Chateau Saint-Georges Cote Pavie (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 94-95
Barrel Sample: (93-95)+
Barrel Sample: 90-93
St-Georges Côte Pavie is one of those estates that should be better known - it has brilliant terroir and is now starting to realise that if it dials things back, it can finally be seen for what it is. Sweet fruit with touches of austerity are joined by a clear limestone lick, salted caramel and some tarry oak that's well integrated. It's intense and concentrated but balanced and pretty exciting overall. This is a very good wine that needs to be savoured, and remains big, structured, powerful and tannic, but with light showing through. Drinking Window 2026 - 2038. Barrel Sample: 91
The 2018 Château Saint Georges (Côte Pavie) comes from a great terroir just beside Pavie, yet for whatever reason, it never lives up to its neighbors, although that may be changing with Stéphane Derenocourt on board. This 2018 offers an exotic bouquet of blue fruits, spring flowers, and lavender that gives way to a soft, approachable 2018 that has sweet fruit, good purity, and supple tannins. It's not profound but has solid purity of fruit and is certainly a very good, possibly outstanding Saint-Émilion. Barrel Sampel: 89-91
The modern estate was assembled by Ferdinand Bouffard in the late 19th century by buying plots from several families. The plots were still managed separately, and the 9 hectares bought from the Pigasse family retained a separate identity as Chateau Pavie-Decesse. However, Bouffard struggled with phylloxera, and at the end of World War I he sold it to Albert Porte, who sold it to Alexandre Valette in 1943.
His grandson Jean-Paul Valette sold it to Gérard Perse in 1998. In 2012, Pavie was elevated to Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) status, which made it one of four such Saint-Émilion producers.
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, 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.