Deep garnet, intense nose of dark cherry, oak vanilla and beautiful floral aroma. Painfully concentrated, tannin beginning to soften, bit dry and grippy, plummy on palate. Bitter aftertaste made this wine less enjoyable. Better to go with food.
St Emillion First Growths (Chez Bruce, London): A bit more intensity on the nose. Mineral with a good pinch of garriguey thyme. Similar on palate. There's a cool elegance to the plushness here. With air, significantly drier on the finish. A slight edge to it. Still, a very pleasant surprise though and a very decent wine. ****
I'm shocked to give this wine 93 points, given the hype and noise surrounding this producer. This was Pavie's first vintage in its new direction, a full five years before it split Parker and Jancis apart. Happily, it's nothing more offensive than modern-styled, very good right-bank Bordeaux. Granted, Cab Franc must feel like the actor whose scenes were cut from the film, but this is not a port-like effort. Ripe, but not silly. Big. Still primary. If you're looking for a syrup-bomb, find another vintage. If you prefer old-style claret, this might not work for you. But it's impressive.
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(Chateau Pavie St Emilion) My first taste of post-Valette Pavie - Gérard Perse took control here in March 1998. Merlot 70%, Cabernet Franc 20%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%. Yields are a very low 25 hl/ha. A dark, inky and yet vibrant colour. Very concentrated, with dark fruits on the nose. The palate is dense, concentrated, and rich. There is plenty of extract and texture here, not surprising in view of the batonnage employed. The fruit is rich and lovely, the tannins ripe and supple. Toffee and liquorice notes. The most dark, concentrated and textured wine here, but texture is not everything.