Purchased by Gerard Perse in 1998, Chateau Pavie, a Premier Grand Cru Classe B, has since become one of St.-Emilion’s most noted wines. A former cyclist who made his fortune with supermarket chains, Perse in the last decade has modernized and updated the estate with a major replanting program in the vineyards and by totally remodeling the cellars. Perse also owns Chateau Monbousquet and Chateau Pavie-Decesse.
At 103 acres Chateau Pavie has the largest vineyard of any of the St.-Emilion Grand Crus, and it is many time larger than such neighbors as Ausone. The estate is notable for its three quite different terroirs, each with its own microclimate. The vineyards are planted to 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The bottle was “pop and pour” but it was clear early on that an extended decant would have been more appropriate. Purple in color. Intense aromas of stone, charcoal, anise, cherry and truffles. Rich, lush and hedonistic on the palate. Flavors of chocolate, cherry liqueur, plums and smoke. The finish went on and on. The wine is simply stunning right now but has loads of upside over the years to come. Drink over the next 7-12 years.
My rating: 95 points.
Current vintages of Pavie are out of my price range. “Off” vintages like the ’01 and ’04 can be found for under $200 at auction. This wine underscores how great Bordeaux can be in supposedly lesser vintages like 2001. Happy hunting!
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