AMA Vertical Tasting
Château Pape Clément

AMA Vertical Tasting-Château Pape Clément (2009-2020) - Alexandre MA

Can you imagine this is the 770th harvest?


I’ve been in a whirlwind all day lately for the tasting of the 2020 vintage in bottle, and so overwhelmed that I’ve lost track of time, thus I doubted whether it was worth it to take a day trip to Paris. But, given that this was a special event for Château Pape Clément’s 770th harvest, I couldn’t help but get on the train to Paris…

AMA Vertical Tasting-Château Pape Clément (2009-2020) - Alexandre MA

It happened to be the right decision.


Not only did I get to taste Château Pape Clément from vintage 2009 to 2020, but got to meet my favorite chef, the dashing Yannick Alléno. Most importantly, I was honored to be treated to a live performance with 17th-18th century age-old vintage musical instruments. The moment my eardrums relished the hallowed ethereal sounds, it took me back to Paris’s Renaissance with grand idyllic vista…

AMA Vertical Tasting-Château Pape Clément (2009-2020) - Alexandre MA

Because today’s theme is to celebrate the 770th harvest of Château Pape Clément, let’s have a closer look at Pope Clément V’s legendary life today.


Clément V (Bertrand de Goth) was born in Aquitaine. In his youth, he was aspired to be a devout clergy. For this purpose, he studied art in Toulouse, France, and Catholic canon law and civil law in Orléans, Loire and Bologna, Italy.


This young clergy was a consummate master of his art during the Middle Ages, when the majority of the populace was illiterate. Clément V was placed as a member of the legal clergy to Bordeaux’s largest church, the Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux, upon his return from his studies. His brother was even more outstanding, serving as a vice-bishop in the cathedral of Lyon in his early years before being promoted to cardinal archbishop of Albano, and in charge of the Holy Roman Curia’s ambassadorship in France.


Clément V, who was already very intelligent, was able to expand his wings with the assistance of his brother. At a young age, he began to have frequent meetings with may noble families, and he got very close to King Philip IV of France, known as Philip the Fair (Philippe IV le Bel).


Who would have said no to such an intelligent young clergy with a juristic background? Clément V was formally appointed Archbishop of Bordeaux by the Pope in 1297, at the age of 33, with a mysterious path of legend awaited him.

AMA Vertical Tasting-Château Pape Clément (2009-2020) - Alexandre MA

Clêment V would have remained archbishop if things had remained the same, but unfortunately his good friend Philip the Fair had a row with Pope Boniface VIII, and in his rage, Philip the Fair sent troops to capture Pope Boniface VIII. During his confinement, the pope died suddenly of illness, leaving the much-wanted title of pope vacant for the first time in history. In 1305, Philip the Fair simply appointed his good friend Clément V as Catholic Pope.


One has to keep the wheel of luck rolling while they have it. Clément V had just been elected Pope of the Catholic Church when he received a letter from his family the following year. When Clément V’s brother Gaillard de Goth died without inheritor, he left Clément V the large vineyard in the south of Bordeaux.

AMA Vertical Tasting-Château Pape Clément (2009-2020) - Alexandre MA

Clément V bequeathed this beloved vineyard to the Archbishop of Bordeaux before his death, and it remained the Archbishop’s common property until the French Revolution. The estate was later renamed Château Pape Clément, which translates as “克莱蒙教皇城堡” in Chinese and is also known as “Black Pope” by domestic consumers.


When we raise the glass of Château Pape Clément 770 years later, we will inadvertently realize that we are tasting not only the wine of Château Pape Clément, but also the historical moments that have been accumulated on this classical land for 770 years, it is also the sole memory of “Château Pape Clément” and Mr.Bernard Magrez.