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Château de Pez 2011

Producer Information

Created in the 15th century, Château de Pez is the oldest domain in Saint-Estèphe. The Pontac family, who also created Haut-Brion, gave Pez its vineyards. The domain was sold as a property of the state after the French Revolution and was owned by a succession of families before Champagne Louis Roederer purchased it in 1995.

Vineyards

The Château de Pez estate covers more than 26 hectares. The wines are left to ferment in traditional oak vats before being blended, and left to develop for a period of 16 to 18 months in oak barrels, 40 percent of them new.

Winemaking

The Château de Pez winery remains resolutely faithful to wood. The blend is composed in December, then the wine is stored in barrels (40% new wood, 40% in “premier vin” casks and 20% in “deuxième vin” casks) and racked every three months. Vatting: 22-30 days. It is to be noted that the wine undergoes absolutely no filtration. The wines of Château de Pez have an attractive tannic structure worthy of further ageing. They are sometimes referred to as the ‘Pomerols’ of St-Estèphe, in part due to the smooth roundness brought to the wine by the Merlot vines grown on the exceptional soils. They tend to be dark in colour and have great length, body and distinction and are best appreciated after 5+ years.

Vintage Information

2011 is marked by an inversion of the seasonal climate conditions. A dry hot spring – with temperatures well above the average – allowed early vine development, followed by a cold summer punctuated with some rain that allowed the vine to regenerate and follow its normal development. Budding started around 28th March, with a homogenous flowering around 12th May. Berry development was good, particularly for the Merlots. Through a lack of water, the véraison started as early as the start of July, three weeks early than normal. However, from 15th July, a fresher climate accompanied by light rains took hold, allowing the vine to restart its growth but slowing véraison, stretching it into the first days of August. The size and weight of the berries remained small. After a light de-leafing at the end of June, there was a moderate green harvest on most plots, ensuring a good sanitary condition until the harvest. August presented an uneven climate; cold with hot spells. The berries ripened slowly but consistently, in good conditions, and the grape analysis revealed good balance and an excellent polyphenol and aromatic potential at the end of August. On 1st September, a hailstorm hit the south of Saint-Estèphe, affecting a few hectares of Merlot, but thankfully, these Merlots had already reached sufficient maturity and, thanks to the team’s reactivity, all the grapes were harvested the following day. Subsequent weather conditions were more favourable, meaning the harvest finished calmly on 22nd September.w.

Tasting Note

Terrific texture and opulence, forward fruit, sweet tannin, and a lush personality are dense along with copious quantities of sweet berries, roasted coffee, underbrush, black currant, and black cherry fruit. Sensationally pure, textured, and full-bodied, this will be a flamboyant, showy offering in its youth, but it is capable of lasting 20-30 years.

Food Pairing

Lamb, red meats, cheese, truffle, chocolate.

Serving Suggestion

Serve at room temperature

Press

James Suckling – April 2012 – 90-91

Wine Spectator – James Molesworth – April 2012 – 87-90

Jancis Robinson – April 2012 – 16/20

AOC Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux
50% Cabernet Sauvignon
46% Merlot
4% Petit Verdot

Natural Cork
13%

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