One of the two oldest estates in Saint-Émilion, 92 acre Château Pavie joined her Right Bank sisters – Angelus, Ausone and Cheval Blanc – when elevated to the region’s elite Premier Grand Cru Classe (A) classification in 2012. This came after a remarkable comeback from its more than 60 year-old classification as a Premier Grand Cru Classé (B). A mid to late 20th century underperformer, conditions changed drastically upon its acquisition by Gerard Perse in 1998. Recognizing the potential of the land’s south-facing hills, Perse sold his multimillion dollar supermarket business to fund significant investments in the property, including the installation of newly constructed cellar and a replanting initiative of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Because Perse has incorporated a more modern production style, some Bordeaux purists have compared the wine to the newer California cult offerings. Despite these criticisms, the estate produces some of the ripest, most pleasing, and lushly tannic wines hailing from Bordeaux. And, hardly a neophyte, Pavie can trace its historic ties to winemaking as far back as the 4th century.