2011 Château Ormes de Pez, St Estèphe, Bordeaux
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 30/04/2014
Wine Spectator's 2011 Top-Scoring Red Bordeaux
(James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 10, 2012)
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - April 2012)
About this WINE
Chateau Ormes de Pez
Château Les Ormes de Pez is one of St-Estèphe`s leading Cru Bourgeois properties. It was bought by Jean-Charles Cazes in 1936 and is now owned and run by Jean-Michel Cazes. The latter owns Lynch-Bages The estate is located just outside the village of Pez in the northern part of the St-Estèphe commune.
There are 32 hectares of vineyards, which lie on soils rich in gravel on a subsoil of sand and clay. They are planted with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The grapes are hand-harvested and then fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats. The wine is then matured in a combination of one and two-year-old barrels from Lynch-Bages.
In the last decade, the wines have become richer and more fruit-driven - selection at harvest has become more rigorous and the proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend has been increased. The wines normally require at least 5 years of bottle ageing to show at their best.
St Estèphe is the northernmost of the most important communes of the Médoc and borders Pauillac on its southernmost border, with only a gully and stream separates it from Ch. Lafite. To the north lies the Bas-Médoc.
St Estèphe is defined by the depth of its gravel, which is ubiquitous but of varying depths and occasionally very shallow, when clay predominates. This keeps the soil cooler and wetter than its counterparts so that the wines can appear fresh in lighter vintages, but superbly successful in hot, dry years.
The best châteaux in the south of the commune have the deepest soil and the thickest gravel. Cos d'Estournel has an exceptional terroir with its vineyards being located on a south-facing ridge of gravel with excellent drainage.
St Estèphe is the least gravelly of main Médoc communes and in the north of the commune the vineyards are heavier and more clay-based leading to a rustic style of wine being produced.
The wines can appear austere in youth with a discernable ferric note at some châteaux, but the best typically display good depth of colour, pronounced acidity an tannins in youth and are exceptionally long-lived. At their best, they are the equal of almost any Bordeaux. The well-regarded St Estèphe co-operative controls the production of about half the appellation.
Cos (Ch. Cos d'Estournel), Ch. Montrose, Ch. Calon-Ségur, Ch. Lafon-Rochet, Ch. Les Ormes de Pez, Ch. Beau-Site, Ch. Cos Labory, Ch. Phélan-Ségur
The most famous red wine grape in the world and one of the most widely planted.
It is adaptable to a wide range of soils, although it performs particularly well on well-drained, low-fertile soils. It has small, dusty, black-blue berries with thick skins that produce deeply coloured, full-bodied wines with notable tannins. Its spiritual home is the Médoc and Graves regions of Bordeaux where it thrives on the well-drained gravel-rich soils producing tannic wines with piercing blackcurrant fruits that develop complex cedarwood and cigar box nuances when fully mature.
The grape is widely planted in California where Cabernet Sauvignon based wines are distinguished by their rich mixture of cassis, mint, eucalyptus and vanilla oak. It is planted across Australia and with particular success in Coonawarra where it is suited to the famed Terra Rossa soil. In Italy barrique aged Cabernet Sauvignon is a key component in Super Tuscans such as Tignanello and Sassicaia, either on its own or as part of a blend with Sangiovese.
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Eight years on, the 2011 Ormes de Pez is starting to really open up. The nose is intensely spicy, with savoury cedar notes and brooding dark fruit. There’s an almost floral edge to its aromatic profile, with something that hints at eucalyptus (perhaps a nod to the coolness of the vintage). The palate is smooth and lush, its age – and time in oak (15 months) – tells, with layers of leather and spice joining the core of black fruit. The chalky tannins and mouth-watering acidity call for hard cheeses or roast lamb. Drink now to 2021.
Berry Bros. & Rudd (July 2019)
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