2023 Château Pédesclaux, Pauillac, Bordeaux

2023 Château Pédesclaux, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 20238006781
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2023 Château Pédesclaux, Pauillac, Bordeaux

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Description

Blend: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon; 20% Merlot; 10% Cabernet Franc.

There is no doubt that progress is being made here. This is the 10th vintage since the opening of the gravity-fed winery, and in 2022 the property achieved organic certification. Recent vintages, and especially this one, show a more measured approach compared to the past, when there was a sense of the wines being a bit formulaic and often marked by oak. The 2023 is composed without being overstated. The aromas are bright and expressive, full of juicy black fruit. The palate is relatively svelte. There is complexity building, and this is one of the best examples to date.

Drink 2029 - 2045

Our score: 16.5/20

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson94/100

Vibrant violet reflections, great definition on the palate, with a streak of freshness from beginning to end, sculpted cassis and bilberry, crayon and graphite. Pedesclaux going from strength to strength under the new regime. Second vintage certified organic, 17 days of harvesting from September 13 through to October 4, 65% new oak for aging.

Drink 2030 - 2048

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (April 2024)

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Neal Martin, Vinous89-91/100

The 2023 Pédesclaux was picked from September 13 to October 4 and includes the old Cabernet vines. Matured in 65% new oak, it has a comparatively opulent bouquet with perfumed black cherries, violet petals and a hint of licorice. I would like a little more Pauillac DNA to be articulated on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, quite peppery on the entry, with modest depth. Salted licorice and graphite notes emerge toward what feels like a more structured finish. This will require four to five years in bottle. It just needs to develop more personality.

Drink 2028 - 2042

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous92-94/100

The 2023 Pedesclaux is one of the best wines I have tasted here in some time, maybe ever. It offers a striking mix of ripe dark fruit and bright acids. My impression is that the extractions are less pushed, which really seems to emphasize vibrancy in the fruit. The 10% Cabernet Franc really lifts the aromatics, but it’s the wine's balance and energy that I admire most. Terrific.

Drink 2028 - 2043

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW92-94/100

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2023 Pedesclaux charges out of the gate with exuberant scents of cassis, wild blueberries, and juicy strawberries giving way to nuances of violets, anise, and charcoal. The medium-bodied palate is tightly wound with vibrant black and red berry flavors and impressive tension, textured by fine-grained tannins, and finishing with great length and a real skip in its step.

2023 was the longest-ever harvest at Pedesclaux, lasting 17 days instead of the usual 11. The blend is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc, the ideal blend anticipated when the vineyard was restructured and replanted. It is aging in 65% new oak and the pH is 3.76.

Drink 2028 - 2042

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (April 2024)

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Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. 50 hl/ha. Certified organic. Cask sample.

Bright crimson. Dark fruit with a hint of chocolate and liquorice. Smooth and round with a lovely texture of tannin (the technical team think it’s their best effort yet). Freshness as well. Not a big Pauillac but harmonious. Could be GV.

Drink 2030 - 2040

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2024)

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Wine Advocate90-93/100

The 2023 Pedésclaux is the estate's second organic-certified vintage. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, it offers up attractive aromas of cassis and dark berries mingled with notions of mint and licorice, followed by a medium to full-bodied, fleshy and layered palate with sweet tannins, succulent acids and a rather rich, giving profile.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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James Suckling95-96/100

There is a really pretty, powdery-tannin texture to this, with dark-berry and currant character. Some orange peel, too. It’s full and layered with a sense of precision and focus. Framed and open-grained in the texture. Velvety. Real Pauillac personality here. 70% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot and 10% cabernet franc. May be better than 2022.

James Suckling, JameSuckling.com (April 2024)

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About this WINE

Chateau Pedesclaux

Chateau Pedesclaux

One of Pauillac’s less well-known estates, Ch. Pédesclaux is well situated in front of Mouton Rothschild and Pontet-Canet. The property’s history dates back to the early 19th century when Urbain Pédesclaux – a renowned trader on the Bordeaux marketplace – acquired some vineyards put up for sale following the Revolution and established the estate in 1810. Symbolising the bourgeoisie’s arrival in the Médoc (previously under aristocratic rule), Urbain Pierre Pédesclaux set about building the estate’s reputation. When the wines of the region were classified in 1855, Ch. Pédesclaux was granted the title of Fifth Growth.

The estate was acquired by Françoise and Jacky Lorenzetti in 2009. Over the next few years they purchased new parcels, almost doubling the property’s footprint from 26 to 50 hectares. The vineyards underwent significant work with soil studies and replanting, and in 2014, Ch. Pédesclaux opened a new chapter, its vineyards fully restructured and an impressive new gravity-fed winery and cellaring facilities.

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Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Bordeaux remains the centre of the fine wine world. The maritime climate on the 45th parallel provides for temperate winters and long, warm summers, perfect conditions for growing grapes suited to the production of classically-constructed, long-lasting wines. This vast region of 120,000ha of vineyards (four times the size of Burgundy) is home to 10,000 wine producers and 57 different AOCs. Red now makes up 88 percent of Bordeaux wine, and is usually referred to as Claret. The origin of this name was to differentiate the lighter-coloured wines of the coastal region from the deeper "black" wines from up-country regions. 

The Left Bank, comprising the wine regions of the Médoc, Pessac-Léognan and Graves are planted predominantly with Cabernet Sauvignon, which thrives on the gravelly soils left by the ancient course of the river. This is a thick-skinned variety which ripens late, producing powerful, tannic wines capable of long ageing. It is blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and sometimes Petit Verdot. The highlights of the Médoc are the four communes of St- Estèphe (blackcurrant concentration); classical, cedarwood and cigar-box Pauillac; richly-fruited St Julien; and elegant, fragrant Margaux.

On the Right Bank, most famously in St-Emilion and Pomerol, it is the fleshy Merlot grape which prevails, sometimes supported by Cabernet Franc. Here the soils are more mixed, with gravel and clay underpinning the rich, fruity wines of Pomerol. Styles vary more in St-Emilion, depending on the predominance of sand in the lower-lying slopes, or limestone on the hillsides and plateau. 

By the 18th century, individual properties - known as châteaux, however humble - were becoming known for the quality of their wines and in 1855, those of the Médoc (plus Haut-Brion, a property commended by Samuel Pepys as early as 1663) were classified into five levels of classed growths. Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Haut Brion were cited as First Growths, to whose ranks Mouton Rothschild was elevated by presidential decree in 1973. Beneath the ranks of the classed growths lies a raft of fine châteaux known as Crus Bourgeois, while a host of less well-known "petits châteaux" still makes attractive, enjoyable Claret at affordable prices.

The other jewel in the Bordeaux crown is the district of Sauternes, making some of the most outstanding sweet white wines in the world (from the likes of Châteaux d'Yquem, Rieussec and Climens). The foggy autumn mornings along the banks of the Garonne River near Sauternes and neighbouring Barsac enable the noble rot, botrytis cinerea, to form on the skins of the grapes, which can still ripen in the afternoon sun as late as the end of October or early November. The Sémillon grape is the prime component, but Sauvignon Blanc and a little Muscadelle are also planted to provide insurance if the weather is less favourable to Sémillon, as well as offering a counterpoint in flavour.

There are many inexpensive dry white wines - more Sauvignon than Sémillon - from regions such as Entre-Deux-Mers and Graves, with just a handful of outstanding properties located in Pessac-Léognan. The most famous of the great dry whites hail from Châteaux Haut Brion, Laville Haut Brion and Domaine de Chevalier.

The finer wines of Bordeaux are sold en primeur in the late spring following the harvest, some two years before the wines are ready for physical delivery. The châteaux offer their wines through a system of Bordeaux négociants (brokers) who sell them on to importers round the world. Prices vary enormously from one vintage to another, dependent on perceived quality and world demand, which shows no signs of diminishing, especially for the great years.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

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.

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