Chateau de Pez 2006
Lovely red fruit, showing ripeness and a mixture of subtly toasty, truffly aromas mingled with hints of spices and the forest floor -- quite complex even at this early stage.
A touch lively on the attack but agreeably firm and rounded as it develops on the palate, with no trace of hardness.
Lovely, fairly elegant substance showing silky, persistent but unaggressive tannins. Somewhat firm on the finish for the time being but with all the signs of a great wine that will improve with age: elegant, refined and mouth-watering.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Chateau de Pez is located west of the town of Saint-Estèphe. The estate consists of 74 contiguous acres, with 54 acres under vine. The vineyard is situated on a high plateau with well-exposed slopes. From a summit of 59 ft. the land descends northward to 39 ft.
Chateau de Pez remains resolutely faithful to wood. The blend is composed in December and the wine is stored in barrels where it is racked every three months. After approximately one year, roughly midway through the maturation process, the wine is fined using fresh egg whites. The wine is matured in small oak casks with 40% new oak, 30% "Premier vin", 30% "Deuxième vin". It should be noted that the wine undergoes absolutely no filtration.
Deeply colored, concentrated, and distinctive, St. Estephe is the go-to for great, age-worthy and reliable Bordeaux reds. Separated from Pauillac merely by a stream, St. Estephe is the farthest northwest of the highest classed villages of the Haut Medoc and is therefore subject to the most intense maritime influence of the Atlantic.
St. Estephe soils are rich in gravel like all of the best sites of the Haut Medoc but here the formation of gravel over clay creates a cooler atmosphere for its vines compared to those in the villages farther downstream. This results in delayed ripening and wines with higher acidity compared to the other villages.
While they can seem a bit austere when young, St. Estephe reds prove to live very long in the cellar. Traitionally dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, many producers now add a significant proportion of Merlot to the blend, which will soften any sharp edges of the more tannic, Cabernet.
The St. Estephe village contains two second growths, Chateau Montrose and Cos d’Estournel.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.