2005 Château Pavie St. Émilion Grand Cru Wine Tasting Note

  1. 2005 Château Pavie (St. Émilion Grand Cru)

    1. Youthful, fresh, vibrant, concentrated and still quite tannic. There is depth, length and the strong presence of crushed rock, licorice, smoke, flowers and dark red fruits. Time will add a lot to this wine. I'd wait until at least 2023 before popping a cork, unless you have a case or so, hanging around.

      97 points - Tasted
    2. Still young, with a few hours of air, the wine fills out, adding much needed softness to the tannins and wall of fruit and crushed rocks. There is a freshness and purity to the fruit, along with some oak that needs another 5 years to better integrate. To drink it now, you need to give it at least 2-3 hours of air. Else, age it another 5-10 years.

      98 points - Tasted
    3. This is so tightly wound at the moment, it is not fun to taste. Yet, it is impossible not to be impressed by the dark, inky color, coupled by the wall of ripe, mineral soaked fruits, layers of flavors, intensities and textures. But this will need another decade to develop enough, to be fun to taste.

      97 points - Tasted
    4. I get to taste the post 1998 vintages of Pavie a lot. My feeling is, the 2005 is probably the best of those wines until the dynamic duo of 2009/2010. It continues developing on a good path. The wine is still dark in color, with rich, fat, juicy, opulent, plush textures, fresh, sweet, ripe fruits, pungent aromatics and a long finish with power, length and purity. If you have a case and you're the curious type, pop a cork. If you only have a bottle or two, wait another decade.

      98 points - Tasted
    5. Truffle, tobacco, earth, espresso, cigar box, and sweet black, blue and red fruit scents are the first thing you notice Powerful, concentrated, tannic, yet balanced, complex, young and fresh. This mineral driven wine is obviously very good, but it’s even more obvious that this is oh, so young. Give it 10 to 15 more years.

      97 points - Tasted
    6. Tight and demanding coaxing to find its charms, with effort, spice, wood, oak, coffee and dark berries can be found. This is intense, concentrated and packed with layer and layer of ripe fruits poured over broken stones. This is not the best time to taste this wine and it is not showing all its stuff. Give it another 5-10 years.

      98 points - Tasted
    7. Already expressing a complex perfume of truffle, fudge, limestone, blueberry, black plums, chocolate, licorice, coffee bean, vanilla and kirsch, this intense, full bodied, powerful and rich Bordeaux wine is almost at the level of the stunning 2000. The long, pure, mineral infused, ripe fruit finish remains in your palate for close to 60 seconds.

      97 points - Tasted
    8. Wearing an inky, opaue, black, purple robe, the amazing, complex perfume grabbed your attention. But only until your palate caught up with incredible layers of opulent, silky, velvety, black cherry, mineral and plum flavored fruit that took over and would not let go. Absolutely compelling!

      99 points - Tasted
Pavie Perse Wine Tasting Notes, Ratings

Chateau Pavie Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 42 hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Chateau Pavie is planted to 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. This represents a change in the vineyard with less Merlot and more Cabernet Franc. In addition to replanting, trellis wires throughout the vineyard were raised in order to increase the vines’ foliage.

In total, the vineyard has 37 hectares under vine. The vineyard is one large block. That alone is almost unique in Saint Emilion, but more important to the wines character, here you find various different terroirs. Each has its own micro-climate.

You can divide the soils like this. You have 21 separate parcels that start on the top of the plateau which is where you find deep, limestone soils with clay. At the peak elevation, which is 110 meters, there is more deep, rich, clay in the sub soil.

From there, as you move from the peak and travel further down the slopes, you have more limestone with some clay. At the bottom of the hill, you find sand, clay and gravel soil. Perhaps the best terroir of the vineyard is located at the peak, just behind the chateau.

The vineyard is well placed, directly southeast of the village. You find Chateau Larcis Ducasse to the east and La Gaffeliere to the west. The terroir of Pavie does not promote early-ripening. In fact, Chateau Pavie is often one of the last Saint Emilion estates to finish harvesting. Pavie is also the largest of all the Premier Cru Classe A vineyards at 42 hectares.

The Chateau Pavie vineyard is farmed using sustainable, vineyard management techniques. Part of the goal at Chateau Pavie is to produce wine from ripe grapes and low yields. 70% of the vineyard is farmed using organic methods. It is the goal of the estate to become 100% organic.

To produce the wine of Chateau Pavie, it all starts with the severe level of selection. An initial sorting takes in the vineyards and again using optical sorting. For the vinification, the whole berries are moved by conveyor belt to oak tanks for crushing by gravity.

After a pre-fermentation cold maceration that can last for as long as 8 or 9 days at 8 degrees Celsius, there is a 36-day maceration. The wine is vinified in 20, temperature controlled, wood vats. The vats are often bled to increase concentration. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel.

The wine of Chateau Pavie is aged in 80% new, French oak barrels for 18 to months. The first 6 months, give or take of aging time are spent with the wine aging on its lees. The amount of new oak and time in the barrel will vary, depending on the characteristics of each Bordeaux vintage. There is a second wine, Aromes de Pavie. Chateau Pavie produces 8,000 cases of wine per year.

Chateau Pavie Character and Style

Chateau Pavie is a unique style of Bordeaux wine. The wine is deeply colored. In fact it's often opaque in the best years. Chateau Pavie is rich, filled with minerality and a special purity of fruit that only comes from the world's best wines.

It's mouth filling with its density, offering a fabulous intensity of flavors that often resemble plums, blackberry, truffle, chocolate, licorice, blueberry and spice, with minerality. Pavie pairs elegance with power and concentration with the ability to age and evolve for decades. In fact, Pavie is not a great wine to drink young. Chateau Pavie often requires more than 15 years of age to soften and develop its complexities.

The best vintages of Chateau Pavie are: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1998. Earlier vintages are produced in a much different style, think (classic Bordeaux), without the same ability for aging potential.

When to Drink Chateau Pavie, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Pavie is much better with at least 12-15 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for 3-4 hours, or more. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Pavie offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 15-40 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Pavie with Wine and Food Pairings

Chateau Pavie is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Pavie is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Pavie is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.

The wine of Chateau Pavie sparks debates. Hopefully they are fun debates, but with wine involved, I've seen a few conversation become rather heated! Some tasters love the wine. Count me in that group. It is a favorite wine of Robert Parker. Other consumers do not enjoy the wine and prefer when it was made in a less ripe, thinner, less concentrated style.

My bet is, in time, when the Perse vintages have matured, the greatness of what Perse has accomplished at Pavie will be widely recognized. In fact, as we mentioned earlier, the efforts expended by Perse seems to have vindicated Perse and Parker because September 6, 2012 marked the day Chateau Pavie was upgraded in the official 2012 St. Emilion Classification to Chateau Pavie, St. Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classe A.

Starting with the 2010 vintage of Chateau Pavie, to protect consumers and fight counterfeits, every bottle and label from this vintage forward has a lock slip on the capsule with a unique code that matches up to the identical number of the bottle displaying the date the wine was bottled and labeled at Chateau Pavie. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

For the 2012 vintage, to commemorate their promotion to Grand Cru Classe A status, Chateau Pavie introduced a new, sleek, quite artistically designed, regal looking label in gold and black, replacing the older, classic, green tinted design. Chateau Pavie returned to the standard label in subsequent vintages.