2022 Château de Pez, St Estèphe, Bordeaux
The 2022 Château de Pez (limited to 18,000 bottles due to hail damage in June) has a very pure nose with something of a Burgundian allure: a mélange of blue and black fruit, wilted violet and graphite borrowed from down in Pauillac.
The palate is medium-bodied with finely-chiselled tannins. Exquisite balance and poise, harmonious with an intense yet paradoxically tender finish. Bon vin. Tasted twice with consistent notes.
Drink 2028 - 2055
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 de Pez is a potent, brooding wine. Black cherry, gravel, incense, tobacco, menthol and scorched earth all run through this virile, imposing Saint-Estèphe. All the elements are impeccably balanced. The burly Pez tannins are present, of course, but there is also more than enough fruit.
The 2022 could very well be the best Pez yet under the ownership of Roederer. Yields are down a whopping 50% because of hail. The blend is 59% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, which is more Merlot than the normal. There is no second wine this year. Tasted four times.
Drink 2026 - 2037
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 de Pez, a blend of 59% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, is deep garnet-purple in color. Notions of baked black plums, blueberry preserves, and fruitcake jump from the glass, followed by hints of Chinese five spice and potpourri. The full-bodied palate is packed with black fruit preserves layers, supported by firm, rounded tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and lifted. It will be aged for 18 months in 50% new oak. pH 3.8.
Drink 2026 - 2046
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
Austerity is your friend in an En Primeur sample as long as there is juice and fruit; here, you have both things in abundance. A brilliant wine, absolutely one to look out for, has a steely minerality that offsets the plump fruit character and intense tannic structure; this is concentrated but understated, everything in proportion.
First time on the Place this year, as before it was sold via an exclusivity. First vintage with a new cellar also. Tasted twice; this is a buy. 26hl/h yield, half of usual, 50% new oak for ageing.
Drink 2026 - 2042
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (April 2023)
From an estate that has now been entirely restructured and serves as a research and development laboratory for its sibling, Pichon Lalande, the 2022 de Pez exhibits aromas of sweet blackberries and cherries mingled with spices and violets.
Medium to full-bodied, rich and lively, with powdery tannins that assert themselves on the youthfully chewy finish, some 40% of the production was lost to hail. It will be sold en primeur via the Place de Bordeaux for the first time.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
Liquorice and dark-fruit notes. Layered fruit on the palate with a touch of oak as well. Powerful tannic frame. Oak needs to settle but plenty of substance.
Drink 2030 - 2040
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2023)
Firm and linear red with a vivid and juicy dark-fruited core and fine, polished tannins. Medium-bodied. Mellow finish with some creaminess to it. Hints of crushed stones and walnut at the end.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
Amazing colour, so dark and deep. Fragrant perfume and earthy notes on the nose, flint, ripe blackcurrant, plum and black cherry, milk and dark chocolate, liquorice, sweet cedar and tobacco. Bright and sleek, smooth but grippy too, a combination of supple weight but then quite firm and mineral-laced tannins that give the grip and the angles. Almost sharp but in a razor-sharp, not sour aspect, so clean and precise.
There’s weight; it’s rich, dark and serious, no doubt, and not entirely charming right now; it’s full of muscle but also has juicy acidity and a mouthwatering mid-palate. A nice buy with ageing potential, and the sweet, sharp hit at the end makes you think this will be great! 3.8pH. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. A yield of 26hl/ha. Tasted twice.
Drink 2029 - 2049
Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (April 2023)
From a château that consistently makes it into my personal cellar, the 2022 Château De Pez is terrific, with a floral, perfumed, complex style delivering ample cassis and riper black fruits, notes of chocolate, graphite, and licorice, full-bodied richness, ripe yet building tannins, and a great finish. Tasted on multiple occasions, it's a powerful wine from this team that stays beautifully balanced and elegant.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
Chateau De Pez
Château De Pez dates back to the 15th century but the first vines were planted in 1749 by the de Pontac family who also owned Châteaux Margaux and Haut-Brion. De Pez was purchased in 1920 by Jean Bernard and for many years was owned and managed by his nephew, Robert Dousson. Recently it was acquired by the Champagne house Louis Roederer.
De Pez's 23-hectare vineyard is planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. The grapes are hand picked and vinified in wooden vats. The wine is then matured in small oak barriques (25% new) for 18 months. The wine is bottled unfiltered.
De Pez produces rounded, ripe and mouthfilling clarets which can be slow to evolve. The best vintages require 7-10 years to reach optimum maturity.
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.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.