Château Le Pape adds an interesting dimension to the range of Haut-Bailly wines. The proximity of the property and its belonging to the Pessac-Léognan appellation create a natural synergy between the two estates. Especially since the Haut-Bailly team took over the Château Le Pape vineyard in 2012. The high proportion of Merlot in the blend gives it its expressive freshness, suppleness and charm. Blend: 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
94 Points - James Suckling Wild strawberries, red plums and wood on the nose. Some iodine and shells, too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, fine and polished tannins. Juicy and savory. A little tight now. A blend of 80% merlot and 20% cabernet sauvignon. Try after 2024.
93 Points - Jeb Dunnuck Emerging from the team at Haut-Bailly, the 2018 Château Le Pape is mostly Merlot from deep, gravelly soils brought up in 20% new French oak. It's a classic Graves offering loads of gravelly earth and tobacco as well as chocolate black cherry fruits, medium to full body, a rounded, beautifully textured mouthfeel, integrated tannins, and a great finish. It's going to shine in 2-4 years (it's far from unapproachable today) and keep for 10-15 years.
93 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate The 2018 Le Pape is blended of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot was harvested on September 17, 18 and 24, and the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested October 9. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with beautiful floral notions of red roses and lavender over a core of warm plums, black cherry compote and redcurrant jelly with hints of truffles, tapenade, yeast extract, licorice and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with juicy black plums and savory notions, framed by firm, rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing fragrant.
92 Points - Decanter Welcoming berry fruit aromas make it clear that this is extremely concentrated. There are excellent floral and fruit aromatics that layer up over each other, and its power is latent. It's hard to ignore as it widens and deepens through the mid-palate. Brambly black fruits join tannins that build to the finish, making this a pretty serious Le Pape. 30% new oak. 3.87pH versus 3.85pH in 2009, so pretty high, which helps give this a luxurious feel although it lacks a little typicity. Hail affected 4ha out of the 9ha which, combined with mildew, meant a yield of 21hl/ha.
92 Points - Wine Spectator Ripe and structured, but succulent as well, with very juicy but youthfully compact blackberry and black currant fruit tightly wound with lacings of licorice, apple wood and tar. There is ample freshness and coiled energy though, so just give it a little time. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
90 Points - Vinous The 2018 Le Pape certainly has much to offer on the nose. Well-defined scents of brambly red berry fruit commingle with pencil box and subtle sous-bois scents, and maybe a background touch of the rooibos that I observed out of barrel. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, moderate weight but wonderful balance. This has turned into an elegant Le Pape that might miss some persistence, yet is so nimble and light on its feet that you cannot help but admire it. Give it, say, 24 months in bottle.