Chateau Pavie (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
I love the purity of fruit in this wine, with perfectly ripe blackberry, blueberry and raspberry on the nose. Complex and full-bodied, with hints of new oak and wonderfully polished tannins that caress the palate. Long, long finish. This is not the blockbuster it was from barrel, but rather a complete, balanced and gorgeous red. Best after 2015. 7,100 cases made.
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.
Saturated, deep ruby-red. Knockout nose combines blackberry, minerals, crushed rock, truffle, vanillin oak and flowers; showing none of the porty quality of the sample I tried last year. A hugely concentrated essence of a wine, offering an incredible combination of sweetness, vibrancy and precision of fruit, thanks to strong acidity and powerful underlying minerality. The chewy tannins are totally buffered by the wine's material on the explosive back end. This wine has it all! Compared to the Pavie-Decesse, which essentially comes from a single block of old vines on limestone, this wine has clearly benefited by being an assemblage of soil types, with fruit from the foot of the slope contributing texture and richness. The 2005 Pavie should easily last for three or four decades.
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