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Chateau Pavie 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Chateau Pavie's large production has made it more easily available than many other red Bordeaux. It is one of the best-known St. Emilions, vinified in a slightly lighter, more elegant style. With moderate red currant fruit in the nose, plus earth and spice, it can be peppery, spicy, or even leafy with hints of red cherries. Like other wineries in the côtes of St. Emilion, Chateau Pavie makes firm wines that are restrained and austere when young. The occasionally severe tannins mature with age into a fine sinewy structure. The better vintages are deep, intense, and concentrated. They mature 7-20 years after the vintage.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Bottled the week before I arrived, the 2009 Pavie appears to have barely budged since I tasted it two years ago. Many experts consider this phenomenal terroir to be nearly as great as that of Ausone. Made from a classic blend of 60-70% Merlot, 20-25% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, this inky/blue/purple-colored blockbuster reveals wonderful notes of blackberries, crushed rocks, roasted meats, spring flowers, cedar, blueberries, graphite and a hint of vanillin. With extravagant fruit and high extract as well as a hint of minerality, this structured, massively intense effort is typical of all the luxurious, perfect or nearly perfect Pavies produced under the Perse regime (which began in 1998). While built for 40-50 years of cellaring, the softness of the vintage and its flamboyant style is slightly less apparent in the 2009 Pavie than in some of the other Perse wines. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050+.
JS 98
James Suckling
This is a powerful wine with mineral and dried flowers. Full-bodied, with firm tannins yet they are very polished and beautiful. It goes on for minutes. It is so layered and deep. It needs at least 10 years before opening. It is a dense and deep wine.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
Very showy, with loads of warm fig, boysenberry and raspberry confiture flavors coming in waves, showing maybe a hint of torrefaction along with melted licorice, warm ganache and fruitcake notes. There's a loamy hint through the finish, and a touch of graphite helps give this the spine it needs. Hard to deny the fruit here, though I lean toward the '10 for its cut and drive.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
With its superripe, jammy fruit, this is luch and opulent. It does have fine structure as well as bitter chocolate and dark tannins. A hugely powerful wine.
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Chateau Pavie

Chateau Pavie

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Chateau Pavie, France - Other regions
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In the fourth century, Château Pavie's slope was planted. Parcel after parcel – Pigasse, les domaines de la Sable, Pimpinelle, Larcis – the bulk was built and consolidated under the Pavie name. This lies all in one piece on the slope of the hill southeast of the town of Saint-Emilion. The buildings and the vineyard at Pavie are at three levels on the side of the slope.

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.

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St-Émilion

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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.

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Bordeaux Blends

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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.

In the Glass

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. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

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.

LGC111733_2009 Item# 111733