Pavie 2005

RegionBordeaux
SubregionSt Emilion
ColourRed
TypeStill


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Bordeaux2005PavieMG103,200.00cs100 RPAdd to Basket
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Tasting Notes

Gérard Perse believes this is the greatest Pavie he’s made to date, although certainly I would argue that list includes the 2000, as well as the 2009 and 2010, among his superstars. This wine, which I had both in the 2005 horizontal report in the Wine Advocate, and at a mini-vertical with Perse at the restaurant Maison Boulud in Montreal, looks to be a 75- to 100-year wine. Dense, opaque purple to the rim, with a gorgeously promising nose of blackberries, cassis, graphite and cedar wood just beginning to emerge, it tastes more like a three-year-old than wine that is already a decade old. This beauty is intense and full-bodied, with magnificent concentration, a majestic mouthfeel and a total seamless integration of tannin, wood, alcohol, etc. Beautifully rich, full and multidimensional, this is a tour de force in winemaking and certainly one of the top dozen or so 2005 Bordeaux. Forget it for another 3-5 years and drink it over the following 50-100 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: 100Robert Parker, RobertParker.com (#220), August 2015

The 2005 Pavie is an absolutely amazing wine that has shed most of its oak aging (usually 24-28 months). Opaque purple in color, it is beyond belief in extract and concentration, but perfectly balanced and pure, with the oak well-integrated. Massively concentrated, and still a baby, this wine tastes more like it’s two to three years old than one that’s been around for a decade. Intense notes of grilled meats, spice box, cassis, black cherry, licorice and graphite arepresent in abundance. Enormously endowed, but with superlative purity and balance, this is the greatest Pavie in the early Perse era, starting in 1998. Only the 2009 and 2010 rival this in his opinion, but I would add the 2000. This killer effort should drink well for another 50 years and demonstrates the greatness of this terroir owned by the Perse family. Only 7,000 cases were produced from a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Bravo! Drink 2015-2065.

Score: 100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (219), June 2015

Now that the 2005 Pavie is in the bottle, I would place it, qualitatively, a notch below the prodigious 2000, and a few notches above the blockbuster 2003. There are 7,000 cases of this 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Disregarding the blatant jealousy of his success as well as his “outsider” status, proprietor Gerard Perse has pushed the envelope of quality, fashioning first-growth quality wines from one of Bordeaux’s finest terroirs. In St.-Emilion, only Ausone can be considered to have greater potential in terms of micro-climate and terroir. Pavie’s 2005 exhibits a thick-looking purple color to the rim as well as an exquisite perfume of blueberry and blackberry liqueur, unsmoked cigar tobacco, crushed rocks, damp earth, and hints of truffles and incense. The vineyard’s limestone soils have provided massive concentration, a laser-like precision, fresh, zesty acidity, and massive tannin. Despite the wine’s enormous concentration and intensity, there is a lightness to its style. As Perse has made clear, he is trying to produce modern day versions of such great vintages as 1921, 1929, 1945, and 1947, wines that lasted 50 or more years. I do not understand why Perse receives so much criticism. In the blind tastings of each new vintage conducted by the Grand Jury European, Pavie usually wins against 100 or so other great Bordeaux. As they say, the truth is irrefutable - this is one of the world’s most outstanding wines, and the 2005 Pavie should take its place among the greatest achievements of Bordeaux in the last 50 years. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2060.

Score: 98+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (176), April 2008

Last year I was not sure whether the 2005 would turn out to be better than the 2003 or 2000, two wines that can taste perfect on any given day, especially the 2000. However, this fabulous vineyard has once again produced 7,000 cases of true elixir in 2005, and it looks like this vintage will take its place in the pantheon of monumental Pavies that have been produced since Gerard Perse gained control of this great terroir on the famed Cote Pavie, just outside the medieval village of St.-Emilion. The 2005, a final blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, enjoyed a Burgundian-like, eight day cold maceration, a six week cuvaison, and malolactic in oak. It will spend 26 months aging before being bottled. Its liquid mineral, scorched earth, blackberry, cassis liqueur, and roasted coffee characteristics are accompanied by phenomenal acidity, high tannin, and unbelievable levels of fruit and texture. One would have to go back to some of the last century’s greatest vintages to find the equal of this stunning St.-Emilion. Although not the most concentrated Bordeaux, it is unquestionably one of the most noble and potentially long-lived. Is it possible that Perse’s wines represent cleaner, more modern day versions of the 1921s, 1929s, and right bank 1947s? They are meant to be cellared for 10-15 years, and kept over the following 50 or more. The 2005 Pavie is one of his greatest achievements in terms of richness allied to phenomenal elegance and finesse. The natural alcohol came in around 14%, about the same as in 2003 and 2000. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2050+.

Score: 98/100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007

It is increasingly apparent that the simplistic bashing by some wine writers of Gerard Perse and his wines as well as the “American taste,” is undermining their credibility ... as it should. As each new vintage gets released, consumers can taste Pavie and the other Perse wines and see for themselves how profound Pavie is. There is a reason why the highly respected Grand Jury European rated Pavie ahead of all other Bordeaux chateaux in 2000 and 1999. It is obviously a profound wine. When Jean-Francois Moueix (the owner of Petrus) and I were discussing this, he mentioned that his late father, Jean-Pierre, always believed that after Ausone, Pavie possessed the greatest terroir of St.-Emilion. While it was never exploited to its full potential by its previous owners, Gerard Perse has brought it to the forefront, consistently making one of the top wines of Bordeaux. Moreover, Perse’s offerings are meant to age for five or more decades. It’s hard to judge at this early stage whether the 2005 will be better than the 2003 or 2000, but it is unquestionably a thrilling wine to smell, taste, and reflect upon. Only 7,000 cases are produced from this 112-acre vineyard with an extraordinary exposition. In 2005, yields were a minuscule 30 hectoliters per hectare, the average age of the vines is 43 years, and the blend was 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine receives a 4-5 week maceration, malolactic in barrel a la top Burgundies, and aging on its lees. Perse, who neither fines nor filters, ages the wine for 26 months in barrel. He has recently gone to the additional expense of buying his own trees and having the wood air-dried and coopered to his specifications by the cooperage firm of Sylvain and Nadalie. The 2005 Pavie is reminiscent of some of the great 1900s, 1929s, 1945s, and 1949s. Inky/purple to the rim, with that extraordinary liqueur of minerals interwoven with creme de cassis, blackberries, and juicy cherries, it reveals a subtle note of smoky oak, massive body, a multilayered mid-palate and texture, incredibly high tannin, and dramatic levels of fruit, glycerin, and extract. The alcohol came in at 14% naturally in 2005, higher than in either 2000 or 2003. This is a wine of extraordinary purity, precision, and monumental aspirations. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050+.

Score: 98/100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006

The Château Pavie 2005 has a gorgeous bouquet, very pure and refined with intense blackberry, blueberry, baking powder, violet and mineral-scented bouquet that is utterly entrancing. The palate is full-bodied with lavish ripe black cherries, blueberry and cassis fruit that lacquer the mouth. There is amazing volume and intensity here, a voluminous Pavie and yet it does not stint on precision or elegance on the finish. This is a sumptuous, ravishing, seamless wine that is irresistible and unlike Pavie-Decesse, it is just beautifully proportioned, the terroir starting to seep through as the winemaking recedes. One of the finest wines on the Right Bank. Drink 2020 - 2060

Score: 97+Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2015

The Pavie '05 was raised in 80% new oak for 28 months. The Chateau Pavie 2005 has a very pure, opulent bouquet of kirsch, macerated red cherries, crème de cassis and exotic fruit. It is well defined, generous and warm. The palate is full-bodied with layers of succulent, exotic ripe red fruit that belies the structure underneath. It is a Pavie of immense volume - ravishing and powerful yet not over the top. Superb - this may eclipse the 2009 in the long run. Tasted December 2012.
The Pavie '05 was raised in 80% new oak for 28 months. The Chateau Pavie 2005 has a very pure, opulent bouquet of kirsch, macerated red cherries, crème de cassis and exotic fruit. It is well defined, generous and warm. The palate is full-bodied with layers of succulent, exotic ripe red fruit that belies the structure underneath. It is a Pavie of immense volume - ravishing and powerful yet not over the top. Superb - this may eclipse the 2009 in the long run. Tasted December 2012.

Score: 96Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013

This is a blockbuster. Massive wine, with pure crushed blackberries and hints of wood on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, chewy and wonderful. Pavie is amazing this year

Score: 95/100James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2006

Tasted blind. Very dark crimson. Still looks very youthful. Dark crimson. Big and dense and almost bitter even on the nose! Big and sweet and a bit brutal. Tastes like a new St-Émilion. Not my style. Very dry finish.
Drink 2019-2035

Score: 16.5Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2017

Blackish crimson. The usual sweetness from the Perse stable and then the fruit almost rises up to triumph over the structure but, in this case, just fails. It so nearly manages it but the whole is submerged in a swamp of drying, grasping, rasping tannins. It may emerge eventually as a wonderful whole but it will be long after my day. Score is for ambition not results. 14.5%
Drink 2030-2050

Score: 17Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2015

Very dark. Refreshing, savoury, leathery nose, though the oak is a bit obvious. Pretty angular on the finish at the moment but pretty impressively long. I do wish the proprietor would submit Pavie for blind tasting during the primeurs sessions; I'm sure I would score it higher if he did. Post Pavie 2003 saga, tasting at the château is hardly a relaxed, dispassionate experience. The favourite of the group when scores were averaged.

Score: 17.5Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2009

Saturated, deep ruby-red. Knockout nose combines blackberry, minerals, crushed rock, truffle, vanillin oak and flowers; showing none of the porty quality of the sample I tried last year. A hugely concentrated essence of a wine, offering an incredible combination of sweetness, vibrancy and precision of fruit, thanks to strong acidity and powerful underlying minerality. The chewy tannins are totally buffered by the wine's material on the explosive back end. This wine has it all! Compared to the Pavie-Decesse, which essentially comes from a single block of old vines on limestone, this wine has clearly benefited by being an assemblage of soil types, with fruit from the foot of the slope contributing texture and richness. The 2005 Pavie should easily last for three or four decades.

Score: 96Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

Stupendous colour and body with an intensity matched by nothing else. A very long maceration gives huge tannins and robust tactile sensations. This is a modern version of the 1947 Lafleur or Petrus type, for lovers of monumental flavours. Drink from 2020.

Score: 19Michel Bettane, Decanter Magazine, April 2006

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.