Opened the bottle with plenty of curiosity but little expectation given Pape Clement was not exactly a top Chateau in the early 80s. Very top shoulder fill, completely soaked cork which however came out entirely with some efforts. Pnp - given the age a still relatively young and healthy garnet with only slight browning at the rim. Initially nose and palate dominated by sous bois, cedar, a little barnyard and high acidity. Took about 10 minutes before a little fruit appeared. Pleasant drinking but clearly the wine is way past peak. Despite the age, the palate is not entirely soft and mellow but has still a bit of roughness, hinting at a wine that was perhaps not stellar even in its best days. Impressive indeed what progress has been made at Pape Clement in the 90s (the 95 and 96 is excellent), and in the 00s if you like their modern style, as this is clearly not even at the level of an (admittedly very good) 82 Phelan Segur.
The wine had a pretty good cork for its age, and a base neck fill. The color shows the advanced age on this wine, dark black core with heavily browned rims, almost as if oxidized. On the nose there are clear aromas of mushroom, underbrush, cassis, blackberries, old leather boots, volatile acidity, crushed stones, with small amounts of black pepper. The flavors on this mid-bodied wine were quite rustic, very dirty dusty earth flavors, with some dark fruits, leather, dark chocolate, flavors and a rancio note on the end. The wine is very smooth, great tertiary flavors but weak finish, there seems to be some rustic beauty behind it.
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