is not going to make old bones. It is ready now and will show best over the next 5-6 years or so. 89 Points

1,898 Views   Tasted

Licorice, caramel and sweet cherries, this wine has a soft, open, early-drinking charm. Produced from a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the second vintage here for winemaker Veronique Sanders. 87-89 Pts

1,692 Views   Tasted