Harvested between October 3-8, this great vineyard situated on the limestone hillsides of the Cote Pavie is a final blend of 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Yields were 26 hectoliters per hectare, and only 50% of the production made it into the 2013 Pavie. The Merlot crop was largely destroyed by poor flowering, and there is also some re-planting going on. When I visited the magnificent new cellars, Gerard Perse told me that most vines had no more than two to three grape bunches per vine. The natural alcohol came in at 13.26% and the pH was relatively modest. The result is one of the superstars of this difficult vintage.
Colour: Luminous dark ruby garnet, opaque core, violet reflections
Aroma: Attractive sweet berries, ripe heart cherries, fine nougat, delicate herbal spices, a hint of candied violets.
Palate: Full-bodied, red berry nuances, present tannins, appears complex, delicate chocolate nuances, black berries, firm right through to the finish.
Grape Varieties: 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 70% to 100% new oak, for 18 – 32 months
Awards: 94pts – Wine Advocate-Parker; 94pts – Wine Enthusiast; 91pts – Falstaff; 91pts – James Suckling
History of Chateau Pavie
Chateau Pavie dates back to Roman times, much like the other vineyards in Saint-Émilion. The name comes from the orchards of peaches (“pavies”) that used to stand there. The modern estate was assembled by Ferdinand Bouffard in the late 19th century by buying plots from several families. The plots were still managed separately, and the 9 hectares bought from the Pigasse family retained a separate identity as Château Pavie-Decesse.
Chateau Pavie’s large production has made it more easily available than many other red Bordeaux. It is one of the best-known St. Emilions, vinified in a slightly lighter, more elegant style. With moderate red currant fruit in the nose, plus earth and spice, it can be peppery, spicy, or even leafy with hints of red cherries. Like other wineries in the côtes of St. Emilion, Chateau Pavie makes firm wines that are restrained and austere when young. The occasionally severe tannins mature with age into a fine sinewy structure. The better vintages are deep, intense, and concentrated. They mature 7-20 years after the vintage.