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Pavie Price Analysis
Highest rated vintages for Pavie
I tasted this wine twice during the 2000 horizontals, then I actually popped the cork and drank a half-bottle of it. This wine remains, for me, one of the compelling success stories for proprietor Gerard Perse. An extraordinary effort made from a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from the limestone soils that dominate this very distinctive terroir, the 2000 Pavie has moved out of the closed, dormant, broodingly backward stage into an adolescent period where one can see its extraordinary vibrancy, and great complexity as well as potential. It boasts an unctuous display of rich, cedar box-infused cassis fruit and liquid minerality. The tannins have sweetened, yet the wine has thirty years of longevity and potential evolution. A beautiful wine of great mass as well as elegance, it is good to see the extraordinary efforts that Gerard Perse and his team have made confirmed in this prodigious wine. A legend now ... a legend for the future. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2060.
Bottled the week before I arrived, the 2009 Pavie appears to have barely budged since I tasted it two years ago. Many experts consider this phenomenal terroir to be nearly as great as that of Ausone. Made from a classic blend of 60-70% Merlot, 20-25% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, this inky/blue/purple-colored blockbuster reveals wonderful notes of blackberries, crushed rocks, roasted meats, spring flowers, cedar, blueberries, graphite and a hint of vanillin. With extravagant fruit and high extract as well as a hint of minerality, this structured, massively intense effort is typical of all the luxurious, perfect or nearly perfect Pavies produced under the Perse regime (which began in 1998). While built for 40-50 years of cellaring, the softness of the vintage and its flamboyant style is slightly less apparent in the 2009 Pavie than in some of the other Perse wines. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050+.
At its release, the 2003 Pavie was somewhat controversial in wine tasting circles, but eleven years later it is obviously a great classic. Its deep purple color is accompanied by notes of vanillin, lead pencil shavings, creme de cassis, plums, black currants and kirsch. Full-bodied, youthful and rich with terrific purity and texture as well as a striking opulence, its 40+-second finish, stunning purity and wonderful perfume suggest it can be drunk now or cellared for 15-20 years.
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.
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.
The 2006 Pavie, a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, is cropped low as the viticultural work is impeccable, the winemaking is thoroughly Burgundian in style, and bottling is accomplished with no fining or filtration. With over 90 acres in vine, this is one of the larger of the premier grand cru classes in St.-Emilion. A prodigious effort, the 2006 does not have the sucrosite of the 2005, 2003, or 2000, but it would not be embarrassed if tasted side by side with either of those two titans. A dense purple color as well as an extraordinary perfume of crushed black currants, licorice, wet stones, and subtle background oak are found in this tannic, dense, masculine-styled 2006. Backward and extraordinarily pure, it is built like a Manhattan skyscraper with exceptional focus, depth, texture, and length. It’s all here, but 5-10 years of patience will be warranted. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035. Since 1998, no other Bordeaux estate except Ausone has had such a superlative record of quality. Pavie’s wines are usually among the top half-dozen in every vintage, including such challenging years as 2004, 2003, 2002, and 1999. Proprietor Gerard Perse’s flagship vineyard is situated on a gorgeous, south-facing slope possessing three distinct soil types, limestone, clay, and a sand/clay mixture.
One of the candidates for wine of the vintage ... again, the 2001 Pavie, from a magnificent south-facing vineyard planted primarily on limestone soil, is a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. After a six week maceration, it spent nearly 24 months in new oak prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Some Bordeaux brokers think it might be even better than the 2000 Pavie, but I do not agree. The inky/ruby/purple-colored 2001 exhibits a tight but promising nose of crushed stones, a liqueur of blackberries, cherries, and black currants, and subtle smoke and licorice in the background. Powerful, with impressive elegance, fine harmony among its elements, a multi-layered texture, it has a finish that lasts for 50+ seconds. There is considerable tannin, but it is well-integrated. Give it 3-4 years, and drink it over the next two decades. A profound effort for the vintage, it is an example of a perfectionist proprietor pushing the envelope of quality.
The 1999 Pavie is a candidate for "wine of the vintage". It boasts an opaque ruby/purple color in addition to gorgeous aromas of crushed minerals, smoke, licorice, cherry liqueur, and black currants. The wine is exceptionally pure and multilayered, with stunning texture and overall balance. The tannin level suggests 3-4 years of cellaring is warranted; it should age gracefully for 25+ years. If readers are wondering why Pavie has become so much better under the administration of Chantal and Gerard Perse, keep in mind that yields are one-third of what they were under the previous owners.
A remarkable success in this vintage, Pavie’s 92 acre vineyard situated on the limestone soils of the spectacular south-facing Cote Pavie (one of the greatest terroirs of Bordeaux) was cropped at 30 hectoliters per hectare. A blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, with an atypical (for a 2008) alcohol level of 14.5% that is higher than in its 2010 counterpart, the opaque purple-colored 2008 exhibits sweet, smoky barbecue notes intermixed with creme de cassis, black cherry, toast and crushed chalk. Deep, intense and full-bodied with surprisingly civilized tannins for such a young Pavie, it reveals wonderful breadth of flavor, a savory texture and a layered mouthfeel. It should drink beautifully in 2-4 years and keep for 25 or more.
A brilliant effort from proprietors Chantal and Gerard Perse, Pavie’s 2004 (7,050 cases) exhibits an inky/ruby/purple color, a surprisingly soft, forward style for this hallowed terroir, full-bodied, and concentrated creme de cassis flavors intermixed with cherries, truffles, and subtle smoky wood notes. Beautifully-textured as well as expansive, this may be the most developed and forward Pavie made by Perse since his acquisition of the property in 1998. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2025+.