2020 Château Pavie, St Emilion, Bordeaux

2020 Château Pavie, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Product: 20208123637
 
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2020 Château Pavie, St Emilion, Bordeaux

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Merlot 50%, Cabernet Franc 34%, Cabernet Sauvignon 16%

We have not been able to taste this wine. The success of the clay and limestone soils of the Right Bank in 2020 bode well for a wine made with Pavie’s exactitude and focus. Owner Gérard Perse is renowned for his attention to detail (as well as his well-documented iconoclasm), but recent vintages have seen a slightly less forthright and uncompromising style. However, Pavie has lost none of the hedonistic glamour that made it so individual in the first place. Expect great things from Pavie in 2020.

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson97/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous97-99/100
Neal Martin, Vinous95-97/100
James Suckling99/100
Other93-94/100
Jeb Dunnuck96-98/100
jancisrobinson.com18/20
Jane Anson97/100
The Cabernets dominate the blend on the aromatics, and you can really see they are moving the needle on the architecture and sculpting of this wine. A ton of concentration on the nose and upfront, but it is well balanced by damson and blackberry, and has a sense of energy, uplift and clear minerality. This shows the limestone terroir in a way that, with the best will in the world, the more concentrated style of Pavie just didn't do. There is density and glamour, with layers of black chocolate, graphite and liquorice. It is pretty disarming overall, and will age extremely well. 3.61pH. A yield of 31hl/ha, average age of vine 49 years. 75% new oak.

Drink from 2027 to 2044

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous97-99/100
The 2020 Pavie is very clearly one of the wines of the year. Rich, inky and wonderfully vibrant, it pulses with energy from start to finish. All the elements are well balanced. Soaring Cabernet Franc aromatics lead into a core of finely knit yet deep fruit in a wine that feels endless. Harvest for the reds started on September 17, paused briefly during some rain on the 25th and 26th, and then wrapped up by the end of the month. The blend is 50% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, so more Cabernets than in the past, the result of a large replanting program that began in the early 2000s. A real head-turner. Magnificent!

Drink from 2035 to 2060

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous95-97/100
The 2020 Pavie was picked September 21–30 at 31hl/ha and matured in 75% new oak, the rest one year old. It continues to see greater emphasis on Cabernets – 34% Franc and 16% Sauvignon, the Merlot reduced to half the blend. This gradual rejigging of the blend is borne out on the nose, which features hints of damp loamy soil and bell pepper infusing vivid blackberry and wild strawberry fruit, becoming more and more citrusy with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with sautéed tannins that gently grip. Powerful, but the 14.82° alcohol is neatly disguised on the finish (at least in tasting measure) with fine delineation. Cohesive and focused. I would like to see a little more personality develop during élevage, but this remains an impressive Saint-Émilion and a Pavie with a long future ahead.

Drink from 2030 to 2060

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling99/100
The aromas are already exceptional, showing crushed-stone, limestone and salt character to the dark fruit and bark. It’s full-bodied, yet agile. Floats on the palate, then kicks in with loads of ultra fine tannins. The intensity and verve of this wine promises true greatness.

James Suckling (May 2021) Read more
Other93-94/100
Inky, dense blackberry and vanilla; rich, full, vital in acidity, firm tannin; the typical core finesse, 1er cru complexity and length within the still slightly wood-dry tannins, but pure and linear and fine and, as always, you taste the vineyard’s finesse at the heart of the firm frame; here is a fine rich fruit core, with considerable scope, plenty of long-term promise, and fine, scented length. Still clinging to the old “house style” texture a bit, meaning that, at a similar quality level, it doesn’t have the sheer class of the Clos Fourtet, for example.

Drink from 2032 to 2050

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck96-98/100
A wine that’s going to flirt with perfection, the 2020 Château Pavie is another magical wine from the genius of Gerard Perse and is 50% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, brought up in 75% new French oak. The style here has unquestionably shifted from the blockbuster style of the 2000, 2005, 2009, and 2010 to a more elegant, refined style today that still brings plenty of fruit yet certainly stays more focused and precise. Is the new style better? I’m not sure, and there are certainly times I miss the opulence and decadence of the old style. Nevertheless, the wines today are magical Saint-Emilion that still show a rare mix of power and elegance. The 2020 is full-bodied and beautifully concentrated on the palate, offering a mouthful of cassis, black cherry, and mulberry fruits as well as a liqueur of rocks-like minerality, leafy herbs, and truffly earth. It doesn’t lack structure and has silky, polished tannins and flawless balance. Give bottles at least 7-8 years in the cellar and enjoy over the following 3+ decades.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
jancisrobinson.com18/20
50% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample. Power and elegance combined. Deep purple-black colour. Intensity and complexity on the nose with dark fruit, cassis, mint and floral notes. Beautifully poised on the palate with smooth attack and persistent fruit and freshness. Powerful tannic frame but tannins really fine and no extraction. Long, persistent finish. Absolute precision. More than highlights the change in style. One of the best yet.

Drink from 2030 to 2050

James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (April 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Chateau Pavie

Chateau Pavie

Château Pavie is the largest St.Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classé, with over 35 hectares of vineyards located exclusively on the St-Emilion Côtes. Pavie is situated south-east of the village of St-Emilion and its vineyards lie on a south-facing slope of the famous limestone plateau.

Pavie's vineyards are bordered by those of Château La Gaffelière and Château Pavie-Decesse. For many years the property was owned and run by Jean-Paul Valette. In 1998 Gérard Perse, who also owns Pavie-Decesse and Monbousquet, purchased it.

Pavie's wine is typically a blend of 55% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Since 1998, the grapes have been fermented in spanking new wooden vats with the wine then being aged in 100% new oak bariques for 18 months. It is bottled unfiltered.

Pavie produces elegant, harmonious and stylish St-Emilions that typically display a fine bouquet with good depth of fruit on the palate. Under the Perse regime Pavie has become richer, more intense and more concentrated.

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St-Emilion

St-Emilion

St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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Merlot

Merlot

The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.

In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.

Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.

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