Chateau Pavie 2010

Chateau Pavie

2010
Saint Emilion

"The Chateau Pavie 2010 is a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, cropped at 28hl/ha. There is just a slight touch of over-ripeness on the fig tinged nose. Again, its is very dense and opulent. The palate is incredibly powerful with mouth-coating dry tannins, good acidity and attractive purity coming through on the finish. Very difficult to taste now, perhaps due to the late malolactics, an impenetrable Pavie that will demand serious ageing" Neal Martin

Pavie is widely acclaimed as one of Bordeaux’s greatest terroirs, of largely limestone and clay soils. Brilliantly situated with a sunny, southern exposure and exceptional drainage, Pavie potentially rivals nearby Ausone, the oldest and possibly the most famous estate in Bordeaux. Pavie’s other nearby neighbors include, Pavie-Macquin and Troplong-Mondot to the north, Larcis-Ducasse to the southeast and La Gaffelière and Saint-Georges Côte Pavie to the west. Until 1978, previous owners rarely produced great wine, but of course that all changed with the acquisition of the 92-acre, single vineyard by Chantal and Gérard Perse. In short, they dramatically raised the quality. Currently, the vineyard is planted with 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, but the actual blend for each vintage tends to possess slightly higher amounts of Merlot. A perfectionist, owner Gérard Perse is flexible with the percentage of new oak, as well as how long the wine is aged in cask. Great vintages can get 100% new oak and spend up to 32 months in barrel. Lesser years are bottled after 18 months and see at least 30% less new oak. There is no fining or filtration. The resulting wine has been considered one of the superstars of Bordeaux since 1978.

Region
Variety
Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Reviews

Robert Parker 100 Points, James Suckling 98 Points

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£345

Ratings

100 Points Robert Parker

98 Points James Suckling

Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, needs little introduction as one of the world's most famous, prestigious and prolific wine regions. The majority of Bordeaux wines (nearly 90 percent of production volume) are the dry, medium- and full-bodied red Bordeaux Blends that established its reputation.

The finest (and most expensive) of these are the wines from the great châteaux of the Haut-Médoc and the Right Bank appellations Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. The former is focused (at the top level) on Cabernet Sauvignon, the latter pair on on Merlot.

The legendary reds are complemented by high-quality white wines based on Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. These range from dry whites to challenge the best from the Burgundy region (Pessac-Léognan is particularly renowned) to the sweet, botrytized nectars of Sauternes.

While Bordeaux is well regarded for wines produced within specific districts or communes, many of its wines fall under other, broader appellations. These include AOC Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur and the sparkling-specific Crémant de Bordeaux. The Bordeaux Rouge appellation accounts for more than one-third of all production.

The official Bordeaux viticultural region stretches for 130 kilometers (80 miles) inland from the Atlantic coast. 111,000 hectares (274,000 acres) of vineyards were recorded in 2018, a figure which had remained largely consistent over the previous decade.

Bordeaux Grape Varieties
The "big three" make up 98 percent of all red grape plantings, according to 2020 figures on the official Vins de Bordeaux website:

Merlot, which accounts for 66 percent of all red grape plantings
Cabernet Sauvignon (22.5 percent)
Cabernet Franc (9.5 percent)
Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenère (2 percent)
These last three are grapes which have been largely abandoned (the latter almonst entirely) since the 19th Century, as they failed to ripen reliably, though Malbec has a continued role in Saint-Émilion in single-digit percentages as a color enhancer. Climate change and success achieved elsewhere may yet lead to a partial comeback for one or more of them.

Bordeaux's white wines are generally blends of Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and, less often, Muscadelle. Sauvignon Blanc has seen some uplift in recent years given the success of varietal wines from New Zealand and other regions. As of 2020 the figures for permitted white grapes were:

Sémillon (47 percent)
Sauvignon Blanc (45 percent)
Muscadelle (5 percent, dwindling)
Sauvignon Gris, Colombard, Ugni Blanc, Merlot Blanc

France

France – the home of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire and Champagne – is arguably the world's most important wine-producing country. For centuries, it has produced wine in greater quantity – and of reportedly greater quality – than any other nation. Wine is ingrained in French culture at almost every level of society; it is the drink of both the elite and the common people, and a key symbol in Roman Catholicism, France's majority religion.

The diversity of French wine is due, in part, to the country's wide range of climates. Champagne, its most northerly region, has one of the coolest climates anywhere in the wine-growing world – in stark contrast to the warm, dry Rhone Valley 350 miles (560km) away in the southeast. Bordeaux, in the southwest, has a maritime climate heavily influenced by the Atlantic ocean to its west and the various rivers that wind their way between its vineyards. Far from any oceanic influence, eastern regions such as Burgundy and Alsace have a continental climate, with warm, dry summers and cold winters. In France's deep south, Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon enjoy a definitively Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot summers and relatively mild winters.

France's appellation system was created in the early 20th century and has since been imitated in many other countries. This complex system of laws ultimately defines each wine region and its boundaries and imposes strict rules around winemaking practices. Protecting the names of French wines and guaranteeing the quality and provenance of the products themselves are its key objectives. No other country has developed its appellation system to such an extent; as of 2012, there were more than 450 controlled appellations under the AOC titles and a further 150 Vin de Pays/IGP titles.