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Average critic rating : 93.5 points
This wine still possesses a dense, youthful, plum/garnet color to the rim, with very little lightening. The first vintage for Pavie under Chantal and Gérard Perse, the 1998 is full-bodied, showing lots of cedar wood, forest floor, roasted herbs, black cherry and blackcurrant and new saddle leather. It is quite full-bodied, opulent and seems to be just entering its plateau of full maturity, where it should last another 15-20 years.||| Pavie is widely acclaimed as one of Bordeaux’s greatest terroirs, of largely limestone and clay soils. Brilliantly situated with a sunny, southern exposure and exceptional drainage, Pavie potentially rivals nearby Ausone, the oldest and possibly the most famous estate in Bordeaux. Pavie’s other nearby neighbors include, Pavie-Macquin and Troplong-Mondot to the north, Larcis-Ducasse to the southeast and La Gaffelière and Saint-Georges Côte Pavie to the west. | Until 1978, previous owners rarely produced great wine, but of course that all changed with the acquisition of the 92-acre, single vineyard by Chantal and Gérard Perse. In short, they dramatically raised the quality. Currently, the vineyard is planted with 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, but the actual blend for each vintage tends to possess slightly higher amounts of Merlot. A perfectionist, owner Gérard Perse is flexible with the percentage of new oak, as well as how long the wine is aged in cask. Great vintages can get 100% new oak and spend up to 32 months in barrel. Lesser years are bottled after 18 months and see at least 30% less new oak.| There is no fining or filtration. The resulting wine has been considered one of the superstars of Bordeaux since 1978. eRobertParker.com.August, 2015
Lots of wood, cedar, vanilla and ripe fruit on the nose. Violets too. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins, yet they are still chewy. This needs some more bottle age to resolve the slightly angular and woody tannins. But it's full of stuffing.¿'88/'98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Best after 2011. 6,665 cases made. James Suckling, Wine Spectator 2009
Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.
Chart showing (to 28/03/2017) market price for 12x75cl standard case:
|Pavie 1998||+£2,076.00 (+311.24%)||Latest price: £2,743.00|
Pavie: The Importance
One of the most well-established châteaux in the Bordeaux appellation of St-Émilion, Château Pavie went through a huge period of change, when the new owner Gerard Perse purchased the estate in 1998. Perse, who also owns Château Monbousquet, Château Pavie-Decesse and Bellevue Mondotte, brought with him a huge amount of expertise, and big plans to revolutionise the estate and the wine-making at Pavie.
The characteristics of the wine produced at Château Pavie changed dramatically when Perse took over control of the estate. Previously, the wine had been a much lighter style than what is being produced now, and arguably more subtle and elegant, with some saying that the pre-1998 wines had been a truer expression of St-Émilion. The style produced now is deeply coloured and flamboyant, with notes of dense dark fruits, chocolate, truffle and spice. Because of the intensity of this wine, it often needs around 15 years to mature. A comparison of pre and post-1998 vintages would show just how drastically different these two styles truly are.
Pavie is a clear favourite of Neal Martin and Robert Parker, with a big shift in their scores being seen from the year that Perse took over. Since then, no vintage has received fewer than 90 points, with the 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 vintages all receiving a perfect 100 points. As Parker writes: “Pavie’s style of low yields, ripe fruit and serious extraction does produce, even in lighter vintages, a very concentrated and dense wine, but in the great years, the results are legendary.”
Pavie: The Insight
The vineyards of Château Pavie comprise 42 hectares and are made up of three completely different terroirs each with their own microclimates, which gives the wine huge depth and complexity.
The vineyard is planted with 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and this is reflected to varying degrees in the final blend of the wine. A lot of effort is expended in order to achieve low yields, thus encouraging the grapes harvested to be of the best quality and intensity, and the sorting process of the grapes is meticulous to ensure that only the best grapes contribute to the final wine.
Although the change in style at Pavie has sparked controversy, with some preferring that it be made in a less concentrated style, the effort that Perse, along with the help of oenologist Michel Rolland, has expended at the estate has received significant recognition. The most important of which was the elevation in classification of Pavie in 2012. In this new Classification of St-Émilion, Château Pavie was elevated from Premier Grand Cru Classe B to A, placing it alongside the other greats of St-Émilion, Ausone, Cheval Blanc and Angelus, with Parker writing that “Pavie potentially rivals nearby Ausone, the oldest and possibly the most famous estate in Bordeaux.”
The estate also produces a second wine called the Les Arômes de Pavie. Originally called Château Tour Simard, the first vintage of Les Arômes was produced in 2005. Mostly made with the juice from young vines, Les Arômes is made with more Merlot than the Grand Vin and has some of the elements found in the top wine, although it is much softer, making it an excellent starting point from which to explore the wines of Château Pavie.
Gerard Perse also created another wine, called the Esprit de Pavie, which Tim Atkin refers to as an entry point to the wines of Gerard Perse. The wine is aged in barrels previously used in making Gerard Perse’s other wines, including Château Pavie, and is made up of grapes originating from a variety of Perse owned sources in St-Émilion, bringing together the various estates and styles into one wine.
Pavie: The Background
The slopes of Château Pavie were planted as far back as the fourth century by the Ancient Romans and it has been a well-known producer in St-Émilion since the middle of the 19th century.
When Gerard Perse bought the estate the vineyards were in extremely poor condition and required extensive replanting. Along with this, Perse also extended the vineyards at Pavie by 2.5 hectares when he purchased the vines of Château La Clusière, an integration which was allowed as the terroirs were judged to be similar enough, and a small part of the vineyards at Pavie-Decesse were also incorporated into the vineyards at Pavie. Perse renovated the entire estate, with work finishing in 2000, and in 2011 he began a complete renovation of the win-making facilities to an extremely modern state of the art facility which was completed in 2013.
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