In 1998, when Gérard Perse purchased Château Pavie, the estate and modern winemaking in Bordeaux were changed forever. A polarizing figure, Perse committed an immense amount of time and capital into modernizing the Château and instilled vigorous pruning and selection processes that dropped the yield from about 55 hL/h to around 30 hL/h. Famed consultant oenologist, Michel Rolland, guided the chateau to make changes in the vinification of Pavie. Per his recommendation, the juice is fermented on the skins for three weeks in temperature controlled wooden vats. The wine is then aged for 18-32 months in 70% to 100% new oak, depending on the vintage. These changes began the transformation in style and quality.
The unique terroir of Château Pavie’s 37 hectares of undivided vineyards is a major factor in the success of the Château under Perse’s watch. The vineyard can be divided into three distinct terroirs: the plateau, the hillside, and the foothills. The plateau is made up of white lithic limestone, an ideal parcel for growing Merlot, which makes up 60% of the blend. The hillside’s clay-limestone soil is perfect for the Cabernet Franc that makes of 25% of the blend, and Cabernet Sauvignon thrives in the foothills, which are comprised of sand and gravel. The vines, which are 43 years old on average, see excellent sunshine from the vineyards’ southern exposure and experience very little frost due to the west wind. The vineyards are perfectly situated in an ideal and incredible microclimate that allows the grapes to take on all the unique mineral aspects not often found on the Right Bank.
Under Perse, the Château has produced highly concentrated wines with a large amount of sweet oak, incredible depth of dark fruit, and the classic mineral notes from the unique terroir. This was a departure from the more “classic” structure-driven wines of the region, which ruffled a few feathers in Bordeaux. With the great success and impressive ratings starting in 1998, Pavie has quickly vaulted to the very top of the St. Emilion hierarchy culminating in an upgrade to 1er Grand Cru Classé A joining the likes of Château Ausone, Cheval Blanc and Angelus.
We are thrilled to offer a great selection of Château Pavie from the Gérard Perse era, including the 100 Point 2000 Pavie and the underrated, 95 Point 2008 Pavie directly from our négociant friends in Bordeaux. This is the perfect opportunity to become the very first owner of these cases that have absolutely perfect provenance. These cases are being offered on a PRE-SALE basis and will arrive at HDH in the spring of 2015.