Gérald Perse spares no expense on the making of his wines in St Emilion, nor has there been any penny pinching on the recent renovations and redevelopment of the buildings at Château Pavie. The combination of the Côte de Pavie’s remarkable aspect – the vineyards sloping down from exposed limestone outcrops above – with the newly minted stone buildings that form the offices, tasting rooms and chais lined below, is very impressive indeed. It’s a statement about ambition and seriousness of purpose, traits apparent in the Vignobles Perse range. There’s a masculine quality to Château Pavie in 2014. There is a lot of extract, weight and matter that makes this a formidable and dense wine, but there is also beautiful quality to the fruit. Château Bellevue Mondotte displays considerable gravity and Château Pavie-Decesse shows super concentration. Certainly these are not wines for the faint of heart.
Overall there is a density and seriousness in the range here. It starts with Esprit de Pavie, an appellation Bordeaux that comes from a variety of terroirs from south-facing slopes in the Dordogne valley. This is well proportioned and has freshness. Angelique de Monbousquet, the second wine of Château Monbousquet, has more mineral tones and texture. Arômes de Pavie, is from the terroirs that make up Château Pavie. Again there is minerality and tension to the wine, with layers and texture on the palate.
Château Lusseau is a small, 2 hectare St Emilion Grand Cru south of the town of St Emilion. This is a fresh, spicy red with black cherry and menthol fruit tones and needs a few years to unfurl. Château Monbousquet, situated south-west of the town, is a well known St Emilion Grand Cru Classé that has benefitted much from sustained investment. There is an elegance and perfume to Monbousquet in 2014 and it will doubtless fill out further during elévage. Clos Lunelles is an 8 hectare property in Castillon situated on the limestone plateau, essentially an extension of the one that runs from St Emilion. This is a bold, very ripe wine with lots of extract and chew.
Of the serious heavyweights here Château Pavie itself gets the top marks. As I suggested at the top, there is concentration and density to Pavie in 2014, with plenty of extract and matter, but I enjoyed the purity and freshness here too. Château Pavie Decesse is a very bold, sublimated St Emilion, full of matter and energy. Château Bellevue Mondotte, from a 2 hectare enclave within the Pavie-Decesse property, shows lots of black cherry and spicy plum tones with considerable density on the palate. I’d be very keen to taste all these wines down the track after elévage, but for now the scale and power of these final wines is remarkable, in fruit, extract, matter and tannin.
The following wines were tasted on Friday 3 April, 2015 at Château Pavie.
Esprit de Pavie, Bordeaux, 2014.
Deep colour; earthy purple at edge; ripe; black cherry harmonious and soft; spices; attractive; nice mineral tones; full; gravelly tannins; some length. Acid. Good. [65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.55 alc, 3.63 pH, 3.29TA, 15 months oak in one year old barrels]. Drink 2018-2023. 85-87
Angelique de Monbousquet, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2014.
Deep at centre; healthy purple at edge; wet rocks; mineral; some black chocolate and black cherry note; black cherry; some mineral tones; textured; some grit and will fill in; minerally finish. [60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cebernet Sauvignon, 3.08 acid, 3.79 pH, alc 13.2%, 60% new oak]. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88
Arômes de Pavie, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2014.
Deep at centre; redder at edge [less purple]; black cherry; morello cherry; wet rocks and some minerality; attractive fruit beneath; purity; nice sweet texture; layered on the palate; some spice; balanced; nice freshness and tension; good length on the finish. Needs to fill out a little. Elegant. [70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.6% alc, 3.85 pH, 3.25 TA, yield 36hl/ha 80% new oak]. Drink 2018-2025. 87-89
Château Lusseau, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2014.
Deep at centre; earthy red at edge; sweet; some menthol and spices; red fruits and a little strawberry jam; ripe entry; some red fruits; little black cherry and spicy plum [high toned]; quite fresh palate with grip at the end. Tight. Spicy finish. [70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.2% alc, 3.48 TA, 3.65 pH, 50% new oak; 2 ha property]. Drink 2019-2026. 87-89+
Château Monbousquet, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé, 2014.
Deep colour; earthy purple at rim; spices, minerals; crushed rocks; plums, morello cherry come out; some fragrance and perfume; some density but also sweetness and texture to the fruit; has freshness; little tight perhaps on the palate currently; proportional; spices, minerals and plums on the end; dryish on the finish but should fill out. Elegant style of Monbousquet. [60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.86% alc, 3.2TA, 3.84pH, yield 35hl/ha, 60% new oak]. Drink 2020-2030. 89-91+
Clos Lunelles, Castillon, Côtes de Bordeaux, 2014.
Deep and saturated look; lifted; spices; plum jam; some fig; very ripe on the nose; oak on the palate; spicy oak but considerable oak tannin; lots of extract and matter; bit dry on the middle; very chewy and gravelly density on the finish. Finishes dry. This will round out after elévage because of the depth of fruit, but lots of extraction here. [80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.3% alc, yield 19hl/ha, 3.6TA, 3.51pH 60% new oak]. Drink 2020-2028. 89-91
Château Pavie Decesse, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé, 2014.
Deep and saturated colour; opaque at centre; very ripe and full; some jam; spices and menthol; plum jam and a little prune; full of extract and matter; brighter feel on the palate; very low yields here; dense and sublimated style on the palate; texture; spices; dense; matter; chewy finish. Impressive concentration and weight of matter. [90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 13.7% alc, 3.6TA, 3.53pH, yield 18hl/ha, 80% new oak]. Drink 2022-2032. 92-94
Château Bellevue Mondotte, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2014.
Deep and saturated look; opaque at centre; dense; spicy; some menthol notes; black cherry and plum; packed with fruit on the nose; mineral quality; nice fruit on the opening; almost glossy but lots of oak and fruit tannins here; chewy and textured with warmth from alcohol on the finish. Density and extract. Spicy finish. Chewy finish – though less so than Pavie Decesse. Has length certainly and gravity. [90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.8% alc, 3.4TA, 3.52pH, 20hl/ha, 100% new oak]. 92-94+
Château Pavie, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, ‘A’.
Deep and saturated colour; black at centre; floral tones on the nose; very nice Cabernet elements; purity; layered and pretty dense; very good plummy fruit beneath; minerally and textured on the palate but has a roundness and sweetness too the fruit; glossy; excellent fruit quality; dense; extract; lots of matter; this feels impressive; mineral; lots of matter; density; plums and black cherry; strong tannins on the finish. This will work out very nicely. Masculine and bold. [60% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.2% alc, 3.85TA, 3.59pH, 34hl/ha 80% new oak]. Drink 2022-2035. 93-95+
Château Monbousquet Blanc, Bordeaux Blanc, 2014.
Pale silver gold; brilliant; spicy grapefruit with some ginger overtones; pear drop and ginger too; full and aromatic; creamy mouthfeel; ginger; wax; some peardrop; weighty; lacks a bit of zip on the finish but big and bold. [60% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Gris, 5% Semillon, 5% Muscadelle, 13.5% alc, 4.04TA, 3.56pH, 34hl/ha 50% new oak for 6 months]. Drink 2016-2022. 90-92
Tags: Aromes de Pavie, Bellevue Mondotte, Bordeaux, Bordeaux 2014, Castillon, Chateau Lusseau, Chateau Monbousquet, Chateau Pavie, Chateau Pavie Decesse, Clos Lunelles, Côtes de Bordeaux, St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé