Pavie was promoted to the top echelon of St-Émilion in 2012, becoming a Premier Grand Cru Classé A...
There are indications that the first St-Émilion vines were planted on Pavie’s sunny, south-facing soils in the 4th century AD, yet its modern origins start with the late 19th century. Back then, it formed part of négociant Ferdinand Bouffard’s impressive estate – a single 50 hectare block he which at the time also included today’s Pavie-Decesse.
By 1943, the now 37 hectare property was owned by the Vallette family, and in 1998 the estate was sold to Gérard Perse of Vignobles Perse. Château Pavie remains one of largest single-plot vineyards in the appellation. The vineyard is divided into over 20 separate parcels on predominantly limestone and clay slopes leading up to the plateau on which the property sits.
This property is renowned for its modernist approach to winemaking – following its purchase by Gérard Perse, much of the equipment was replaced and a new cellar facility built. He also replanted many vineyard parcels and brought in consultant Michel Rolland, known for his forward-looking techniques such as the use of micro-oxygenation.
These changes helped to improve the quality of the wine, although it has courted controversy for its overly-concentrated style which some argue was developed to appeal to Robert Parker.
Post-Parker, Pavie continues to receive acclaim. Decanter’s own Bordeaux correspondent, Jane Anson, awarded the 2016 vintage en-primeur sample 97 points, stating, ‘Pavie needs to keep its signature black fruited glamour and intensity, as that is part of what delivered its new status, but to my mind this is a far better balance than in the past’.
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