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Château Ormes de Pez


Address: 33180 St Estèphe

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 73 24 00



Terrific wine and everything that St Estèphe should be, in good years Château Ormes de Pez, [the ‘les’ apparently dropped in 2003] is a full throttle wine with lots of flavour and layers of fruit. It is also a wine that ages superbly in my experience but can be enjoyed young or old. This is easily classed growth stuff and probably one of Bordeaux’s most enjoyable wines. Newly designed label starting 2003 features a wonderful circular illustration of a tree, a reference to the old elms that used to stand at the property from which the estate derives its name. Owned by the Cazes family of Lynch-Bages, the vineyards are located in two principal plots in the centre and the north of the appellation.

Vineyard/Terroir:  35 hectares on gravel with sandy-clay planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.

Winemaking: The wine spends 14-18 months in oak barrels, 45% new

  • 2015 Deepish; earthy edge; healthy looking; bright fruit; cherry notes; blackcurrants; aromatic and lifted; nice fruit on the palate and good texture; black cherry and dark chocolate notes; freshness too; good palate and should come together well. [49% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 13.2% alc, 45% new oak]. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted UGCB at Lafon-Rochet 5/4/16. 88-90
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; deep at central purple at edge; stone fruits, wet rock, black cherry; cassis notes; nicely ripe fruit; depth and texture on the palate; voluptuous fruit here; some jam, cream and ink; oak too. Excellent effort. [47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 45% new oak]. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 90-92+
  • 2013 Mid depth; some liquorice; little black fruit tones; palate chewy with a lot of sap and acidity. Overall chewy and grippy. Tasted UGC 1/4/14 84-86. [later note] Deep and saturated look; vibrant purple at edge; sturdy blackcurrant fruit on the nose; quite stalky fruit and hardish on the palate; chewy and dry on the end. Fresh but feels a bit over-extracted. [46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot 40hl/ha]. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. Drink 2018-2025. Drink 2018-2025. 84-86
  • 2012 Deepish; saline note again; fresh; some gutsy black fruits on the nose; palate creamy and more tactile than nose suggests; roundness to the tannins and greater harmony than I remember from primeurs. Has developed nicely on the palate. Drink 2016-2025. 88+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and dense looking; black fruits, Morello cherry notes; some lift; feels like it will be dense and deep; chewy palate, in fact much more chew than expected; almost austere on the finish. Grippy and tannic sample. Tasted UGC Thursday, April 11, 2013. 85-87 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; healthy looking; very ripe nose; fat Merlot on offer; blackcurrant, black cherry; very good and enticing [nice purity]; big and tannic; quite dense and chewy; should settle; sappy finish. Gutsy and full St Estèphe and better than 2011. 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot 45% new oak 87-89+
  • 2011 Deep looking; strong blackcurrant aromas; resin; feels sturdy; Cabernet flavours dominate the palate with blackcurrant tones; ripe fruit here. Solid and sturdy if a little unexciting. Drink 2016-2026 87 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dense; saturated; legs, tight to rim; purple; more strawberry lift here; red fruit; some VA from oak; then cassis and blackcurrant; little more lifted; lots of blackcurrants and fruit compote; layers; sweet and ripe; lots of fruit on the palate – some crushed rocks and minerality; denser and more complete in the mouth than Phelan Ségur; more material [but less charm]. Nice finish. No bitterness here. Tasted UGC 3/4/13 and again 5/4/12 87-89
  • 2010 Deep and glossy; some fruit cake elements; some salt and some blackcurrant; little leaf; depth here; attractive. Lots of extract and chew – the material is dense which gives the wine a ballsy, don’t mess edge. Lots of grip too along with the guts. Nose and the mid-palate suggest sufficient fruit here to cover the grip and tannin. Grippy finish. Very long-term. 89+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Deep and dark; legs; very attractive nose; some black fruits; some real depth here, tar and liquorice notes too; cassis; palate has density with concentration and extract; mineral, wet stone, lots of extract and tannin and chew but the fruit density is there. Very good 88-90/100 [57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc 2% Petit Verdot Alc 13.6] 5th April 2011 UGC [2nd tasting UGC] Saturated and deep looking; ripe and thick nose; sweetness here but with some chalk; deep, very attractive; stones and rocks, solidity here; strong wine. This is St Esteèphe, dense, tannic but ripe. Should age well [will need it!] but should provide value. 88-90/100 7th April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep and dense; close to the rim; blackcurrants; lots of fruit on the nose; summer pudding tones; very open and opulent; great palate; lots of extract and material here; chewy mineral tones; wet rocks; this needs time as there is a lot of [ripe] tannin. Great stuff. 92/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Deep black, purple at edge; creamy note here; real ripeness to the nose; quite fat; plums and mulberries; attractive; palate less fat than Lafon Rochet but well structured with tannic bite. Good density. Very ripe, lots of extract and concentration. Great Ormes de Pez on par with the 1982 but with riper tannins. 92+/100 [Second tasting] Ripe strawberry and lots of fruit here; attractive nose; minerals and roses; excellent wine here; tannins a bit present here but lots of ripe fruit to match. 90-92+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Deepish; lifted blackcurrants, some smoke, little tar; promising aromatics; palate little tighter and more structured; there is flesh but the tannins are a little firm. Typical of the year. Bit angular on the finish. Tasted June ’16. 87
  • 2007 Mid red; stone fruits and minerals; had expected a bit more; fairly angular palate, fruit subdued and lacks mid palate richness. May fill out but bit hard at present. 85-6?/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Mid-red, to edge; legs; ripeness on nose, some mineral, some raisin notes; palate quite chunky, mid weight, quite right, pretty classic St Estèphe but falls away a fraction end 86/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2005 Mid red; legs; some earth, ripe notes, some menthol and herbs, wet stones and minerals too, full, with mocha notes and some roasted oak at the back; full lush palate, quite sturdy and concentrated; again some burnt notes with oak; structure and ripe tannins here, fresher and agile on the palate. 90+/100 August ‘10
  • 1983 Mature mahogany; warm nose; fully mature; soft palate; lacks oomp but amongst the most enjoyable Bordeaux 83s I’ve had. 85/100
  • 1982 – A case bought for £87 in the late 1980s has to go down as one of the best value boxes of claret I’ve bought. The final bottle drunk in 2008 was knockout. Full throttle, savoury, gutsy St Estèphe with huge extract and complexity. Would age further and last for twenty plus years. Each bottle has been good but this last one remarkable – reminiscent of the wines I’ve read were produced here in the post-war period. Defines the phrase ‘No great wines just great bottles of wine’. 94+/100 June ‘08
  • 1973 Dark, brown at edge; attractive tea and toffee, not completely gone; some savoury St Estephe characters still there on palate. A dismal vintage but wine far from a disaster. 82/100 Jan ‘00

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