Chateau Pavie (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The wine of the vintage, the 2017 Chateau Pavie is an incredible achievement and is certainly in the same league as past great vintages such as 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2016. This hillside terroir escaped from the frost unscathed, and the 2017 is 60% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in mostly new oak. Its deep purple hue is followed by a rock star bouquet of pure creme de cassis, espresso roast, crushed violets, graphite, and a distinct sense of minerality. Deep, full-bodied, and concentrated, it has a wonderful sense of elegance, flawless balance, and again, awesome purity. This sensational effort has some upfront charm yet, given the tannins, a solid 7-8 years of bottle age are warranted and it should cruise for 25-30 years in cool cellars.
There was no frost in the vineyard in 2017, due to its situation high upon the limestone plateau. Composed of 60% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, which was harvested from September 25 to October 3, the 2017 Pavie is very deep garnet-purple in color and rolls slowly and sensuously out of the glass with growing scents of Black Forest cake, black plum preserves, blueberry compote and fruitcake plus suggestions of melted chocolate, licorice, crushed rocks and Indian spices with a waft of violets. Full-bodied, the palate packs a powerful punch, laden with electric layers of energetic black and blue fruits. All this decadent fruit is supported by fantastic freshness and very, very ripe, velvety tannins, finishing with epic length. Location, location, location was everything in 2017. Pavie has one of the most enviable locations in all of Bordeaux and boy-oh-boy does it show in this spectacular wine.
Profound, crushed blueberry and blackberry aromas here. Mint and chalk undertones. Full-bodied with a center palate of balanced and ripe fruit with polished and caressing tannins. Excellent finish that goes on for minutes. All in finesse and length. A wine to contemplate and enjoy. Better after 2024.
A stunner, with waves of velvety textured plum sauce, blackberry reduction and warm cassis rolling through, inlaid seamlessly with violet, black tea and singed applewood notes. Voluptuous and showy, but with a very fine chalky minerality pervading on the finish, imparting a sense of grace and refinement. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2022 through 2040.
Excellent concentration and freshness with linear, rich black fruits. You can really feel the crunchy, impressive layers of cigar box, blackberry and slate. It slowly reveals itself in the glass and is really a lovely wine. This has real persistency, it keeps on revealing itself after it has left your mouth, and is not insisting too much - definite improvement after 18 months ageing, bodes well for the future. 3.6pH. A low yield of 32hl/ha but not one that is particularly unusual as they rarely go above 35hl/ha here.
This wine is rich. But it also has a poise and control that balances the richness. With its restrained power and black fruits, the wine will develop impressively. Drink from 2024.
Barrel Sample: 93-95
Since 1998, Chantal and Gérard Perse have owned this estate, which boasts the largest vineyard of all Premier Grand Cru Classés in Saint-Emilion. The old fermentation cellar has given way to twenty temperature-controlled wooden vats, and the quarries have been replaced by a modern aging cellar.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.