What fun, excitement and joy it will be to compare the four perfect wines Perse has made in 2005, 2009, 2010 and, of course, the 2000, in 25 or so years. This wine is truly profound Bordeaux. Everything is in place – remarkable concentration and a beautiful nose of cedar and ripe blackcurrant and blackberry with some kirsch and spice box in the background. Lavishly rich, with slightly more structure and delineation than the more Rabelaisian 2009, this wine does show some serious tannins in the finish, and comes across as incredibly youthful. Of course, it's five years old, but it tastes more like a just-bottled barrel sample than a 2010. In any event, this wine is set for a long, long life and should be forgotten for at least another decade. Consume it over the following 75 or more years.
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.
|Score: 100||Robert Parker, RobertParker.com (#220), August 2015|
Painfully powerful, backward and super-concentrated, this 2010 is a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped at 26 hectoliters per hectare. The harvest, as usual, was late by the standards of the appellation, occurring between October 12 and October 19. The alcohols are surprisingly modest by 2010 standards, 14.2%. As usual, this is one of the top wines of the vintage, but it needs a good decade of cellaring. It is much more backward and restrained than the 2009 was at the same stage, and seems even more tannic and structured than the 2005. It is a monumental wine for true connoisseurs who have the patience and discipline to cellar it for a good decade. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2060+.
This great terroir dominates the Cote Pavie, which is a combination of decomposed limestone and more gravelly soils at the bottom of the slope. Kudos to proprietors Chantal and Gerard Perse for continuing to push the envelope of quality and ignoring their jealous critics.
|Score: 98+||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (205), March 2013|
Along with several other Medoc first-growths as well as Ausone in St.-Emilion and possibly Petrus and Lafleur in Pomerol, few estates have such a record for consistent quality as Gerard Perse's Chateau Pavie. Made from a classic blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2010 was cropped at a ridiculously low 26 hectoliters per hectare, and the harvest occurred between October 12 and 19. Surprisingly, the alcohol is only 14.2% which is actually less than the 2008 and 2009. Since Perse acquired this estate in 1998, most Pavies have possessed off the charts richness and the 2010 is no different. It also reveals an opaque purple color, abundant notes of roasted coffee, blackberries, cassis, full-bodied power and sensational density, texture and length. There is also a boatload of tannin, so do not expect this 2010 to provide near-term consumption. Somewhat reminiscent of the 2005 in its freshness, precision and intensity, it requires 7-10 years of cellaring and should keep for 3-4 decades thereafter. I had this wine on four separate occasions and would rank it slightly behind the 2000, 2005 and 2009.
|Score: 95/98+||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011|
The 2010 Pavie is a vintage that I have not encountered since just after bottling. It is very deep in colour, offering intense aromas of blackberry, graphite and cassis on the nose that, like the 2000, is very Pavie. There is something a bit more tertiary about the 2010, a little less polished perhaps. The palate has a huge structure, a behemoth with firm tannin, dense black fruit, all redeemed by fine tension that is threaded from start to finish. As I remarked when I tasted the 2010 from barrel, it is a long-term wine that will require 15 to 20 years in bottle. I have no reason to change that view. Tasted at Berry Brothers & Rudd Pavie dinner. 2025 - 2060
|Score: 94||Neal Martin, Vinous Table (vinous.com), July 2018|
Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux 2010 tasting. The Château Pavie 2010 has a powerful but elegant bouquet with scents of black currant, iodine and seaweed. It is tightly coiled at first, but unwinds with aeration and there is just a touch of volatility creeping in - though nothing to furrow your brow. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins, chewy in the mouth with slightly lower acidity than its peers. Sulky towards the finish - this just feels a little ostentatious compared to its peers, but it is very focused and possesses the substance to age with style. This is a long-term Pavie from Gérard Perse. Tasted January 2014.
|Score: 95||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2014|
Very powerful. It sneaks up on you. It doesn't show its strength at first but then takes off with excellent ripe fruit, spices, chocolate and nuts. So long and exciting. I prefer the style to the 2009 by a hair
|Score: 96/97||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2011|
Very dark crimson. Much more lift and savour than its stablemates. Much more obvious fruit than the rest of the Perse stable so it can stand up to all that late picking and structure that bit more, though I'd love to know how it would have tasted if picked a week or two earlier. Still pretty demanding in terms of all those painfully dry minerals on the finish. But it has been miraculously sculpted so that it has a certain smoothness on the mid palate, even if it dries out terribly on the end. Strictly for modernists, with a hint of dark chocolate powder. Very much a long distance runner.
|Score: 17||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2011|
Bordeaux's most controversial wine. Over-priced, over-oaked, over-concentrated "jam juice" according to some and one of the world's greatest wines say others. Some British critics have criticised the Port-like aspects of some recent vintages but Robert Parker, James Suckling and Michel Bettane are big fans. Gérard Perse has created a modern winery in one of Saint Emilion's greatest terroirs and, with very low yields, is creating wines of enormous concentration and power. Completely different from the Pavies of old (but so is the price). Recent vintages (since 1998) have delivered wines that those looking for traditional Saint Emilion should avoid but those who are impressed by extraordinary levels of intensity are sure to be impressed by. This is completely black with thick "legs" that refuse to move from the sides of the glass. Totally viscous, oily and super-concentrated. Confected and very jammy. None of us actually liked this or can see how it will develop any sophistication, but clearly some people will love it and give it huge scores. Reminds us of Jordan - the "glamour model" not the country.
|Score: 16||Farr Vintners, April 2011|
The samples varied with some apparently still in malolactic. The best had sweet black and red fruits on the nose and palate with behind the blackcurrant and red cherry rather firm aggressive tannins. Some fruit comes through towards the back but grippy tannins and acidity take over leaving the back palate quite mean and dry.
|Score: 88/91||Derek Smedley MW, April 2011|
Bound to court controversy again this year. Some will love it, others hate it. Aromatically pitched closer to the Mediterranean with raisined fruit notes. Rich, thick fruit on the palate. Bold and full but keen acidity for balance. Huge, tight muscular frame. Built for the long haul. Drink 2022-2045.
|Score: 18||James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2011|