The 2016 Pavie is a blend of 60% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped at 38 hectoliters per hectare between 10 and 20 October. The alcohol this year is 14.55%, and it is matured in 80% new oak and 20% one-year-old wood. As Gérard Perse explained, this is a Pavie that has taken stock and shifted in direction in recent years, reflecting more of its exceptional terroir instead of winemaking. It has a very intense bouquet that is extremely well-defined and shrugs off that higher alcohol level. You can find the graphite vein courtesy of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the underlying tension, while a second bottle had a soupçon more florality. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, ripe, supple tannins that gently caress the mouth. It feels beguiling and charming, totally different in style compared to say Cheval Blanc, offering a more sensual take on the 2016 growing season. It is a very impressive follow-up to the 2015 Pavie and may surpass it once in bottle. Drink 2026 - 2060.
|Score: 98/100||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
This is more compressed and tighter than the 2015. It’s full-bodied, but very tight and focused. So linear and long. Love the gorgeous finesse. Goes on for minutes. All about finesse...new profile.
|Score: 99/100||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017|
Seamless, sumptuous and super-expressive, the 2016 Pavie is a real head-turner. It will be years before the 2016 is ready to show all it's got. Even so, it is an absolutely stunning wine. The 2016 is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, which is the most Franc that has ever gone into the Grand Vin. That gives the wine striking aromatic nuance to play off the exquisite, layered fruit. The 2016 is an exceptional wine by any measure. In a word: magnificent!
|Score: 97/100||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
We’re not quite in “fist pump” territory yet, but this is the freshest and best-balanced Pavie I’ve had for a while. It’s still a very dense, rich, deeply coloured wine, with slightly too much extraction, but the fruit has some leafy notes and welcome acidity. Even earlier picking would transform the wine. 2022-30
|Score: 93||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
Dark crimson. Rich, sweet nose. In the vineyard there's just 50% Merlot! Very sweet start and really hard work. But much less exaggerated than it used to be. Sinewy. Some appetising quality. Very juicy start but then it dries on the finish. These wines are very different from the others in the appellation and I have to conclude that the owner and team taste differently from me and don't mind the drying finishes. For drama this deserves my score and it may well settle down to something lovely eventually.
|Score: 17||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
Gérard Perse has created a magnificent modern winery of marble, stainless steel and new oak barrels and, with very low yields, has been making wines of enormous concentration and power. Since 1998 Pavie has been rewarded with a string of high scores from Robert Parker and has now attained Premier Cru Classe 'A' status. The 37 hectare vineyard contains vines of an average age of 47 years. The 2016 is a blend of 60% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon from 48 year old vines. The yield was 38 hl/ha and it has 14.5% alcohol. The pedigree of Pavie has never been in question – the chateau’s vines are situated on one of Saint Emilion’s greatest terroirs. The criticism historically is that this great terroir has been masked by over-extraction and oak. The 2016 is not such a wine. There is no lack of control here. Instead, it has violets, plums and exotic woody spice on the nose and, whilst being concentrated and rich on the palate, there is real harmony, balance and energy in the wine that we’ve often missed in years gone by. The 2016 vintage’s trademark tannins are evident but they have a velvet edge and are well integrated. The lower percentage of new oak (70% this year) and increased proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon (18%) have produced a wine of power, richness and concentration but one that has balance and refinement and a very long finish. This is the result of a deliberate change in stylistic direction, away from the over-extracted wines of recent years towards a more rounded, balanced wine that is beginning to once again do justice to this great terroir.
|Score: 17.5||Farr Vintners, February 2017|
One of the most thrilling surprises of the vintage, here a new approach to a more finely-wrought Pavie has collided with a vintage that has natural freshness and acidity. The result shows the potential of this terroir. Without a doubt the best Pavie that I have ever tasted, and one where I have not had to say, 'yes, but...'. Let's not pretend that it's night and day from the old regime, but nor should it be - 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. The blend is 60% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, the lowest amount of Merlot since Perse arrived. This still has reams of intense fruit, but the tannins are not immovable as they have been in some years, and pulses of minerality leap up on the finish to make your mouth water. Gorgeous. It is also fascinating to learn the technical details that have helped bring out the vintage character - besides the lower Merlot content, there were 10 days less maceration than last year and only 70% new oak.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050
|Score: 97||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|